Double Trouble

- la bella vita di Giannino - 

Gianfranco Franciosi has a good sense for stories. He jumps from point to point like a speedboat over the waves.

On the evening of January 22, 2005, a man was murdered in the middle of Rome. Franciosi saw the news while eating breakfast.

Franciosi was startled. Tortellino was one of his most loyal customers.

Two years later in front of the gate of his workshop two guys were waiting for him in a car. „We‘re looking for Giannino, is that you?“ asks the one, a Neapolitan, Franciosi recognizes by the accent.

The Narcos commissioned Franciosi to prepare speedboats. Then was ordered to pick up cocaine himself.

He drove from Ameglia across the Mediterranean, out to the Atlantic.

At what time exactly Franciosi turned to the police is not sure, but the contact remained unofficial for a long time.

The Special Commission received a message from Franciosi, that an operation would soon start, in the middle of the night.

It was not until later that they learned that he had been intercepted by the French Coast Guard off France, at the height of Marseilles.

Head over heels, they packed their bags. What did not fit, they left behind.  
To prevent them from being detected, they had to break off all contacts. 

Franciosi had been admitted with his whole family to the witness protection program of the Italian state.

They got a new surname: Ferrero.

But they were stuck in the assigned homes. Isolated. Captive.

They lived like this for almost two years until Franciosi decided to leave the program.

Gianfranco Franciosi, 40 years old, two years lived as Gianfranco Ferrero, is back in Ameglia, his hometown.  Where he grew up. Where everything began.

All he has left is his story.

*This story was an assigment for the F.A.Z Magazine, the texts are excerpts from the publication and were written by David Klaubert. 

All rights reserved. All Images © Carlos Bafile