Tag Archives: Italian History

Walking Tour Explores the Mafia in America

A new walking tour examines the roots of the Mafia in America including the often overlooked early lives of such criminal heavyweights as Charles &#8220Lucky&#8221 Luciano, Al &#8220Scarface&#8221 Capone, Giuseppe Morello, Joe &#8220The Boss&#8221 Masseria, Meyer Lansky, &#8220Bugsy&#8221 Siegel, and more.

The weekly walking tour with guide Eric Ferrara is hosted by the Lower East Side History Project and runs every Saturday and Thursday at 2:00 pm, through March 2011. The cost is $20 per person.

The tour details the Sicilian and Italian immigrant experience and conditions which led to organized gangsterism in America. From the arrival of Sicilian Black Handers and Neapolitan Camorra to New York in the 1890s, to the forming of the Mafia Commission in 1931, tour participants visit the early homes, headquarters, hangouts and assassination locations of some of the most powerful criminals in American history, and explore the wars which shaped the future of organized crime.

Sites visits include &#8220Black Hand Block,&#8221 headquarters of the &#8220first family&#8221 of the American Mafia- the headquarters of Paul Kelly’s notorious Five Points Gang, the gang responsible for breeding the likes of Al Capone, Johnny Torrio, &#8220Lucky&#8221 Luciano, and hundreds more- the home of prohibition era’s &#8220Boss of Bosses-&#8221 and the childhood homes and teenage haunts of &#8220Lucky&#8221 Luciano, &#8220Bugsy&#8221 Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

Ferrara deciphers the myths and realities of the Mafia in Hollywood, including Boardwalk Empire and The Godfather series. Ferrara is a published author, educator, and founder of the Lower East Side History Project and the first museum in America dedicated to gangsterism. He is a fourth generation native New Yorker with Sicilian roots in Little Italy dating back to the 1880s, and has assisted several movie, tv, and media projects world wide, including HBO, SyFy, History Channel and National Geographic.

Ferrara says that he has consulted the families and estates of crime figures discussed on the tour, as well as law enforcement agents, collectors, authors and historians to provide unique first-hand accounts, images and documents in over five years of research.

For more information visit the Lower East Side History Project online.