Although Francis Ford Coppola’s flawed gangster trilogy is an American tale, it nevertheless reveals the Corleone family roots in Sicily, and in many people’s minds the Italian Mafia are a feature of the south; the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra in Naples, and some may even be away of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta.

I was surprised then, to see some graffiti in Venice which amounted to “Mafia Keep Out”, but a little research reveals that the Veneto region had(?) its own criminal organisation; Mala del Brenta which originated when several senior Sicilian Mafiosi were held in solitary confinement in different towns around the region in an attempt to limit their influence in Sicily.  The unintended consequence was that local criminals made contact with them and created a Northern version that saw its heyday in the last decades of the 20th Century.  Supposedly it no longer operates, but perhaps it has just evolved.

On one of my strolls through city I spotted this man (outside All’Arco) who seemed to generate a lot of respect from everyone who passed by.  It’s a complete fantasy on my part of course, but just maybe…

Venezia-1-2

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