Italian police work on the site where mafia boss Giuseppe Dainotti, 67, was gunned down by two killers while riding his bike on Monday in. The Mafia's Sicilian Roots. For centuries, Sicily, an island in the Mediterranean Sea between North Africa and the Italian mainland, was ruled by a long line of. Since first becoming well known in the 18th century, organized crime in Italy and its criminal The most notorious Italian organized crime group is the Mafia or Sicilian Mafia (referred to as Cosa Nostra by members). As the original " Mafia ", the.