Costa Cruises’ guests to discover the old town of Palermo with a walking tour of the places of civic anti-mafia resistance

Costa Cruises (New Logo - October 2021)The Italian company is promoting an important initiative in favour of ethical and responsible tourism.

Every Thursday, during Costa Smeralda’s call in Palermo, the ship’s Italian and international guests will be able to discover the old town of Palermo with a walking tour of the places of civic anti-mafia resistance and the fight against racketeering, organised by Addiopizzo Travel.

Guests arriving every Thursday in Palermo onboard Costa Smeralda will be able to explore the city in a truly unique way by taking part in the ‘Palermo No Mafia Tour’, a walking tour of Palermo’s historic city centre in discovery of the symbolic places of civic anti-mafia resistance and the fight against racketeering. The tour is organised by Addiopizzo Travel, a social cooperative and tour operator created by the Addiopizzo movement, which offers ethical tourism to say no to Mafia.

In line with the principles of its “Manifesto for value-based, sustainable and inclusive tourism”, Costa Cruises has chosen an ethical and responsible shore experience for its guests in Palermo. The 3 hours walking tour will be an eye-opening experience to discover a different face of Palermo, a city which is rebelling against the Mafia. Guided by locals, guests will deepen your knowledge of the notorious Sicilian mob and learn about the anti-mafia movement, beyond the clichés and the Godfather myths.

The itinerary of the ‘Palermo No Mafia Tour’ winds through the streets of the historic centre, to show a new image of the city. After being welcomed at the port, guests will start the tour from the Teatro Massimo, a place that for many is linked to the imagery of the film ‘The Godfather’. Then, guests will reach on foot the Wall of Legality, a mural more than 60 metres high, depicting the faces of those who have fallen in the fight against Mafia, such as Paolo Borsellino, Giovanni Falcone, Peppino Impastato, but also personalities from Sicilian literature and culture, such as Andrea Cammilleri, Leonardo Sciascia and Letizia Battaglia, who have always been on the front line in the fight for legality.

The tour then continues to Piazza Beati Paoli, to tell of the legendary but unfounded link between the sect of Luigi Natoli’s novel ‘I Beati Paoli’ and “Cosa Nostra”, passing through the famous and picturesque Mercato del Capo. The next stop in the tour is Piazza della Memoria, with its memorial dedicated to the magistrates killed by the Mafia behind the Tribunal, and then on to the Cathedral, where will be discussed the issue of Mafia-Church relationships and the anti-Mafia commitment of martyrs such as the priest Don Pino Puglisi. Guests will then reach the City Hall, for many years a symbol of the union between Mafia and politics, but which also experienced the season of the “Palermo Spring”.

The tour also includes a break for critical consumption in one of the shops displaying the logo of the ‘Pago chi non paga’ campaign: these are shops that have said no to racketeering, publicly declaring that they no longer want to pay protection money. In this way, Costa Smeralda’s guests will not only be able to contribute to change by supporting a circuit of ethical and pizzo-free economy, but also to get to know the Addiopizzo network of traders and their stories.

The Addiopizzo Committee is an anti-mafia movement founded in 2004 by a group of young people around a slogan: ‘an entire people who pay “pizzo” (protection payment) is a people without dignity’. It operates from the bottom up through the strategy of ‘critical consumption’, involving citizens and tourists to support with their purchases traders who do not give in to extortionist demands and who have openly spoken out against mafia bullying, as well as offering free assistance to victims of extortion and usury.

Costa Smeralda is a state-of-the-art ship powered by liquefied natural gas, the most advanced technology currently available in the maritime industry for cutting emissions. Until 14 March 2024 Costa Smeralda will call in Palermo every Thursday as part of a week-long itinerary in the Western Mediterranean that includes Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. From 23 March 2024 until the end of the year, it will instead be Costa Toscana, sister ship of Costa Smeralda, which will call in Palermo every week.

The ‘Palermo No Mafia Tours’ can be booked by guests before the departure of the cruise, in the special section of, Costa’s website that allows them to customise their holiday, or directly on board the ship.

(Costa Cruises’ guests to discover the old town of Palermo with a walking tour of the places of civic anti-mafia resistance – Costa Cruises)