On Saturday night, Italian polizei dressed up as pizza delivery boys busted a boss in the infamous Camorra family in Naples, arresting him while dropping off some ‘za that he planned on enjoying while watching a soccer game.
Photo via Flickr user Michael Saechang
The walls of pizza joints across America are adorned with photos from classic Mafia movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas, and they've got the hokey signs to match: "I'll make you a pizza you can't refuse!" It's all fun and games, pizza and the mob, around these parts.
But back in the homeland and the birthplace of pizza, Naples, the Mafia is a big deal, and that's why Italian police have hit the mob where it hurts. On Saturday night, Italian polizei dressed up as pizza delivery boys busted a boss in the infamous Camorra family in Naples, arresting him while dropping off some 'za that he planned on enjoying while watching a soccer game.
The Guardian reports that 35-year-old Roberto Manganiello was considered one of Italy's 100 most-wanted criminals for a 2004 double homicide that incited a violent gang war in Naples. He'd been in hiding since 2013, but still was a key player in the drug trade and engaging in extortion.
Even mob bosses, though, get a hankering for some pizza delivered piping hot to the door. For such a massive bummer—getting arrested, instead of getting pizza, when he answered—Manganiello put up no resistance when he was confronted by the delivery cops, perhaps due to complete and total dejection. A 30-year-old woman was arrested with him.
Manganiello had been watching local boys Napoli play Inter Milan. Napoli has been on a tear this season, and sit in second place in Italy's Serie A. Adding to Manganiello's woes, Inter beat Napoli, obliterating Napoli's chances of catching first-place Juventus and capturing their first league title in 26 years.
The arrest tangentially highlights a bit of the cultural divide between Italian-Americans and the old country. The episode of The Sopranos where Tony, Paulie Walnuts, and Chistopher Motisanta travel to Naples to make a deal with a local Camorra family comes to mind. (The same episode that gives us Furio!) The guys get to Italy, and don't know what they're looking at when they sit down to dinner—what's all this seafood, where's the gravy? Could be something to think about next time you swing by a Godfather's pizza.
But not even the birthplace of pizza can dictate our standards these days. We've got Pizza Hut churning out monsters like hot dog pizza and the cheeseburger crown crust on the regular, and the title of world's best pizza just went to a French chef that created a bouillabasse-inspired fish soup pie.
Pizza is the world's food, a cross-cultural currency. But that's why we love it so much.