New “Sicily Magnifica Cycling Tour” Explores the Dark History of the Sicilian Mafia

The town of Corleone in Sicily, Italy. // Photo courtesy of Tourissimo

To paraphrase a famous line from the iconic mafia movie, “The Godfather,” Tourissimo is making Millennials an offer they can’t refuse.

Travel Agent recently sat down with representatives of Tourissimo, an Italian destination specialist for active travel vacations, and learned all about the company’s new “Sicily Magnifica Cycling Tour,” in which clients can explore the dark, violent history of the Sicilian mafia. 

As part of the Sicily Magnifica Cycling Tour, which runs from October 22-29, clients will visit the town of Corleone, made famous by the aforementioned Francis Ford Coppola mafia film. Although Marlon Brando’s famous “The Godfather” character, Vito Corleone, is fictional, the town he hailed from in the movie is very much real. 

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In fact, according to Tourissimo representatives, two of the most cruel mafia bosses ever were born in Corleone, prompting author Mario Puzo to write about Corleone. Puzo wrote the book that would be converted into the American film classic. 

After the movie, Sicily became synonymous with the mafia and "omerta," the code of silence, says Beppe Salerno, managing director of Tourissimo. Nowadays, the places where the mob used to rule are seeing a rebirth thanks to the government and to new generations believing in a legal alternative to making money: tourism.

Massacre of Capaci

Clients will also visit Capaci to learn the story of the “Massacre of Capaci.” The history of the island, as well as the memory and consciences of Sicilians, have forever been marked by this event. 

On May 23, 1992, Giovanni Falcone, his wife and his police escort, traveling towards Palermo, were blown into the air by about 2,200 pounds of TNT along the highway, off of Capaci. It was the beginning of a season of massacres that would take the lives of other magistrates, police officers, and journalists. 

But it was also the beginning of the spring of the "Sicilian Conscience," of the reawakening of its citizens and their desire for redemption from mafia oppression that had heavily marked the history and life of their city, according to Tourissimo representatives. Today on the site of the massacre, a number of obelisks rise, while a little further on, on the mountain opposite, a very large inscription stands out announcing, “No Mafia!”

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