Sicily? Sure, Cosa Nostra. But honestly, we got all our knowledge from "The Godfather". So not exactly the best source, albeit a very entertaining one.
So we go to Corleone, the city probably most associated with the birth of the Mafia.
This charming hilltop town is rich in history and culture and offers stunning views of the countryside.
The visit to the No Mafia Museum was our highlight in Corleone. The museum was founded in 2004 to document and enlighten the history of the Mafia in Sicily. It shows the dark side of the Mafia, which is often associated with the city of Corleone, but it also shows the history and culture of the city and how it stood up against the Mafia.
We learned how the Mafia came into being in Sicily and how it has spread over the years. We also learned how the citizens of Corleone fought against the Mafia and how they still fight today to keep the city free of the Cosa Nostra. A whole room full of files from the big Mafia trials in the 90s of the last century impressed us very much.
But we are also gripped by the photographs of the victims and the frightened and worried relatives. Even though the guide (we had a private tour due to a lack of other visitors!) asserts again and again that Corleone is safe and that the Cosa Nostra, as the Mafia is called, has lost its power - we can't really believe it. We read about so much mystery, about the underground and backrooms.
Phew, with a shower we leave the museum. And spontaneously decide not to spend the night here, despite the magnificent view of the mountains. Iron rule: If one of us feels uncomfortable, we move on. Today we both feel unwell somehow. Stupid, but what can you do about feelings except feel them?
PS.: A new study by economic historians shows that the mafia emerged in connection with the increasing demand for lemons in the late 18th century. Landowners hired "campieri", private guards, to protect their lemon plantations. However, some of these guards began to blackmail the landowners and joined together to form armed gangs that took control of the growing lemon trade.
Thank you for reading our travel memories.
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Best regards - Heike & Gerd