Another Sicily. The Touristic Construction of the Antimafia Kingdom
Tourism encompasses a variety of semiotic performances overwriting cities’ identity. This paper focuses on the rebranding of Palermo as “the capital of antimafia” through an ethnosemiotic analysis of four tours sponsored by the antimafia association Addiopizzo and its touristic spin-off AddiopizzoTravel. The aim of the work is to underscore how the link between antimafia memory and the genius loci of Sicily is built by AddiopizzoTravel, thus revisiting the critical opposition “tourist” vs “traveler” from an “antimafia” perspective. In order to do so, the paper mobilizes the concepts of rhetoric of space and of enunciative praxis, showing how antimafia guided tours reinterpret the cultural and semantic sedimentation embodied by the cityscape. In particular, the analysis illustrates how AddiopizzoTravel carves out an image of “authentic Sicily” from the cultural backdrop of patrimonialization processes Palermo underwent from the 90, and from different, conflicting layers of antimafia memory that its narrative tries to reconcile. With all the difficulties this reconciliation entails.