The Lost Map
The history of San Patrignano

On this page is gathered, subdivided in sections, the history of San Patrignano, from the outset to the current days.

The data have been picked from the bulky accounts of the trials, from the Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica and other dailies’ and weeklies’ historical archives, from some television broadcasts and from some published texts in Italian. The sources are completed by several data from public establishments, especially as far as the results of the therapeutic plans (?) are concerned.

This page, considered the great amount of data to be gathered and input, is always under construction so we suggest to subscribe to a feed as to be always updated as soon as new content is added.

The prosecutor Roberto Sapio, during Muccioli’s cross-examination in the Trial of the Chains:

“It’s all well with the theory of the slap as a symbol of the freedom from the slavery of drugs. But the shit, Mr. Muccioli, the shit, the filthy blankets, the cold,
the beatings, what did they all symbolize?”



The history of San Patrignano

In the 1970’s Vincenzo Muccioli was working as a hotelier in Rimini’s Stella Polare (“Polar Star”) Hotel, owned by his wife Antonietta who in turn had inherited it from her parents.

To tell the truth Muccioli had never had a straight job proper, not last because of the well-off financial situation that the father, an insurance broker and landowner, had reached.

And maybe in order to cheat boredom Vincenzo started to explore the activities of mediums and psychics, with the help of his friend Luciano Rossi.

It was only later on, when he was already 40, that he discovered to have a medium’s gift and to be able to pick up messages from other dimensions. Or that was what he was telling the gullibles.

The whole thing must have had a very impressive emotional impact (Muccioli during the seances used to go into a trance and, self-identifying with Christ, used to preach the sharing of personal property) because within a short time the participants increased to the point of forming a group, Il Cenacolo (“The Cenaculum”), which moved on the blessed hill of San Patrignano, owned by Vincenzo, were all together they were tending to the Lord’s Vineyard.

And since Muccioli preached humility and poverty, the earnings from this work, carried out strictly for free, would be devolved to the needy. The “Cenacolo”’s followers so were invited to “get rid of their earthly possessions and renounce to the temptations of the flesh”. Vincenzo, on the other hand, was allowed everything. In order to startle the audience Vincenzo used to turn up with scratches on the ribcage and the feet, announcing to all and sundry he had stigmatae.

“I have seen him through the window while he was giving himself cuts on his hands with a nail cutter right before a séance”, Lino Grossi testified in a trial.

As it always happens in these circumstances, the most gullible could not confer the just dimension to these experiences and ended up falling into a state of complete dedication, which reflected negatively even on their family life.

“I am convinced my husband has been brainwashed by Muccioli and the latter has turned the former against me”, is the testimony given the judge by a woman, Maria Teresa Tusino who in 1978 pressed charges against the husband, Giulio Canini, who had beaten her up for her refusal to the request that their child follow the father into the community.

Giulio Canini is probably the first suicide, for causes that have never been clarified and, it seems, leaving a diary that has never been found.

In the meantime the Lord’s Vineyard was getting bigger and better and was becoming increasingly crowded by those drug addicts who had started to arrive in order to get treated.

Evidently though, not all followers must have been so unworldly because after the request from two of them, Bruno Camosetti and Guerrino Pieri to make some light on the real destination of the Vineyard’s earnings (in said vineyard were also bred dogs, swans and poultry), the judicial authorities demonstrated that the only beneficiaries of some of the traced cheques had been Muccioli and his auntie Serafina.

But ultimately San Patrignano’s main activity was a homeless shelter for drug addicts who came to plead for help and the original Lord’s Vineyard is, today, an extension of 220 hectares (approx. 550 acres) where, according to numbers provided by the community, over 2000 drug addicts and other kinds of addicts bring in, with all the production activities, about 22 billion of old lire, or 11 and a half million Euros, per year: carpentry workshops, the notorious tannery, every type of livestock (the breeding farm with his 300 thoroughbred horses for international competitions is considered the best in Europe, but we will get back to the horses later on), even a state-of-the-art hospital for those affected by HIV, opened by none other than three ministers of the then-Berlusconi government (Costa, Health; Guidi, Family; Biondi, Justice).

