A Bomb Won’t Stop Me: About Gino Sorbillo And His Pizzeria

The first step is to report crime and, in this regard, Gino Sorbillo is a great example for all of us

It is called “pizzo” in mafia jargon, the amount of money forcibly and regularly extorted from traders by organized crime. Basically, almost all those who have a shop or any kind of commercial activity are forced to pay a “tax” to local mobsters. Otherwise, intimidation, physical violence or serious damage to facilities are the unavoidable consequences. Mostly spread in the southern regions of Italy, this practice is still a serious problem, although complaints seem to have increased lately. Apparently, the word pizzo comes from the Sicilian “pizzu” (beak), and has nothing to do with pizza. However, this is not the case.

A clear sign of intimiditation

Indeed, on January 16 Gino Sorbillo, the owner of one of the most popular pizzerie in the historic center of Naples, has been forced to close his restaurant due to a bomb that went off during the night. The picture he posted showing himself with the sign “closed for bomb”, immediately went viral on social media as a symbol of Sorbillo’s courage, especially for the words written in brackets: “we’ll re-open soon”. And that is what he actually did a couple of days later, giving free pizza to everyone and sending out a very strong signal to his city.

Gino Sorbillo the day after the explosion

The most likely perpretators

Obviously, we cannot be a hundred percent sure that the bomb was placed by organized crime. It is true, however, that a different option would be quite absurd, given that Sorbillo is a “big shot”, with restaurants in Naples, Milan, New York City and one about to be open in Rome. In addition, he has been appointed ambassador of Pizza Napoletana in the world. Probably, his refusal to cooperate with Camorra (the Neapolitan Mafia) is considered a slap in the face by those who want to mark the territory. Indeed, this was not the first act of violence against Sorbillo: five years ago, his restaurant had already been set on fire, but he does not give up.

Sorbillo’s words

On the contrary, during the re-opening of his pizzeria, he expressed confidence in law enforcement and optimism for the future: “We do not lose heart, and today we celebrate with a simple Marinara pizza for the Neapolitans I do love so much, those who love normality, legality, and the streets where they can feel safe, except for some episodes. Only by reporting crimes – he added — and by having lights and surveillance cameras in the streets, Naples can recover. A network of citizens, denunciation and legality will make Naples revive”.

Gino Sorbillo pizzeria in the historic center of Naples

The authorities’ reactions

Both the mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris, and the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini showed their solidarity to Gino Sorbillo. The former spoke about a progress in the investigation that could lead to the perpetrators of the violence, while the Minister reaffirmed his committment against organized crime. Sorbillo appreciated those singals, having always shown trust in institutions which, by the way, ensure an aid plan for the victims of racketeering, providing for interest free refunding or mortgages. Obviously, the first step is to report and, in this regard, Gino Sorbillo is a great example for all of us.