8 March 2021
Growing up in the United States you learn bits and pieces about the mafia. You learn about the most famous leaders, such as Al Capone. When you think about the Mafia you think about movies like the Godfather and Scarface. You are taught that the mafia is a Southern Italy born group that expanded into New York. When I found out I was able to learn the truth of the Mafia I was extremely excited. Going to Naples and being able to see the literal streets and buildings that started it all was a once in a lifetime experience.
When walking through the city at first, I thought it was pretty similar to some of the large cities in America. Busy with a lot of people doing a lot of different things. Although, the longer we walked around I was able to see more and more differences, many of which came from the impacts of covid, such as the reactions of people. The people seemed intrigued in our presence, while in America even with the pandemic, people do not care if you are there. My favorite part of the trip was being able to see the city block that started one of the biggest clans. Knowing that even after building up a clan and having money to move they decided to stay in that city block is very intriguing. I think it shows that even though they were people who committed very violent crimes they still cared deeply about their families and home roots.
I think it was very important for me to actually see the streets that these events happened on. It helps me to better understand the dynamic of the Mafia. Outside of the Mafia part of the trip I found the church we visited very interesting; I have never been in a church that large before. When we were walking around inside, I kept thinking about how small we were. I felt like a little ant running below the beautiful paintings. Another part of me wanted to lay on the ground and just stare up at the painted ceilings for hours. It was an over whelming feeling of pure interest.
Overall, I found this trip to be an eye-opening experience, being able to see these things in such a difficult time is amazing. I am extremely happy that I was able to learn the truth behind the Mafia through the city of Naples. It will be an adventure that I will always look back on, between the amazing food and the history that you can literally feel as you walk through the city, I will forever remember the story of the little girl who was accidently shot on her walk home and the city block that it happened in.
Campbell Wood, Florida Gulf Coast University