If you wanna understand a little better Sicilia, take a look at the movie 'The Godfather', by F.F.Coppola; if possible, the 3 parts.
Inevitably the dark lure of The Honorable Society hangs over Palermo and it's tempting to believe every dapper chap with a shiny suit is a Don. You can visit (or stay in) the Hotel Grande Albergo & Delle Palme on Via Roma, where Lucky Luciano kept a suite and 'the five families' divided up the world's drug trade in October 1957. You can see Ucciardone, the gaunt and daunting Bourbon prison said to house 400 mafiosi.
You can even make the trek out to the infamous mountain town of Corleone (about 50 kms. south of Palermo), but the locals must be fed up with prurient tourists.
Instead, the most powerful monument to the legacy of the mafia is on a nondescript traffic island in Piazza XIII Vittime. Here tattered banners, like so many Buddhist prayer flags, fly to honor those who've given their lives in the fight against this insidious Sicilian cancer.
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