The Mafia History Private Walking Tour

The Mafia History Private Walking Tour

A walk centred on the history of the Mafia from the 20th century to now

The third of our walking tours will show you more of the city and introduce you to the modern Mafia, which started at the beginning of the 20th century in Palermo and New York City.

For this private walking tour with one of our professional local guides, we will meet you up in front of the Church of San Domenico, at Piazza San Domenico. We start with the Vucciria, the iconic open-air marketplace depicted by one of the greatest contemporary Italian painters: Renato Guttuso. The area is in daytime a marketplace indeed, and used to be ruled by the Mafia at a time when almost every shop in the city had to pay pizzo, the protection money. At nights, Vucciria turns into an open-air pub, so it is worthwhile to come back after dinner to enjoy some drinks with the locals!

From the Vucciria few minutes separate us from Giardino Garibaldi, which hosts the largest tree in a European city: an immense Moreton Bay Fig Tree. With its 25 metres (82 feet) in height and 22 metres (72 feet) of girth, its enormous aerial roots and its huge canopy, it is an attraction for everybody! Inside the giardino there's an engraved brass plate on a pole to remind us of Giuseppe 'Joe' Petrosino, a New York City police officer who was a pioneer in the fight against organised crime. On the 12th of March 1909, after arriving in Palermo, Petrosino didn’t meet the informer he was supposed to talk to: the Mafia was already very powerful at those times.

We then head to Piazza Magione, a nearby square, as in this neighbourhood two prosecutors were born, who started the war to the Mafia: Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. Both were killed in 1992 (and we still don’t know the whole truth). If you’d like to know what happened in the 1980s during the Mafia war, that is the war between two different Mafia clans, book the Corleone Private Tour: it's not only about the film The Godfather, it is about the bloody truth the Mafia is!

At the end of the walk, being lunchtime, we may either suggest you a lovely restaurant or where to enjoy some delicious street food: any walk had better end up with some tasty Sicilian dishes!

Why touring with Palermo Walks? We only offer quality!
Palermo Walks has been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions.

Book your private walk now to enjoy the best of Palermo!



  • 9:30 Piazza San Domenico
  • 9:45 Vucciria open-air marketplace
  • 10:30 Giardino Garibaldi and the American Mafia
  • 11:30 Piazza Magione and two important Mafia victims: the prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino
  • 12:30 End of the walk or we may take you to a restaurant
  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €23,00
    Number of People:
    * Date:

    Customise your Experience

  • Options

    • If you prefer adding or removing points of interest and/or require different hours, please contact us.
    • For a guide speaking a language different from English or Italian, please contact us.
    • For pick-up and drop-off by car or minivan from your hotel or b&b, please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: daily.
    • Departure: 9:30 from Piazza San Domenico, or from your hotel or b&b if inside the city centre; if your hotel or b&b lies outside the city centre and you need trasnportation, please contact us.
    • Duration: 3 hours.
    • Shore excursion tour with port pick-up and drop-off: yes, transportation is optional.
    • Number of participants: 1-10, for more people please contact us.
    • Type of walk: private.
    • Location: Palermo's city centre.
    • Modality: on foot.
    • Dress code: none; it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
    • Rates: 1-2 people €169, 3-5 people €199, 6-8 people €229
    • Entry tickets: none.