“Those who want respect, give respect,” Tony Soprano famously said on the long-running HBO show “The Sopranos.”
And those who want to see where “The Sopranos” was filmed, can take a bus tour.
The company On Location Tours is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the show’s premiere on Jan. 10, 1999 with – what else? – another tour. It has been offering tours of Tony Soprano’s world for 23 years.
The four-hour experience starts in Midtown and heads to New Jersey through the Lincoln Tunnel – much like Tony Soprano does in the opening credits – to see around 40 locations where the show was filmed.
“We visit some rather desolate and un-scenic areas and people just want to take in the atmosphere of the show,” said guide Stefan Zachary, who has been leading tours for about a year.
He said that tourists, “love the relationships and the conflicts and they just want to see it in person.”
Zachary said he wanted the job because he’s been a fan of the drama since he first watched it 10 years ago.
“The show is about family and trying to manage your relationships,” he said. “The themes in the show resonate with anybody.”
“The Sopranos” centers around the life of mob boss Tony Soprano, played by late actor James Gandolfini. He struggles to balance his day job with the stresses of family, and begrudgingly starts talking to a therapist after suffering multiple panic attacks.
The show aired for six seasons and is often regarded as one of the best television shows of all time.
Zachary said most people on his tours are tourists who’ve planned their vacation around the sites.
“These fans are similar to Star Trek fans or Star Wars fans, where they really know the details about the show,” he said.
The tour takes visitors to see Pizza Land and the Muffler Man statue, which were shown in the opening credits of the show. It also visits the strip club that’s called Bada Bing in the show, but in real life is known as Satin Dolls, where guests can order a drink or purchase “Sopranos” t-shirts.
Also on the route is a stop at Holsten’s, the ice cream parlor and diner in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where the final, and often debated scene of “The Sopranos” took place.
Zachary said people on his tours often behave like “kids in a candy store”, ordering Tony Soprano’s iconic onion rings from Holsten’s, and taking pictures in the booth he sat in with his family.
“People get their photos taken, they walk around, they point out all the different sections of the restaurant that they remember from the episode,’ he said. “People are just overjoyed.”
Sopranos Sites Tour is for ages 18 and up. Tickets start at $72. To learn more visit here.