Germans love Sicily. They represent a vast majority of visitors who come here every year. Recently a new German tourist map has been released, which distinctly marks all the shops and businesses which are not willing to put up with mafia.
Sicily is a wonderful island which is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Local pristine beaches and clear sea are dazzling, and the Italian cuisine, combined with a bit of history are a major draw as well.
Naturally, visiting Sicily without uttering the word ‘mafia’ is impossible. Somehow, it has been a part of this land for decades and today, it has a very strong impact on everyday lives of many locals – especially in Palermo. Recently, a new tourist map started circling around which signals all the shops and businesses in Sicily’s capital that refuse to pay racketeering fees.
Germans are much loved here – they easily outnumber any other nation in terms of their visits to Sicily. And when a need emerged for an updated tourist map, the German Ambassador, Michael Steiner, decided to help finance the German-language map.
Palermo has long been haunted by diverse mafia practices, racketeering being the most common and widespread one. During the past decade, an organization was formed by those who decided to speak against this mafia oppression. The ‘Addiopizzo’ (“Goodbye Extortion”) believes that only people without dignity pay. In fact, the anti-mafia tourist map comes from their brains.
Hopefully, more places will follow the lead of Addiopizzo in Palermo. Sadly, beating the mafia will be a long and trying process as their typical practices have infected most of the layers of the society including the tourism sector. What more, with films like Coppola’s Godfather, which sympathizes with mafia families, it is hard to fight their reputation.