In my sleeplessness a couple of nights ago I noticed that there was the constant sound of circling helicopters – at like 4:00 in the morning! It’s nothing for there to be helicopters circling for hours on end during the day here in Rome, but in the middle of the night? Odd.
It turns out, overnight Tuesday-Wednesday there was a major mob bust here, involving 28 restaurants that were fronts for money laundering* and other unsavory things that are the purview of organized crime. Here is a map of the restaurants that were seized in the historic center of Rome:
I walk past a number of these restaurants every day, and have eaten a couple of times at one of them! Never a dull moment.
Incidentally, the ones that I walk past were closed on Wednesday, but had already reopened on Thursday.
The organized crime group involved was the “Camorra”, which originates in Naples. We tend to lump them all together as “mafia”, but the Mafia is from Sicily, the Camorra from Naples, the ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria (tip of the boot), etc. etc.
Life in Rome is always interesting.
* In Italian, the word for “money-laundering” and “recycling” is one and the same: riciclaggio.