eats shoots 'n leaves

The modern Italian state is one of the youngest in Europe, and though nominal unification was climaxed by the declaration of Rome as capital in 1871, the state we see today wasn’t completed until after World War I.

The fragmented nature of Italy in the 19th Century gave rise to a variety of criminal syndicates, the most famous being Sicily’s La Cosa Nostra, the Calabria-based Ndrangheta, and the Naples-based Camorra.

While American’s typically use the word mafia to mean the version of La Cosas Nostra brought to the United States by immigrants in the late 19th Century, the term is used more loosely in Italy to mean any criminal syndicate [thus, for example, the Ndrangheta is typically describe as a mafia].

The criminal case dominating Italian news media in recent months has been the prosecution of the Capitale Mafia, an organized crime syndicate responsible…

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