A veritable stamp of excellency for the structure. Shame it has been built for the most part illegally.

But fear not, such a trifling matter couldn’t stop the guru of San Patrignano.



The 24th of September 1994 in the town of Coriano, of which San Patrignano is a fraction, arrive, presented by the community surveyor Sergio Pierini, thirty one requests of amnesty for unauthorized buildings perpetrated, what a surprise, when the mayor of the town was the very same Pierini (the mayoral cabinet belonged to the PCI, Partito Comunista Italiano, the Italian Communist Party). The reason for requesting that the matter be immediately archived will be understood only three days later, when a decree approved by the Government Cabinet will be issued, decree which confers to buildings designated as therapeutic communities, and those edifices needed for social and health integration in said communities, the title of undeferrable and urgent public construction projects, and as such exonerated from paying a levy for the permit, as well as the possibility of their development being exempt from regular urban planning.

In other words Muccioli could have, from then onwards, built anything he wanted without any permission, saving the 4 billion lire (approx. a little over 2 million euros) he should have paid for the condoning of the illegal structures already built, and as a matter of fact, could have had the levy for the planning permission of whole of San Patrignano community’s buildings condoned, included his villa, of which we will talk about shortly. So Muccioli knew about the existence of this decree at least three days before it was signed; this, as the most innocent of conjectures.

But his friendships don’t include only those of the political kind like Craxi, De Lorenzo, Benvenuto (the first one Italy’s PM during most of the 1980s, the others people of great relevance in the cabinet for the whole duration of Craxi’s government, Note of the Translator), but also and especially journalists, or better, those journalists whom Muccioli gives jobs to (by writing and extolling the virtues of San Patrignano, N.o.t.T.); Letizia Moratti, president of RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana, the Italian Broadcasting Company, N.o.t.T.) and wife of Gianmarco Moratti, oil magnate, with whom she spends her weekends in the community, in a villa next to the guru’s. And this explains the reason of all the sycophancy that the state television chundered on us the viewers whenever the subject of Muccioli has been touched.



“A villa worthy of a prince, about 1500 square metres, with a large fenced park, with pheasants, grouses, pink flamingos. Once there were also deers. And a cage with panthers.

In the basement there is the Jacuzzi, the tank with tropical fishes, sauna, the cellar with the son’s vintage wines, the reinforced bank vault.

Without mentioning the car collection: his son Andrea has a Mercedes 300 and a big Honda scooter, the other son Giacomo a convertible Porsche Carrera and a BMW K100, as well as a Range Rover for autocross competitions.

Vincenzo himself used a Mercedes 600 and his wife a BMW 318 SUV.

Lastly, the waiting staff. There was a livery-clad butler who served tea on silver platters, wearing white gloves. And five people between waitresses and ironing ladies.”.

Telling all this is Roberto Assirelli, witness against Muccioli in the trial for the Maranzano murder. He worked for thirteen years in San Patrignano where he entered as a junkie and came out treated: today is PDS (Partito Democratico della Sinistra, Democratic Party of the Left, N.o.t.T.) budget and culture councillor in the town of Coriano.

To be truthful it has to be said that Muccioli had gifted all the community’s real estate assets to the San Patrignano Foundation, born towards the end of 1985, a few months before his sentence on the 6th of February 1985 for the Chains Trial and before his acquittal  on the 28th of November 1987 on appeal.

Not to worry, there’s a trick.

Article 11 of the Constitution declares: “If within three years from the acknowledgment of the legal status (which means within the 26th of March 1994) the foundation’s wealth exceeds the threshold of four billion lire (a little over 2 million euro) the house can be owned back by the children if they will request the permission within the year 2001. The request is to be submitted to the President of the Foundation”, the very same Muccioli who owns one-quarter of the property! (for the benefit of information, at the end of the 1990s San Patrignano is thought to be worthy over 30 billion lire, or just a little less than 15 and a half million euro).

And the machinery, the movables, the really famous horses, who do they all belong to?

