Camorra Imposes Strict Code of Dress on Members

Camorrista drawing from 1905.

The Camorra and tattoos go together like 1920s Chicago and the Tommy gun. But members of the gang also dress and even accessorize to trumpet their affiliations.

In the 1980s, bosses in the Mazzarella clan, a Camorrist faction in Naples, wore rings in the shape of a lion's head. Today, the distinctive accessories are even more diverse — even in prisons.

Mafia informer Nicola Cangiano, a former member of the Casalesi gang (the one that "O'Ninno,"  Antonio Iovine, belonged to), told anti-mafia prosecutors how the dress code imposed by the clan is strict even behind bars.

"You can tell the men in the Sagaria clan apart from the others by what they wear," he said. "They all wear Samsonite shoes, designer clothes and even cashmere socks. They still get their salaries from the gang — even on the inside."

The Schiavone group has its own rules when it comes to clothing. "They all wear Hogan shoes," Cangiano continues, "and they all must keep their beards trimmed and their hair without gel, as required by Nicola Schiavone" (son of the infamous Francesco). We mustn't forget Cesare Pagano, a boss in Scampia, and his love for Paciotti shoes and T-shirts with faces of Hollywood stars on them.

Tattoos and the Camorra, one of Italy's three crime groups, reportedly began their long love affair back in the early nineteenth century.

Camorra loved to cover their skin to prove their loyalty and permanency, especially when they were in prison.

Two centuries later, a splinter group — drug traffickers from Scampia and Secondigliano — can be identified by their Rolexes. Those who can't afford the real thing have the iconic crown of the Swiss watchmakers inked onto their wrists.

During the 2004-2005 feud in Scampia, many gangsters inscribed "Do not touch my family" on their forearms — an appeal at a time when there was no hesitation to kill anyone and everyone to get to the enemy.
Italian police arrested an organization that was dealing drugs in Ponticelli, a suburb in eastern Naples. The members were young, on average about 20 years old, and they were trigger-happy — more like a Latin American gang than the Camorra clan. They've already earned the nickname "the tattooed ones," as they all marked their skin with the name of their boss.

So "Bodo" is inscribed on the forearms and backs of these young members, who are led by Marco De Micco. The font is gothic, with stylized characters, and some have decided to make the concept more clear by adding "Respect, loyalty, honor" as well.

Roberto Boccardi, at just 23, let his imagination run wild. At the bottom of his back, he has Bodo's name surrounded by two smoking guns. Just to clarify the concept.


  1. Clinton CeeRay FussellJun 17, 2014, 8:32:00 AM

    Pretty cool, but I don't see how they're able to function like this when they're all ratting each other out.

  2. Each clan has it's own shoe brand of preference!?! Hardly a strict dress code.

  3. Clinton CeeRay FussellJun 18, 2014, 5:28:00 AM

    It's strict if the dress code is strictly enforced within each clan.

  4. I've never heard of someone getting killed because he didn't wear his Samsonite shoes before have you? You want a strict dress code try the United States Marines Corp. Camorra tattoos now thats a topic with some substance.

  5. Thought Samsonite was luggage!

  6. So did I but apparently the Sagaria clan knows better. Why in Gods name they would wear such a shitty brand in the land of designer shoes I have no idea.

  7. Samsonite shoes are very popular in Italy, especially Sicily. They have a very Euro look and they go crazy for them over there.


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