Sicily is a traveler’s dream: sun-soaked beaches and sleepy fishing villages; baroque cities brimming with culture; art, architecture, and history around every corner; and some of the best food Italy has to offer. VBT’s bike tour in Sicily is a perennial guest favorite, and with good reason. But the Italian island has also faced some challenges over the centuries.
Once notoriously corrupt, Sicily’s local governments and businesses have been standing up to systemic corruption—often under the guise of the Mafia—in recent years. While it poses no threat to travelers spending time there, the Mafia has historically posed a significant challenge to Sicilian business owners. For a long time, they had no choice but to pay the “pizzo”—money given to the Mafia in exchange for “protection.” This protection racket prevailed for decades, until a few brave souls decided to take a stand.
One of these pioneers is VBT trip leader Edoardo, who is a founding member of an organization known as Addiopizzo. Addiopizzo, which roughly translates to “goodbye bribes,” is a grassroots social movement that began in 2004.