Oh, yeah, the horses. For them Vincenzo spared no expenses: it seems Weejawey has been bought for 2 billion and 300 million lire (about 1 million 160 thousand euro), whereas Kassandra for only 2 billion (about 1 million euro).

Roberto Assirelli told, during the trial, that in order to buy thoroughbred horses he was sent all over Europe with money stashed in a hidden compartment on the floor of cars that were thus built for the community in a Milan showroom.

But what has all of this to do with drug addicts’ rehabilitation?



It’s 1979 when a shred of a newspaper is sent to the Carabinieri (Italian military police, N.o.t.T.), on it written “I am a prisoner of these people. Call the police or the Carabinieri. I had already had 7 collapses and I am feeling terrible”.

27-year old Paolo Morosini, subjected to an intensive cold turkey treatment, had been imprisoned for four days. The event won’t have a follow-up because Muccioli shifted the blame from himself saying: “Druggies are people capable of understanding but not of willing”.

It won’t end up in the same way, however, in another occasion: on the 28th of October 1980 a 23-year old girl, Maria Rosa Cesarini, shows up in the Police Rapid Response Team station of Forli’ saying she escaped from San Patrignano after being locked up for sixteen days in a pigeon house.

When the policemen barge into the community they find Luciano Rubini and Leonardo Biagiotti chained in two small rooms used as a kennel, Marco Marcello Costi chained to an iron door in a three metres-long booth and Massimo Sola chained to a handmade tiny structure used as a dovecote.

All these people give evidence a few days later; all except one, Leonardo Biagiotti, found dead on the Milan-bound railway track in Castelfranco Emilia, mysteriously fallen off the train.

Vincenzo Muccioli is arrested alongside some of his cohorts and jailed for a month. The trial will take place four years later and it will end with a twenty-months sentence for Muccioli the first time around, quashed on appeal.

But let’s analyse the evidence of those witnesses who gave it during the much more serious trial which had overwhelmed Muccioli: the Maranzano murder, assassinated in the community’s pigsty.

Answering the questions is Claudio Ghira, San Patrignano’s former doctor:

What happened in the Mainteinance Department?

“Beatings, following a patching-up of the wounds. I remember a broken head, sorted out with twenty or so stitches. And a spleen exploded with punches.”

Were there other dead, as well as Maranzano?

“No, not like that.”

And what about in other ways?

“A lot of the suicides happened in the community are, to say the least, suspect.”

Could people step into the Maintenance Department?

“No. There are two doctors, present 24 hours a day. And the department manager, Franchino Capogreco.”

But what kind of doctors are they, if they don’t denounce these methods?

“They believe in Muccioli. If you are there, it is because you believe in him.”

Are sexual relations controlled by Muccioli?

“Of course, but no one controls his sexual relations. Yet, how many times we saw him in bed with the youngest guys? For a lot of us though, at least until one doesn’t manage to get through the acritical phase, even that is considered a way to be close to a person who is suffering.”

Are you talking about forced homosexual relations?

“I know of a guy from Milan who has seen his problems increase just because of “daddy”’s excessive attentions. The boss loved his oral relations above all. He said that even that was useful to transmit positive energy from him to his disciples.”

Rumours? Legends of San Patrignano?

“No, I , myself, have seen Muccioli in bed with one of his boys.”

And where is he now?

“He died of Aids.”

But Muccioli’s main accuser is, in this trial, jailer Raimondo Crivellin, known within the community as “Piedini” (“Little feet”, N.o.t.T.). He confessed over 500 kidnappings carried out in seven years’ stay in the community, beatings, chases; eventually he will testify for almost five hours. “Every day I hunted junkies who ran away from San Patrignano. Every day I brought them back. Every day I beat them up. Every day I locked them up, especially in the safe of the tannery. A cramped place, without windows. For every new guest Michelone (another jailer, “Big Michael”, N.o.t.T.) changed the code of the safe. I spent seven years in San Patrignano and that was always my job. I never knew the reason of a punishment: I was carrying out Muccioli’s orders”.

