4 Fascinating & Powerful Anti-Mafia Tours In Italy

The Italian mafia is a topic that many know exists, but actually know little about. Today the mafia still plays a huge role in shaping the culture of Italy — most notably Sicily — and not in a good way. The following tours allow you to see the negative impact of the mafia on the community while also providing a cultural view into several small Sicilian villages. They’re all highly recommended as unique things to do in Italy that also give your trip a responsible tourism twist.

things to do in italy

1. Learn About Anti-Mafia Activism

Price: $49/per person for five hours

Addiopizzo Travel is a social enterprise that continues the legacy of Giuseppe “Peppino” Impastato, an anti-mafia activist and martyr that led the fight against Cosa Nostra and spoke out against the mafia until his death. Today, Addiopizzo Travel offers the opportunity to retrace Impastato’s steps through the towns of Cinisi and Terrasini and learn about the legacy he left behind, as well as today’s continuing battle to save Sicily from the mafia.

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italy falcone

2. Discover The Histories Of Falcone & Borsellino

Price: $43 per person for five hours

Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, both Italian judges and prosecuting magistrates, were two anti-mafia activists that died fighting for their cause, killed by the Sicilian mafia. Today, visitors to Sicily can explore Palmero, a town where violence is steadily declining, as well as the locations that the mafia placed bombs to kill activists. Today these places exist as symbols to keep moving forward in the fight against the mafia.

Image of Sicily courtesy of Scott Wylie/Flickr

Image of Sicily courtesy of Scott Wylie/Flickr

3. Explore Palmero

Price: $36 per person for three hours

Spend the day exploring Palermo on foot with anti-mafia activists as they explain the history of the mafia in Sicily’s historic center. Sicily is home to a large mafia presence and it negatively affects the daily life of individuals; however, citizens have begun an anti-mafia movement. Some business owners are now refusing pizzo (“protection tax”) while consumers have started an ethical shopping campaign, “Pago chi non pizzo” (I shop where they don’t pay pizzo). On the tour you’ll also get the unique opportunity to speak with these anti-mafia business owners to learn more about their perspective on the situation.

Image of Corleone courtesy of Orientalizing/Flickr

Image of Corleone courtesy of Orientalizing/Flickr

4. Understand The True Events That Inspired The Godfather

Price: $43 per person for three hours

Spend the day exploring Corleone, a village in the Sicilian countryside, and learn about local efforts to stop the mafia. The tour starts with the 19th century history of Corleone and continues through the “Legal Laboratory” in the city center, before ending with a walk through the canyon of Corleone and the “Waterfall of Two Rocks,” a gorgeous natural attraction. For fans of The Godfather, it can be an eye-opening experience to visit the places in the movie while learning about the true events and history that inspired it.

If you’re interested in learning about the history and impact of the mafia, these tours provide some of the most unique things to do in Italy as well as local insight.

What are responsible tourism-related things to do in Italy do you recommend? Please share in the comments below! 

Recommended:

Everything You Need To Know About The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Of Modena [Blog Inspiration]

Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia by St. Martin’s Griffin [Great Reads]

Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Clothing [Travel Safety]

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Sky Fisher is a small-town country girl with a passion for travel. She's spending 2015 traveling from Costa Rica to Mexico, immersing herself in local culture and volunteering along the way. Follow her adventures at Sky vs World.

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