It’s the largest and one of the most popular islands in the Mediterranean yet, for many, Sicily remains an enigma. Its insularity, very specific code of honour, and violent mafia history has created the image of a closed, impenetrable society. In this film, we reveal a different side to Sicily.
The Palazzi Gangi in central Palermo is an outstanding example of Baroque architecture. Here, you can take a sightseeing tour lead by Princess Carine Vanni Calvello herself which pays for the Palazzi’s ongoing restoration works. But nearby, piles of rubbish litter the great Sicilian city. Giovanni Moncada tirelessly roams the city, alerting authorities and demanding action, but in some neighbourhoods, people are so used to it that they prefer to close their eyes.
During the mafia’s heyday, looking away and avoiding trouble became virtually a Sicilian tradition. Yet for the past few years, more and more people are breaking the silence. Men like Fabio and Vincenzo Conticello, two restauranteurs who, despite threats, refused to pay for the protection of the Mafia, the pizzo. Today, the two brothers have become a tourist attraction, the stars of a Mafia Tour that crisscrosses Palermo exposing the visible traces of the Mafia.
In Augusta, Father Palmiro Prisutto denounces the pollution from the industrial port which has caused the premature death of dozens of people. But Sicilian society is gradually changing. Now, couples do not wait for a marriage ceremony to live together – something that would have been unthinkable even ten years ago.