giovedì 17 aprile 2008

The Guardian:a pocket-sized book that visitors will be unable to refuse

-1. The Guardian, Friday March 14 2008
How to spot a mafioso: a tourist’s guide
-1. Tom Kington in Rome
-1. Article history
A Sicilian tour guide who got fed up with answering the same questions about the mafia has written a pocket-sized book he thinks visitors will be unable to refuse.
The Mafia Explained to Tourists - which has been published in Italian, English, Japanese, German, Spanish and French - tackles questions such as: what a mafioso looks like, whether the mafia will exist forever and “why haven’t we seen a shoot-out in our 10 days here?”
“I included the 10 questions I am always asked, so from now I can just hand out the book,” said Augusto Cavadi, a Palermo-based guide and mafia scholar.
The template for his 55-page, €5.50 (£4.20) book was the frequently asked questions section in a washing machine manual. Responding to the question, how is it possible that 5 million Sicilians cannot defeat 5,000 mafiosi?, Cavadi tries to explain the “grey zone” in Sicily, which consists of those who are not part of the mafia but turn a blind eye to its activities. He also lists books and films which present the mafia realistically.
Cavadi said his book was just as suitable for Italians as for foreign tourists: “Italians sometimes insist there are ‘good’ mafiosi who do not kill, as well as ‘bad’ mafiosi.”
To clear up any doubt on the matter, the book contains the question: is it true the mafia will not kill priests?
“They certainly kill them when they take a stand against the mafia,” he said.
As for mobster spotting, Cavadi said it was not straightforward. “They are usually elegant and polite and move in high circles,” he said. “I have known dozens, but only found out years later they were mafiosi when they were arrested. It was 15 years before I figured out my apartment building was owned by a mob family.”

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