ROME—Call it an offer you can’t refuse. Salvatore Buzzi, a well known Roman mobster who was convicted in 1983 of murder and in 2017 of heinous crimes as part of the Mafia Capitale trials, is offering Mafia-themed meals at his new restaurant where the food is named after crimes and criminals.
At Buzzi’s Burgers, which opens Thursday in a Roman suburb between a massive IKEA showroom and a shopping mall, patrons will be treated to sandwiches named after Gomorrah and Suburra, two of the most popular organized crime series on Netflix in Europe. They can also order up a hot dog called Er Terribile, a burger called Samurai and others named after famous Italian mobsters.
The idea came to Buzzi while he was in prison, he told a local radio show on the eve of the grand opening. But no one eats for free. “Friends, family and associates pay regular prices,” he said. “But prosecutors pay double and judges pay triple.”
The only people who get discounts are the members of the so-called June 29 group of his former prison inmates he met when he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for homicide in 1983 (he was released early on good behavior). He says he will also give discounts to the 40 people he was convicted with for pilfering the Roman city government, drug trafficking and extortion. He and the one-eyed gangster Massimo Carminati were both given sentences of 20 years.
Buzzi was famously overheard on a tapped call bragging that exploiting migration centers was “more lucrative than selling drugs.”
Buzzi’s most recent conviction was eventually overturned by Italy’s high court in 2019 on a technicality after the court determined that Mafia Capitale was not an actual mafia group defined by Italian law, and as such, his convictions for mafia affiliation could not be valid. Prosecutors are still appealing the court decision, which could send Buzzi back to jail.