Wednesday, April 12, 2006

sicilian story

I was heartened to hear yesterday that the head of the Sicilian Mafia had been arrested. The manhunt had been on for a while. Of course, at some point, someone will reveal a clue and soon after, the chase will be over. In this instance, it appears that Mr. head-of-Sicilian Mafia was all the while hiding in his village of Corleone. It seems odd that he should pick the one and only place we identify as the Mafia homebase in Sicily, what with the Godfather and all, but there you have it: if you want to hide, go back to the most obvious village. No one will look for you there.

Now it just so happens that in a few weeks I will be in Sicily. The plan is for me to travel from one tip of the island to another and guess what: one set of roads would indeed lead me darn close to Corleone. This poses a dilemma: should I maybe pause for a quick little aperitivo there?

Will the village, which appears to be perched obscurely in the central hills of the island, have curious passers by, like myself, wanting to get a feel for a Mafia hangout? So will there be tourist stands? Post cards for sale?

Or, will the village be closed off with yellow polizia tape? Because if it would be closed off, then it would be silly for me to make my way through no person’s land just to run into yellow tape.

Will there be angry gun-bearing relatives ready to fire at anyone acting all curious and invading their space? Including the little tourist from Madison, Wisconsin? With a camera?

Or, will it be a village like any other -- sleepy, dusty, with donkeys and funeral processions and nothing more. To the naked eye.

Corleone. Intriguing, isn't it?