It is universally acknowledged that Italy is a beautiful but problematic country, with chronic plagues such as the Mafia. This criminal organization originated in the South in the 19th century.
Honest brave men tried to fight it and lost their lives in terrible ways. Peppino Impastato was one of them. He rebelled against the Mafia trying to convince others to follow his example and he also founded an independent radio called RADIOAUT but he was killed young for his “wrong” ideas. The day of his death Felicia, Peppino’s mother, declared that she did not want to take revenge; instead, she created the “Casa Memoria”, a sort of museum in her house where people could see photos of Peppino’s life and political actions and thus reflect upon the horror of such unfair murder.
We visited “Casa Memoria” (the House of Memory) during our week in Sicily (19-25 September 2016) and we could see the rooms where Peppino lived and also the significant moments of his life through his photos. As a journalist, he wrote fierce and satirical articles against the Mafia and contributed to remove the veil of guilty silence which locally supported the criminal organization. It was a revelatory experience for everybody because we could understand his thoughts and his struggle for legality, putting ourselves in his shoes.
Once visited “Casa Memoria”, we took the popular a-hundred-step walk: exactly 100 steps (“100 passi”) is the length separating Peppino’s house from Tano’s house, the house of the mafiaboss Tano Badalamenti, who ordered Peppino’s murder. The short walk is marked by colourful tiles inserted in the pavement with famous quotes on justice and morality.
It is really worth visiting places like “Casa Memoria” and the “100 passi” route, because knowledge is the most powerful weapon in our hands to fight the Mafia. Only the necessary information and awareness of the current general corruption of the political and economic life in Italy and the world can make people react and rebel in the name of peace, freedom, justice, equality and active citienzship.
Alessio Giuliani, 3 LSA C
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