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But what the Normans were really hungry for was territory and the fertile plains of southern Italy must have presented a tempting site. Southern Italy was a promised land ripe for the picking. Professor Robert Bartlett, The Normans III: Normans of the South, BBC 2010
Muslim Sicily was a difficult island to conquer. ibid.
It’s a plan in part relying on the help of one of the most notorious gangsters in America and his criminal empire. This is the story of mob boss Lucky Luciano and the astonishing secret coalition the US Navy never want told. Wartime Crime s1e6: The Sicilian Connection, Yesterday 2018
Sicily: Benito Mussolini’s rise to power has threatened to put an end to the Mafia. ibid.
WWII: ‘Operation Husky is fledged, and this plan is to take the US 7th army and the British 8th army and hit Sicily in the south.’ ibid. Geoffrey Wawro, University of Texas
The remains of former family friend and political activist Giuseppe Peppino Impastato are found on a Sicilian railway line. Killer Trials: Murdered By the Mob
Their uncle Cesare is blown up by a car bomb. ibid.
14,956. He has become one of the key players of a multi-million-dollar heroin trafficking operation that imports heroin from the middle east and distributes it across America through a chain of pizza parlours. ibid.
In Italy the Sicilian Mafia embarked on a campaign of terror in a last-ditch attempt to intimidate the State as their political supporters failed to protect them. The prosecution and arrest of the Mafia godfathers changed the face of organised crime, and raised the prospect of its eventual disappearance. Mafia Empire – Vendetta, History 2006
While the Sicilian Mafia dominated the heroin trade in the 1980s the American Mafia were opposed to it. ibid.
Surrounded by massive security at the courthouse in Palermo, Buscetta testified that as head of the Corleonesi and the Commission of the Sicilian Mafia, Riina was directly responsible for all the killings. ibid.
In defiance of popular feeling Riina escalated his campaign against the State in the autumn of 1992 by resorting to terrorism, extending Mafia violence to the Italian mainland. ibid.
19th century Sicily was the birthplace of the modern Mafia ... Hidden in what seemed to be ordinary neighbourhoods was a secret society that would eventually make its mark on two continents. Mafia Empire: Vow of Silence
For years the true history of the Mafia has been a closed book to the outside world. But now high-ranking members are betraying the Mafia and are telling the real story. ibid.
In Palermo in 1957 American and Sicilian Mafia held a series of secret meetings to discuss their common future. In attendance were American godfathers Joe Bonanno and Lucky Luciano, now living back in Italy. ibid.
It’s estimated he [Salvatori Reiina] and the families aligned with him killed as many as a thousand people in the area around Palermo. Alexander Stille, author Excellent Cadavers
On the island of Sicily beauty and brutality have lived side by side for thousands of years. It was here in a world of shadows and secrets that the Mafia was born. Through terror and murder a small minority of men held Sicily in their grip. Eventually their influence reached all the way to the highest levels of Italian government and beyond. Organised Crime – A World History: Sicily, 2001
But soon after his arrival the 53-year-old prosecutor was pronounced dead. His wife died a few hours later. For more than a decade Falcone had worked tirelessly to bring down the Sicilian Mafia. ibid.
Borsellino and five of his bodyguards were killed instantly. For the second time in as many months Sicily mourned the loss of a crusader for justice. ibid.
For over a century the Mafia had been poisoning Sicily, cloaking generations of violence and corruption in a mantle of respectability. ibid.
In the absence of legitimate government these new local bosses filled the political vacuum. ibid.
This dedication to complete secrecy coupled with the threat of violence allowed the Sicilian underworld to gradually tighten its grip on the island’s economy. ibid.
It was the beginning of a long and close relationship between the Christian Democrats and the Mafia. ibid.
After five years of thuggery the Mafia bosses in Palermo realised that war between the families was cutting into their profits. They decided to call a meeting to discuss their differences. In October 1957 scores of Mafiosi converged on ... a summit meeting that would last four days. As a result of these discussions it was decided to form a Commission to govern Mafia affairs. ibid.
In the early 1960 the Sicilian Mafia moved into a lucrative new area: the international drugs trade. ibid.
Forget it, Michael. Sicilian women are more dangerous than shotguns. The Godfather 1972 starring Marlon Brando & Al Pacino & James Caan & Richard S Castellano & Richard Duvall & Sterling Hayden & John Marley & Richard Conte & Diane Keaton et al, director Francis Ford Coppola, sidekick
Why is such a beautiful country so violent? The Godfather III 1990 starring Al Pacino & Andy Garcia & Diane Keaton & Talia Shire & Sofia Coppola & George Hamilton & Bridget Fonda et al, director Francis Ford Coppola, Anthony
The Sicilian Campaign: They [Athenians] had been the victims of one of the greatest defeats in ancient history. Over 50,000 men had been killed or taken prisoner. Empires Special: The Greeks: Crucible of Civilisation III: Empire of the Mind, PBS 2000
Now they had a fleet paid for with Persian gold. With Athens’ navy decimated by the defeat in Sicily, the Spartans could now blockade the Athenian harbours. The great grain convoys from Egypt and the colonies could no longer get through. ibid.
Away at the furthest edge of the Greek world – In the mid-8th century B.C. the Euboeans founded settlements on the island of Sicily’s eastern shore. And every day dominating the view was the great volcano Mount Etna. Professor Robin Lane Fox, Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes, 2010
The ferry journey from Naples takes less than an hour. ibid.
Layers of history have created a unique blend of art and architecture here. Andrew Graham-Dixon & Giorgio Locatelli, Sicily Unpacked 1/3, BBC 2012
How diverse and rich in culture it is. ibid.
The art of puppetry. ibid.
In 1130 the son of the first Norman ruler of Sicily, Roger II, crowned himself king. ibid.
The Mafia: in the early ’60s the Mafia infiltrated the city council and managed to have many of Palermo’s historic buildings demolished. ibid.
After the earthquake all of the major towns in the valley were lavished in the Baroque style favoured by the island’s colonial overlords, the Spanish. Andrew Graham-Dixon & Giorgio Locatelli, Sicily Unpacked 2/3
Sicilians have been expert ice-cream makers. ibid.
Family and faith are still at the heart of what’s important. ibid.
Caravaggio fled to Sicily in the seventeenth century. ibid.
One of the most fascinating multi-layered places in the world. ibid.
Sicily is full of paradoxes but Etna captures one of the most extreme: the lushness of the foothills versus the convulsive force of the volcano. Locals think of the volcano as female. Andrew Graham-Dixon & Giorgio Locatelli, Sicily Unpacked 3/3
Sicilians are now rediscovering the true value of what’s been left by the island’s ancient colonisers. ibid.
Canneto di Caronia, 23rd December 2003: ‘The electric fuse box here, the whole thing burned … We had the whole electrical system in the house changed. But things kept catching fire.’ The Unexplained Files, Discovery Channel 2013
Fires began breaking out across the village, all of them for no apparent reason. ibid.
Mattresses and couches started to burst into flames. ibid.
A new set of unexplained phenomena: ‘JSB drives and computers were malfunctioning. Cars were locking and unlocking on their own. Gates were opening.’ ibid.
Massive explosive bursts of electromagnetic energy. ibid.
‘A military drill and possible experiments.’ ibid. freelance journalist