"I imagine that my life can only be free abroad in countries that can give me another identity, so I can have a new life that starts from scratch," Saviano told the court, Italian media reported.
Saviano wrote an award-winning expose of the activities of the Naples mafia, the Camorra, that named top bosses and threw a spotlight on the murderous feuds within the crime syndicate.
The book Gomorrah was also turned into a film.
Saviano, who wrote about global cocaine trafficking in his latest book Zero Zero Zero, has since had to live at an undisclosed location with an armed escort and is rarely seen in public.
"I feel like a war veteran," he said.
"The increase in my escort makes daily life very difficult. I cannot go for a walk, have a normal life, I cannot take the train or the metro or pick a restaurant without agreeing it first," he said.