Gomorra film author to leave Italy after mob death threats

The author of the book that inspired the prize-winning movie Gomorra announced yesterday that he was leaving Italy after spending almost two years under close protection.

Roberto Saviano disclosed his decision to the daily La Repubblica after reports in the Italian media that the mobsters he denounced in the book planned to assassinate him by Christmas.

His book – whose title is a play on the word Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia – takes aim in particular at the clan based at Casal di Principe, outside Naples, where Saviano grew up.

The author was quoted in the newspaper as saying: “I shall leave Italy, at least for a period and then we’ll see.” He has been the target of repeated death threats from the Casalesi, a clan within the Camorra, since his book became a runaway success in Italy, where it has sold more than 1m copies. The film of the book is Italy’s official candidate for an Oscar.

“I want a life. I want a home. I want to fall in love. I want to [be able to] drink a beer in public, go to a bookshop and choose a book after browsing the back cover,” Saviano said. “I want to go for a walk, enjoy the sun, walk in the rain and see my mother without fear – and without frightening her. I’m only 28 years old for fuck’s sake.”

Saviano said he was under round-the-clock protection by a team of seven paramilitary carabinieri. He spent his time in carabinieri barracks, “here today, 200 kilometres away tomorrow – moved around like a package without knowing what’s up or what could be up”.