Sicilian Concetto Bonaccorsi, 56, who was serving a life sentence for murder, illegal disposal of bodies and drug trafficking, had absconded from a Naples prison last year during a three-day release, police said Friday.
But he was recaptured after police following his wife spotted him preparing a barbecue on the balcony of a flat in the hilltop town of Massa e Cozzile near Pistoia on Thursday.
The mobster is a "military boss" of a Sicilian clan known as a "Stidda", an organised crime group active on the Italian island which rivals the once-powerful Cosa Nostra.
Bonaccorsi was first arrested in 1991 on his wedding day. Police surrounded the church in Catania as the bride arrived but the mobster persuaded his captors to let him say "I do" before dragging him off in cuffs.
Among other murders, he was found guilty of executing a rival mafia boss and sparking a mafia war which left over 100 people dead.