Naples mayor blames hit TV show Gomorrah for rise in violent crime

The series, based on the novel by Roberto Saviano about the Neapolitan mafia, is a "bad example" that's to blame for a rise in violent crime among young people, according to city mayor Luigi de Magistris.

Naples mayor blames hit TV show Gomorrah for rise in violent crime
A scene from crime drama Gomorrah. PHOTO: Emanuela Scarpa/Sky Italia/Beta Film

For Luigi de Magistris there's no doubt about it:every time a new episode of the television series is shown, the same evening there's a spike in violent incidents on the streets of Naples.

“Let's talk about the episodes of violence that increase on the nights the series Gomorra is shown,” De Magistris said on Italian radio on Monday.

According to the left-leaning mayor, a former magistrate elected eight years ago, the series is likely to “corrode the brains, souls and hearts” of young people, who he said become fascinated by the “symbols of evil and violence” on the show.

Naples has long been plagued by violent crime committed by gangs of teenagers, often under the age of 18 and referred to in Italian media as “baby gangs.”

Adapted from the international bestseller by Naples-born writer and journalist Roberto Saviano, the series is a raw and violent depiction of the daily life of the Camorra, the notorious local mafia.

With earlier seasons of the crime drama shown on Netflix, the fourth season of the international hit series is now being broadcast on Sky Atlantic.

De Magistris has previously criticised Saviano's work, accusing him in 2017 of “making money off the backs of the people of Naples.”


The often outspoken Neapolitan mayor continued his criticism of the show in a long Facebook post.

He demanded more help from the state to “prevent and suppress crime” in Naples and added that “in this way you also help us to destroy the shameful example set by the eroi di merde (“shit heroes”) of Gomorrah.”

In the post, he went on to describe the show as a “media drug” that is “likely to corrode the brains, souls and hearts of hundreds of very young people.”

“Don't make the mistake of underestimating this fascinating symbolism of evil,” he wrote.


“We did our part and will continue to do it, day and night. Naples is climbing unimaginable peaks of light so far,” he said of the city's ongoing struggle against organised crime.

The mayor added that the city is “still waiting” for additional police resources long promised by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

He went on to attack Salvini, whom he has clashed with before, saying the hard-right Interior Minister has made Italy less safe since he entered governmentr last year.


Italian vocab

Mayor – Sindaco

Television seriesserie televisive

Crime delitto


Young people giovani


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Italy records sharp rise in femicides over the past year

Murders of women in Italy increased by nearly 16 percent over the past year, with the vast majority committed by a partner or ex-partner.

Italy records sharp rise in femicides over the past year

Data from Italy’s interior ministry on Monday showed there were 125 femicides between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022, compared with 108 during the same period in the previous year.

Of that number, the vast majority of murders — 108 — were committed within the family sphere or an emotional context, while 68 murders, or 63 percent of the total, were committed by the victim’s partner or ex-partner, data showed.

There were a total of 319 murders in Italy in the period.

The numbers show that, on average, a woman is killed every three days in Italy.

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According to a November report by the European Institute for Gender Equality, Italy came in ninth out of 15 EU member states for the number of murders of women by intimate partners, based on 2018 data.

It came in tenth when looking at homicide committed by family members and relatives.

Womens’ rights campaigners say attitudes must change in Italy, where cases of violent crimes committed against women by their partners or ex-partners are often portrayed in the media as tragic stories of love gone sour, with the killers described as “jealous”.

READ ALSO: Almost half of Italian women report suffering sexual harassment

Almost 3.5 million women in Italy have been victims of stalking, according to data from national statistics agency Istat – but only 22 percent of those report the act or seek help.

Around one in three Italian women suffer abuse at some point in their life.

Femicide commonly refers to the killing of a girl or woman by a partner or family member.