I’m thinking about Sicily a lot these days. I’ll be there at Easter time.
This morning, ANSA alerts me to a cool thing that’s been going on in Sicily as local Mafioso get thrown in the clink: with the help of EU money they’ve been turning former Mafia properties into, among other things, agriturismi, farms that produce fine crops, generate jobs, and take in tourists for cash.
The three-acre site five kilometres from Corleone, once a fief of Salvatore ‘the Beast’ Riina, has been turned into an ‘agriturismo’, or farm-holiday restaurant-cum-inn. ~ Ex- Mafia fief to offer home cooking
Yes, on a country property that once belonged to Italy’s bloodiest Mafia boss Salvatore ‘the Beast’ Riina, you can now stab a fork into a pile of Putanesca without shivering in your boots.
Youth cooperatives have moved into the rural crime triangle between the fiefs of Corleone, Monreale and San Giuseppe Jato and have started making pasta, olive oil, wine, honey and other produce on the ex-Mafia lands.
These products are marketed by the cooperative Placido Rizzotto – Libera Terra
Trouble is, these agriturismi seem to suffer from a lack of internet marketing. I can’t tell from the ANSA story what’s up with the property, and an internet search only brought up a couple of posibilities, the Agriturismo Portella della Ginestra on the Libera Terra website, which seems to need work yet.
There’s some more info on the program here: Italy: Giving Mafia Property a Makeover in Sicily
So perhaps I will find out more on my Sicilian excursion this spring.