• 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
Italian man lay dead in flat for 5 years before anyone noticed
The man's body was found at his home in Cagliari, Sardinia. Photo: Simon Frost

"Nobody questioned his disappearance, nobody went looking for him."

'20 to 30' people dead in new migrant shipwreck
The latest disaster comes two days after five people died while trying to make the crossing to Italy. Photo: Marinare Militare

Between 20 to 30 people have drowned in the latest migrant shipwreck off Libya.

Italians plea to adopt baby orphaned in migrant tragedy
Migrants await rescue off the Libyan coast on Wednesday. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

After the baby girl's parents died at sea, hundreds of Italians have asked to adopt the baby girl.

Purrfect: cat-filled beach is a top tourist spot in Sardinia
A remote Sardinian beach home to 60 cats, has been named one of Sardinia's best tourist attractions. Photo: I Gatti Su Pallosu

Visitors think the cat sanctuary near the tiny fishing hamlet of Su Pallosu is the cat's whiskers.

IN PICTURES
Huge sinkhole in city centre will cost Florence €5 million
Photo: Claudio Giovannini/AFP

The accident is thought to be down to human error.

India allows accused Italian marine to go home
Italian marines Salvatore Girone (L) and Massimiliano Latorre (R) pictured in Kochi, India, in December 2012. Photo: Strdel/AFP

Under his new bail conditions, Salvatore Girone must return to Delhi within one month if the PCA rules that he face trial in India.

Striking pictures capture moment of migrant shipwreck

The operation wound up late on Wednesday without finding any further survivors or victims.

Two men jailed in Italy for social media terror threats
The threats were accompanied by photos of the monuments and written in Italian, French and Arabic. Photo: Jason Howie/Flickr

The two men had downloaded an online "manual" which covered the production of home-made explosives, carrying weapons and operating clandestinely on the internet.

Five migrants dead in shipwreck: Italian navy
500 people were pulled to safety and seven bodies recovered after a heavily crowded boat overturned off the Libyan coast. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

UPDATED: The navy said at least 550 people had been pulled to safety but added that the rescue operation was still underway and that the death toll could rise.

Italians petition to save paradise island's hermit
Some call it home: the island of Budelli, Sardinia. Photo: Luca Giudicatti

"Without him, the island's ecosystem would be severely compromised by now."

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
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
2,522
jobs available