The mafia were the popular government long before Mussolini. They are now a pale shadow of their former self in the north, but they're still hangin' in in the south. Curiously enough, they have more presence in the U.S. than in Florence. Our friends in Florence refer to them as "those shitheads" while a number of my wife's cousins she's got over a hundred of the buggers revel in "being connected".