Sicily: Eco villages on mafia property

2 minutes to read

Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands and it's separated from the continent by the Strait of Messina. This majestic place on Earth, which offers unique landscapes, heaven-like beaches, tasty food, and an easygoing life philosophy, unfortunately, is commonly associated with the Mafia. After Coppolas masterpiece, "The Godfather", we all got more familiar with the mafia principles. However, the reality is not a movie, and the mafia still exists.

A "mafia" is a type of an organized "crime cartel" whose primary actions are protection racketeering, the mediation of conflicts between criminals, and the organization and oversight of illegal agreements and transactions. Mafias often engage in secondary activities such as gambling, loan sharking, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and fraud. The colorful world of a black market. Ring a bell?

The term Mafioso, that nowadays is easy to relate with someone that is into the black market, has been first used in Sicily, and later on, in the middle of the 20th century it got an international meaning. At the very first, Mafioso was someone that is strong and courageous, while now nothing lawful can be related to it.

In 2007, a group of people decided to manage assets that were confiscated from the mafia and to commit to developing a sustainable and virtuous economy, using a concept named the "flowers of legality", aiming in that way to give life to radical and fruitful changes.

These people were highly inspired by Peppino Impastato, a journalist, and activist, who got killed by the Mafia in Cinisi. "Fiori di Campo" is a solid Eco-village, which is now rising nearby and it’s dedicated to him. Peppino Impastato used humour and satire as his weapon against the Mafia. In his popular daily radio program Onda pazza (Crazy Wave), he mocked equally the politicians and the mafiosi. He was 30 years old when he got assassinated. In Cinisi, don’t miss out on visiting the memorial house dedicated to him.

Let’s go back to the transformation of the mafia properties. Since those properties were built by wealthy people, you can easily imagine that we're talking about well-built properties. The eco-village Solidale Fiori di Campo is placed on a property confiscated from the mafia in Marina di Cinisi and can host individuals, groups, families, associations, and communities. The condition to be hosted there is to share a common view of solidarity and no discrimination. It is an ideal place to be for everyone in the search for an alternative lifestyle, linked to issues of sustainability and social commitment.

The guests can participate in the daily functioning of the village through many activities: restoration of the confiscated assets, public utility work, work on the agricultural land, and a training on the issues of legality, are just some of those. Do you still have doubts about where to spend your summer? Check out this video:

The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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