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  • Todd Puhl

Review: The Sopranos Location Tour

Updated: May 27, 2019

During our trip to New York, I wanted to get the full experience of the Sopranos. So we booked with On Locations Tours and met up in the Fashion District of New York for the tour. When we arrived we checked in with our Tour Guide. Once that was completed, we were directed to go behind the bus as there was a “Sopranos Star” waiting to meet us. For some reason I thought it was Vincent Pastore who played Big Pussy. But it turns out it was Joseph Gannascoli who played Vito Spatafore, the risky character. Joseph made it very clear that he thought of the angle and pitched it to the shows creator: David Chase. Apparently this was the only angle that David Chase had ever used from the cast.

Anyways, I digress. He was parked behind the bus selling “merch” from the show. We ended up getting a photo, Bada Bing coasters, a Bada Bing T-shirt and a signed photo of the cast from the show. However, I will say that it felt very sketchy because of how quick he was moving people along and the fact he didn’t tell me how much anything was. I was too busy being starstruck that we just paid and moved along. And then we got the bill. However, he seemed like a nice guy but I am sure he could have set up shop at the Bada Bing or something so that people would have more time to browse rather than looking into a trunk of a car in New York. IMO.

The tour consisted of many locations where the show took place in New Jersey. Only a handful that people would truly recognize without explanation. On our tour it was a couple from Europe of all places that knew everything, and I mean everything! It was scary.

The good:

  • We had a very informative Tour Guide named Marc Baron. He is an actor and has been on the Sopranos in a series of small roles. He humbled me as I was a huge fan of the Sopranos and like to think I knew everything. Compared to him I knew nothing. He was extremely informative and kept the bus ride very entertaining.

  • We got to visit the Bada Bing. Home of the most popular adult business because of the acclaimed show. There was minor cosmetic changes to the establishment but it was pretty recognizable. We both had a shot of Don Julio and bought a shot glass. The adult entertainers were very nice and we enjoyed our 15 minutes at the spot. Fun facto: no nakedness. In new Jersey you can't have naked dancers and alcohol so that's small inaccuracy of the show.

  • We got to sit in the restaurant booth where Tony sat in the final scene of the series. It was an ice cream parlor called Holstens and we were provided free onion rings upon our arrival. It was jam packed so we were only able to get a quick photo.

  • We were taken down the neighborhood were the wedding scene happened, where Satrioles was before it was knocked down and turned into a parking lot.

The bad:

  • Did not stop at Barone Sanitation, but it was pointed out. There was a lot of locations added that were just cut away/quick scenes from the show that we didn’t get to explore because of where they were located.

  • The Soprano’s infamous home was no longer on the tour. There was complaints from the owner so it was removed. It would have been nice to see though.

  • We were warned that there should be no photography or even having your phone out at all at the Bada Bing. As much as I understand why, it seemed to come across as a very stiff warning. Their merchandise we could buy was in a small room where only two people could enter at a time to look at things to buy.

Things that stood out:

Honestly, it was the tour guide who made the trip very enjoyable. Marc should be commended for his informative and fun take on the Sopranos.

Last thought:

If you are in the NY or NJ area and a die hard fan of the show, the price is right so you should check it out. Just keep an open mind and take in all the knowledge to make the experience fun and enjoyable. Oh and bring cash for the bada Bing and to tip Marc :)

#newjersey #newyork #sopranos #italian #badbing

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