Mafia boss shot dead in Sicilian street

Killers gunned down a Mafia boss in Sicily on Monday as the Cosa Nostra flexed its muscles on the eve of the 25th anniversary of one of its most notorious murders.

Mafia boss shot dead in Sicilian street
Police work on the street where the killing took place. Photo: Alessandro Fucarini/AFP

Giuseppe Dainotti, 67, was shot in the head as he cycled along a street in Palermo, almost 25 years to the day since anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone was blown up in an explosion on a motorway on the Italian island.

READ MORE: How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily

Photographs of the crime scene evoked decades of violence in the Sicilian capital, showing Dainotti's body covered by a sheet, only his shoes on show, and the white bicycle he was riding lying where it fell.

Palermo prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi said the slaying was a warning to the state that Cosa Nostra (“Our Thing”) may have been laying low, but was far from beaten.

“When some people claim the Mafia no longer exists or has been destroyed, something always happens to confirm it is still there,” he said.

“When necessary, it shoots again, in a clear and symbolic way,” he said.

Falcone's murder in May 1992 and that of fellow magistrate Paolo Borsellino in a separate bombing in July the same year sparked a vast crackdown against the Mafia which landed many of its key figures behind bars.

The once-powerful Sicilian Mafia has largely been surpassed in recent years by the notoriously ruthless 'Ndrangheta in Calabria and the Naples-based Camorra.

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The last high-profile murder saw a lawyer beaten to death by members of the organised crime group in 2010.

Witnesses who called the police after hearing the gunshots said they thought Dainotti, who was released from prison in 2014 after serving time for murder, was executed by two killers who pulled up alongside him on scooter.

The slain gangster was believed to be close friends with Salvatore Cancemi, a high-ranking Mafia boss involved in the preparations and executions of the murders of Falcone and Borsellino.

In 1993 he turned himself in and became a police collaborator – describing among other things how feared boss of bosses Toto Riina ordered French Champagne to celebrate Falcone's death – and died in hiding in 2011.

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Photo: atlanka/Depositphotos


Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.