• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Mob boss sparks fury with 100th birthday bash
Ex-mafia boss Procopio Di Maggio threw the 100th birthday bash in his Sicilian town of Cinisi. Photo: BSJ/Wikimedia

Mob boss sparks fury with 100th birthday bash

The Local · 12 Jan 2016, 09:26

Published: 12 Jan 2016 09:26 GMT+01:00

Procopio Di Maggio, who was a mafia boss under Cosa Nostra’s notorious leader, Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina, and is the only one of the Riina clan still at liberty, spared no expense when it came to becoming a centenarian on January 6th.

The ex-boss, who survived two assassination attempts, invited friends and family to a sumptuous dinner in one of Cinisi’s most elegant banquet halls, before treating them all to a fireworks' display, much to the anger of Mayor Giangiacomo Palazzolo, La Repubblica reported.

Di Maggio, dubbed by the newspaper as "the world's oldest mafia boss" and described as still being “sprightly” despite his age, also spent the day receiving greetings from residents who turned up at his home to wish him happy birthday.

What drove the fury even more was that the celebration took place in the birth town of Giuseppe "Peppino" Impastato, who despite being born into a mafia family grew up to be a political activist who opposed the criminal organization. He was murdered by the mafia in 1978.

Other than the shame the birthday bash brought to the town, Palazzolo had another reason to be upset: Di Maggio had flouted a firework ban, imposed by several towns and cities across Italy over the festive period to limit air pollution.

“Today, Di Maggio is harmless, but this story bothers me and I will take action,” the mayor vowed after images and videos of the celebration spread across Facebook, garnering hundreds of ‘likes’.

"He is a mafioso, but the town is not."

The fireworks could also be seen as far away as Palermo’s Falcone–Borsellino Airport, named in memory of the slain anti-mafia judges Giovanne Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Some of the display was captured by journalists from La Repubblica in the video below:

 
Despite one fan writing on Facebook “another 100 years”, the outrage on social media has been flooding in other the last few hours.

“The day after we mourned a great loss to the music world, we return to the living,” another Facebook commenter wrote.

“The State is not there for Gianluca Calì, the Sicilian businessman whose only crime was opposing the mafia. Neither is it there for his wife, two children and staff at his company. Meanwhile, we have a six-minute firework display to celebrate the 100th birthday of “Godfather” Procopio Di Maggio in Cinisi, the town where Giuseppe Impastato shouted ‘the mafia is a pile of s***’. This town has not forgotten Peppino, but the State obviously has.”

Story continues below…

Di Maggio was among the hundreds of mafiosi who stood trial in the famous Maxi Trial against the Sicilian mafia in the mid-1980s, but was cleared of ordering a dozen murders.

His birthday celebration comes after a lavish funeral held for a Rome mafia boss, complete with gilded horse-drawn carriage and roses thrown from a helicopter overhead, sparked controversy last August.

Read more: Outcry as mafia boss given lavish send-off

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Today's headlines
Italy hails mafia killer's arrest as historic
Fazzalari was convicted in absentia in 1999 of mafia association, kidnapping, illegal possession of weapons and a double homicide. Photo: Italian police

A convicted killer who was one of Italy's most wanted mafia bosses was arrested Sunday in an operation hailed by prosecutors as a historic breakthrough in the fight against organised crime.

Pope visits Armenian genocide memorial
Francis laid a wreath and prayed at the Tsitsernakaberd site. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a rallying cry to protect memory at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, on day two of a trip likely to stir tensions with Turkey.

Italians in the UK: 'After all these years, we feel unwanted'
Thousands of young Italians have moved to London in recent years. Photo: TJ Morris

Italian expats in the UK shared feelings of anger, fear and confusion after Britain voted to leave the EU. And they never even got a say.

How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking to stay in Italy long term? Here's how.

Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
(L) Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, which campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and (R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Photos: Geoff Caddick/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Britain may have taken a leap into the dark, but this is what's expected in Italy.

Europe needs renovating after Brexit: Renzi
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has called on the remaining EU members to reorganize the EU. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Renzi said it was "not an easy day."

'Brexit is a disaster for Great Britain': WW2 veteran
Harry Shindler MBE. Photo: Rosie Scammell

“I would have thought that 70 years of peace would have been sufficient for people to say ‘we’re not going to change’ anything."

Renzi calls urgent meeting as Italy's far-right rejoice Brexit
Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, summoned the country's top economic minds to his home on Friday morning. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Italy's Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called an extraordinary meeting on Friday morning as global markets were plunged into turmoil by the UK's shock decision to leave the EU.

Brits in Italy left stunned after UK votes for Brexit
Britons on Thursday voted to leave the EU. Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Britons in Italy woke up to the shocking news on Friday that the UK has voted to leave the EU, sending the pound crashing and fuelling concerns about their future on the continent.

Venice beaches offer 'sun or your money back' deal
Venice beaches are offering 'weather insurance' in a bid to boost visitor numbers this summer. Photo: Darkbeach/Flickr

Authorities hope the move will attract more beachgoers.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Culture
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Travel
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
National
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Health
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Travel
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
National
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Politics
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Travel
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Politics
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
National
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Culture
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
2,525
jobs available