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Where am I? Westside Story redux? PDF Print E-mail
Aug 20, 2013 at 05:47 PM

Sometimes I wonder what part of the world I am living in, Just imagine. You are on a beach at Praia a Mare in Calabria, a seaside resort frequented by many Neapolitans, and suddenly you see men brandishing revolvers and machineguns fanning out along the sand. Plainclothes police on a major anti-drug or anti-Mafia operation likely to endanger bathers and sun-worshipers? That would be bad enough. No. This happened yesterday and the gun-toting guys were men belonging to a Naples family called Pipolo who were seeking revenge against the killer of 62-year old Vincenzo Pipolo, reportedly a member of a rival group, the Marrazzos.

What had happened was that on Sunday, Vincenzo Pipolo, who was riding on his scooter, had seen Giovanni Marrazzo, an ex-con, driving by in his car and had taunted him, saying things like "why don't you go home to Naples" etc. etc. According to police, Marrazzo saw red and despite the fact that his 26-year old daughter was in the car with him, he started chasing Pipolo's scooter, eventually running him down and then stabbing him to death.

West Side Story? Hardly. More like the Sopranos as you can see watching the video showing enraged Pipolo family members as Vincenzo's body is taken away in a hearse.

Calabria is a favorite summer vacation spot for Italians uninterested or unable to go abroad during the August holidays. Remind me to avoid Praia a Mare. ?

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