We arrived bag and baggage in 1992 to Oliveri from Newport, RI. At that time I did not know how much history would be happening in Sicily and Italy in that year. A friend loaned me the book Midnight in Sicily and it reveals just what we immigrated into. I am only four chapters into this book and am happy to have it on loan to me.
It was the time of Lima and Ciancimino..Giulio Andreotti... Falcone and Borsellini ..and Totò Riina. They are or were government officials, anti mafia lawyers and mafia heads. This book explains alot of why Sicily is the way it is all going back to the time the Arabs were the dominant culture.
Back in 1992, the major cities in Sicily were policed by the military. Posted outside banks and offices were young fellas with heavy armor. You were stopped often for a vehicle check on the road ways. It was the beginning of the trial of Giulio Andreotti and his famous kiss with Totò Riina. I had read in Time magazine, that Andreotti was associated with the mob and when I mentioned this to a cousin he was outraged. This book explains Sicily's allegiance with Andreotti. He needed them to be able to form a government and he was Sicily's tie to Rome's government.
We were interviewing high schools for our son in 1994 and posted outside a school building was one of these military guards. Not all schools are in school buildings as we know in the USA. Some are in office buildings and are state schools. His middle school had suggested we choose a school heavy in art for our son, as he has a talent in drawing. We asked why the military presence outside the building and was told that there was an office for an anti mafia lawyer housed one floor above this school.
Today we don't see any of the military guards. Banks and other places are guarded by private company persons.
Our son did not choose this art high school but went instead to Liceo Scientifico, which is very close to a USA college directed school curriculum.