Is Netflix’s Suburræterna Based on Real Crime Mafia?

Image Credit: Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Suburræterna’ is an Italian crime drama series written by Ezio Abbate and Fabrizio Bettelli and is about the crime world’s connections to the neighborhood of Ancient Rome, Suburra. In 2011, in Rome, the fates of the government and the Vatican are still uncertain. The crime mafia is thriving, but not without problems of its own. A new generation has taken over Samurai’s legacy, who was the Sicilian Mafia contact and the head of organized crime in Rome. But as Amedeo Cinaglia and Ferdinando Badali try to manage the criminal affairs with help from the Anacletis, Adelaide and Angelica, things get more complicated.

Actors Giacomo Ferrara and Carlotta Antonelli return to the spinoff series based on the 2015 film ‘Suburra.’ This series is also a continuation of the storyline in the 2017 series ‘Suburra: Blood on Rome,’ which serves as a prequel to the 2015 film. In this new take on the criminal underworld in Rome, the crime mafia is still dominant even if roles have changed, alliances are risky and new clans are threatening the already tense environment.

Is Suburræterna a True Story?

‘Suburræterna’ continues the story of Suburra from the 2017 series, which concluded in 2020. They are both based on and are prequels to the original 2015 film, which is, in turn, lifted from the crime fiction novel of the same name by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo De Cataldo. Despite being a fictional narrative with dramatized events and made-up characters, who continue to add up with ‘Suburræterna,’ the original authors took inspiration from a real-life event for forming the narrative. The novel is based on the 2014 Mafia Capitale investigation in Italy, which was conducted to find out the level of corruption within the system and highlighted the role of prominent politicians and bureaucrats collaborating with the Roman mafia.

With a specific focus on the Sicilian Mafia in Italy’s capital, Rome, which inspired the name of the investigation, the role of government officials in the manipulation of public funds, fraudulent schemes, and extortion was unraveled, especially since it soon became clear that corruption was prevalent in the higher ranks, who let the criminals continue their activities in exchange for a lot of money. Even the role of former Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno and businessman Salvatore Buzzi was found in the scandal, and ringleader Massimo Carminati was convicted, with many legal proceedings, criminal investigations, and action taken, all the while appalling the world and locals about the depth of corruption that was witnessed.

Based on this investigation, journalist Bonini and Rome circuit court judge De Cataldo decided to create a gripping narrative about events in the coastal settlement of Ostia near Rome. The novel, just like the original film, centers upon events where plans are afoot to make Ostia a gambling paradise, and everyone from the local criminal gangs, the Mafia, and politicians want the biggest slice of the pie from this multi-billion dollar industry, and they’re all willing to fight for the money. Their goal is the same, but corruption and greed are so rampant that it’s hard to keep track of all the alliances.

Image Credit: Netflix

Expanding the number of characters in this fictional universe of the Italian crime world, ‘Suburra: Blood on Rome’ and later ‘Suburræterna’ focus on the events in 2011, much before the investigation in 2014, but in sync with the events in the novel, which starts telling the story from 1993. In ‘Suburræterna,’ the major character of Spadino Anacleti, played by Giacomo Ferrara in both the previous versions, returns to the series to help his prominent Roman crime family, the Anacletis. Actor Carlotta Antonelli, who plays Spadino’s wife, Angelica Sale, in the 2017 series, returns to ‘Suburræterna’ in the same role. Eventually, while this series is not directly based on a true story, it has too many connections with the other storylines, which are all ultimately inspired by the one true event of the investigation.

Read More: Netflix’s Suburræterna Filming Location Details