This is the final resting place of mafia godfather Matteo Messina Denaro – a gangster who gruesomely bragged about having ‘filled a cemetery’ with his victims.
The ruthless Denaro, 61, died earlier this week from colon cancer and spent 30 years on the run before finally being arrested in January when he turned up for a medical appointment.
The infamous Don is said to have murdered at least fifty people – including an eleven-year-old boy – after his father became an informant.
Police had closed the cemetery of Castelvetrano, south of Palermo, for his funeral and only thirteen relatives were allowed inside to see his coffin being placed in the family vault.
The marble and stained glass mausoleum is by far the most expensive in the cemetery and also houses the body of his father Francesco Messina Denaro, who died in 1998 at the age of 78.
The marble and stained glass mausoleum is by far the most expensive in the cemetery
Police had closed the cemetery of Castelvetrano, south of Palermo, for his funeral and only 13 relatives were allowed inside to see his coffin being placed in the family vault.
He died on the run and employees left his body – completely dressed in a smart suit – for the police to find him and give him a proper burial.
MailOnline was the first media organization to enter the cemetery after authorities reopened it and found a single pink flower on the iron door, as well as a lit candle on the stairs.
Denaro had specifically requested a non-religious ceremony and, in a note to his family, had asked for yellow long-stemmed roses to be placed on his wooden casket.
Local police chief Salvatore La Rosa vetoed the request to hold a public service and parade through the city due to fears for public order.
In one of his last pizzinis – secret notes passed to trusted associates – Denaro had outlined his funeral request and also paid tribute to his father.
He said: ‘My father was my world. His business was mine; it was like I was a magnet in a magnetic field.
“With unbreakable devotion I held him, as if he were a piece of wood, floating in an ocean of contradictions, circling my world, his world, our world.”
As part of his burial requests, Denaro – dubbed ‘The Last Godfather’ had also requested the removal of a marble angel that stood in the mausoleum.
Castelvetrano cemetery where the body of the mafia boss was buried in a mausoleum
Denaro’s house (pictured) with his mother’s green Fiat car parked outside
A source said: ‘He never liked the image; he was afraid that the police would hide a listening device in it and he was afraid that they would listen in on his funeral and other relatives.’
Unlike other graves in the sun-drenched cemetery, the doors are opaque and invisible to outsiders. While many other graves are dilapidated and abandoned, it is perfectly maintained.
As one resident told MailOnline: ‘His tomb is the perfect place for a meeting that goes unnoticed.’
Denaro’s brother-in-law Vincenzo Panicola, who was only recently released from prison, was at the funeral, but his wife – Denaro’s sister – Patrizia was not allowed to attend because she is still in her cell.
His elderly mother Lorenza was also nowhere to be seen and is said to have seen the arrival of her son’s hearse on TV at the family’s home on the outskirts of Castelvetrano.
Others present included his sisters Bice and Giovanna, his brother Salvatore and his daughter Lorenza Alagna, who had only recently met him after his capture.
He was nicknamed The Devil because he helped organize the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo in 1993 after his father turned informant.
The enthusiastic horseman and altar boy were held in captivity for two years before he was killed and his body dissolved in acid.
Denaro lived in the village of Castelvetrano and used his powers to intimidate entrepreneurs
The Mausoleum also contains the body of his father Francesco Messina Denaro, who died in 1998 at the age of 78
As if this wasn’t horrific enough, he also allegedly murdered rival boss Vincenzo Milazzo before also strangling his victim’s pregnant girlfriend.
Denaro had specifically requested a non-religious funeral – even though the Catholic Church forbids it for gangsters – although it turned out that three nuns had wanted to pray for him.
One of them, Mother Donatella, told Italian media: ‘We know very well what he did, but he was still a child of God.
‘We wanted to pray for him, despite everything he did, but the police wouldn’t let us. He may not have wanted a religious funeral, but every soul has the right to be saved.”