We cycled up from Palermo into Sicily’s beautiful interior. It was lovely to finally get beyond the traffic and burbs of the big city. The interior of the island is surprisingly green, with areas of deep forests and impressive mountains and ridges. It is also heavily farmed and the orchards of ripe persimmons were beautiful.

We are staying in Corleone, a town made infamous by the Godfather. In reality, Corleone was the home town to many of the most notorious mafia bosses, including Jack Dragna, Giuseppe Morello, Michael Navarra, Luiciano Leggio, Leoluca Bagarella, Salvadore Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. According to Wikipedia , the local mafia clan, the Corleonesi, led the Mafia in the 1980s and 1990s, and were the most violent and ruthless Mafia clan ever to take control of the organization.

The mayor of Corleone recently issued a public apology for all the suffering caused by the town’s Mafia sons. Although there is now an Anti Mafia museum and tourist shops that sell anti mafia t-Shirts, 80% of businesses in Sicily still pay the Mafia for “protection”.

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