Bitter beauty a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the ‘ndrangheta nanoxia deep silence 4 mini tower

The mafiosi tradition has always been intertwined with a particular interpretation of christian virtues: paternal or clan loyalty is the basis for omerta, the vow of silence. The spirit of sacrifice sustains the long years which some mafiosi spend as fugitives or behind bars. Most importantly, both traditions celebrate faith in infinite spiritual power: either of god or of the ‘ndrangheta. Sometimes of both.

“this is a religious festival, there’s nothing mafia-related here,” she says. “all these police checks have ruined the party; a lot of people from my village and others in the aspromonte [region] don’t come here anymore because they’re constantly under investigation. Anxiety test free I’ve been investigated too, but we’re not mafia.


The authorities, the police, prosecutors, all of them, make a big fuss about it. There’s no mafia. There are some gang activities, yes, but that’s different.”

The sanctuary of the holy mary of polsi is built on a hillside. Its upper section houses rooms for pilgrims and a small cafe run by peppe italiano, one of the few inhabitants of polsi, a cluster of houses near the sanctuary. The 75-year-old, who has never traveled more than 50 kilometers from this small village in his life, has set up a small garden for beer drinkers. Nanoxia ncore retro review there’s room on the steps for a three-man tarantella band to entertain them.

The story of the tarantella says a lot about the ‘ndrangheta. Many songs which accompany this traditional folk dance tell heroic tales of criminal brotherhoods hiding out the woods of the mezzogiorno, the old-fashioned term for a region of southern italy that encompasses calabria, apulia, campania, basilicata and the islands of sicily and sardinia.

It’s still midnight, and italiano’s cafe is packed with drinkers and dancers. The tarantella is danced like a morra competition, in pairs surrounded by a circle of spectators. A tourist girl is pulled in, dances for a few minutes, and then makes an exit. Anxiety attack meaning in arabic she gets scolded by the spectators: “you never leave the tarantella until the [leading lady] says you can!”

A cluster of unfinished buildings stand open to the elements: the ground floor and first floor are cemented and painted, but the second floor is a mess of bricks and metal rods, stretching out like fingers into the open sky. The interiors are decorated with gold and marble, and even have systems of underground bunkers and tunnels which could be lifesavers to a criminal on the run.

In one fresco commemorating the duisburg massacre, the virgin mary is surrounded by mothers and their children from the feuding families, one holding a teddy bear. Photo by: antonio lemmasan luca is famous for having been the tinderbox of a bloody feud between four families, which ended only after the so-called “duisburg massacre” in germany in 2007.

From the perspective of a crime boss, feuds between clans are bad for business: they attract unwanted attention and disrupt criminal rackets. But while the ‘ndrangheta is a unitary organization, and its leaders’ decisions are usually respected, the deadly feud of san luca proved particularly intractable, and the top bosses struggled to stop it for years.

In the other, mary sits mourning beside the body of christ. At her feet lies the body of maria strangio, the wife of one of the san luca clan bosses giovanni nirta. She was killed during an attack on her home on christmas day in 2006. Photo by: antonio lemmaa group of hired assassins headed to germany, where the ‘ndrangheta clan of san luca has a particularly strong presence. Anoxia villosa larva they murdered six young boys from the pelle clan, sparking a swift response from italian authorities, who then made more than 100 arrests.

While the pelle-vottari and nirta-strangio families were busy murdering each other, the remaining ‘ndrangheta families of san luca were building one of the world’s largest cocaine smuggling networks. Cooperating with colombian narco-traffickers, the pelle, gambazza, giorgi, and romeo families came to control imports via the calabrian port of gioia tauro, and later antwerp and hamburg.

Giuseppe pelle, also known as gambazza, came out on top. In the early 2000s, pelle won the mandamento ionico, or control of the underworld of san luca and its environs, a position he held for more than a decade. These mandamenti or districts are overseen by the provincia, a council of bosses who make up the ‘ndrangheta’s command structure.

“weddings are sort of pre-summit occasions, and historically the ‘ndrangheta bosses would then meet at the festival of the holy mary of polsi to hold their actual summit” explains michele fiorentino, the carabinieri commander at san luca. “this was where positions of power would be decided or confirmed. Today the festival doesn’t seem to be used in that way anymore, because of the police control.”

Every time reporters spoke to locals at polsi, they were met with vehement denials that the ‘ndrangheta was present in the village. But in isolated parts of the sanctuary, where morra is still played, or in the village marketplace where vendors sell sausages, coffee, religious icons and cds of odes to ‘ndrangheta leaders, the criminal organization’s influence can still be felt.

For the carabinieri and church alike, breaking the ‘ndrangheta’s appropriation of holy symbols and the respect it enjoys is an uphill struggle. This is not simply a matter of military conflict. The battle between the italian state and all the country’s criminal organizations is fought on a much deeper level. The fight against the ‘ndrangheta is the hardest of them all, especially here on its home turf.

In places like san luca, the ‘ndrangheta uses isolation to cement its control. The more local people are cut off from the wider world, the easier it is to set rules and have them respected. Hypoxic brain injury after cardiac arrest as long as there are places like the sanctuary of polsi where the mystery of enduring mafioso bonds can be kept alive, the ‘ndrangheta will be able to thrive outside its motherland: whether in milan, london, sydney, or duisburg.