Cultural facts about Italy

Per non dimenticare…

Italy today marks the 21st anniversary of the assassinations of anti-Mafia judge Paolo Borsellino and those of his escort agents who were killed in a bomb attack during the mob’s stragismo — strategy of terror — against the state on the 19th of July 1992. The bomb exploded while Borsellino was walking to the entrance gate of his mom’s house, in Via D’Amelio 19.

Today, an incongruous olive tree grows outside number 19; the olive tree’s branches are hung with ribbons and scraps of coloured cloth.

It is perhaps a uniquely Sicilian sort of irony that an easy-going smile shared by two old friends would come to symbolise

the island’s darkest hour of the past 60 years.

The parallel destiny of Palermo prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino began and ended in Sicily’s capital, where the two were born — and killed in successive Mafia bomb assassinations. In between, the pair nearly brought “Cosa Nostra” to its knees with a new methodical approach, as brilliant as it was brave, to unlocking the Mob’s code of silence.


The picture portraying both assassinated judges became an iconic symbol of the struggle against “Cosa Nostra”. It is often used on posters and articles commemorating the fight against the Mafia.



“Chi ha paura muore ogni giorno, chi non ha paura muore una volta sola.”

                                                                                –Paolo Borsellino-

Sheets exposed in solidarity with Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. They read: “You did not kill them: their ideas walk on our legs”.

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