Guests sailing on Costa Cruises’ Costa Smeralda are being invited to take part in the line’s newest excursion – an anti-mafia tour of Palermo.
Sicily’s capital is the birthplace and heartland of the infamous Sicilian Mafia, or ‘Cosa Nostra’, with ruthless family clans at the centre of organised crime ranging from prostitution and extortion to drug trafficking and murder.
But now locals are taking the fight to the mob via the ‘Addiopizzo‘ movement, a grassroots campaign led by local businesses who refuse to pay ‘protection’ money, known as ‘pizzo’.
Every Thursday, guests arriving in Palermo onboard Costa Smeralda will have a chance to participate in the ‘Palermo No Mafia Tour,’ a walking tour of Palermo’s city centre that visits symbolic places of civic anti-mafia resistance and the fight against racketeering.
The three-hour walking tour guided by locals offers an opportunity to explore a different face of Palermo. The aim is to help guests learn the truth of the Sicilian mob rather than its glamorised Hollywood image and explain the anti-mafia movement.
Participants will head to the Teatro Massimo and the Wall of Legality, which depicts the faces of those who have fallen in the fight against the mafia. After visiting Piazza Beati Paoli, guests will stop at Piazza della Memoria, with its memorial dedicated to the magistrates killed by organised crime gangs, and then on to the Cathedral, followed by the City Hall.
There will also be a break in one of the shops displaying the logo of the ‘Pago chi non paga‘ campaign, or the shops that have said no to racketeering. Guests will be able to contribute to change by supporting an ethical and pizzo-free economy.