Piedini worked alongside Franchino e Toto, Paro-Paro and Sebastiano, all in the punitive squad. “It was enough to walk towards someone and the terror would appear on his face. Muccioli knows how to make you feel important, especially simple minds. He chose me because I was a cretin. I blindly believed in Muccioli. And I made a mistake”.


“After the first suicide, Gabriele Di Paola’s (the others were Natalia Berla’s the following day and Fioralba Petrucci’s, happened shortly after), Muccioli ordered me to take away the twenty guests of the Maintenance Department, the jail of the community. Overnight, with two vans and a few cars, alongside Toto, Paro-Paro, Sebastiano and Franchino we left for the community of Botticella (a community satellite of San Patrignano). The objective was to make disappear troublesome witnesses in a period when the community was kept under observation by the police. We spent two months living like lords”.

He is questioned about the reasons of his suspicions on the suicides: “I have seen him falling down, but I don’t know how he plunged downwards with the face towards the wall. I heard him shouting “No, no”, I saw he was trying to clutch at something without managing to do so. When I ran towards him, he was dead. The next day Natalia slid out from a really tiny window, but we were already on the mountainside having fun”.

And still: “Once I locked in the safe also Franco Capogreco. He shouted all night because he suffers from claustrophobia. When he came out he was literally blue in the face. He had to be punished, but I don’t know why. He, himself will tell the judges”. Then it is the turn of Paro-Paro, Marcho Ghezzo: “Thousands of people have escaped from San Patrignano. Those who run away are more than those who are cured. Muccioli counts the cured for every time they get out. If one comes in three times and gets out three times it’s worth for three recoveries”.

Eventually the deposition of one girl, Elisabetta Di Giovanni, who entered San Patrignano for the first time when she was sixteen and abandoned drugs only a long time after she left San Patrignano, with the help of Don Gino Sacchetti (a priest who helped drug addicts in the 1990s, N.o.t.T.)

During my second stay in San Patrignano, in two years I visited almost every single prison of the place. Twenty days in the dovecote, a very cramped circular place, painted in orange and going downwards, where you literally felt like you were going crazy. Two months in the darkness of the safe in the tannery alongside a sick Doberman. In an old abandoned farmhouse, laying on a bed and chained up with both arms to the bedpost.

Twice a day one arm was freed in order to eat, while for the bathroom businesses a bucket under the bed was enough. I faced a little bit softer lock-up (four months in my room) because of Marco Rossetti from Bologna. Unfortunately we asked Muccioli permission to get to know each other.

After a few months of walking hand in hand we couldn’t stand it anymore and we consumed the dirty deed. Marco, remorseful, run to daddy telling him everything and the result for me was the lock-up after an endless series of “what a slut” in every which way. To him, Vincenzo gave a pat on the back.

But the most terrible lock-up, although it was the shortest, it was a week in the barrel. Yeah, a good and proper barrel, made of iron, where you could stand only crouching and where once a day they passed you food from a little flap, all while being a foot away from the usual bucket with the excrements. I hadn’t killed anybody, but my crime was far worst: I had joined the opposition.

Vincenzo had locked up, always for trifling reasons, three girls considered by everyone, and even by himself up until a few days before, cured. Consuelo, Martina and Alice, themselves also in the opposition.

He had locked them in a farmhouse and since they weren’t suffering enough, after a few days he cut off their victuals. It was terrible to pass by that big hut and hearing for the whole day the three unfortunates singing.

I felt as though I was in Auschwitz. After a few days he got Alice, the most vulnerable of the three, slightly handicapped, to be brought on the courtyard and, with a hair clipper he cut off all her hair, between deplorable jokes and obscene laughs. Alice, from Rome, managed to escape and was found the next day dead for an overdose in Piazza Tre Martiri (Three Martyrs Square, in Rome N.o.t.T.). I heavily criticised the actions of my father-master who ordered to lock me in the barrel.:

It is difficult to talk about San Patrignano. There would be a lot and a lot more to tell: a thousand episodes, all of them eloquent and painful, but the real problem is that the Italian State considers  what happens in San Patrignano rehabilitation of drug addicts.

Alfio Russo? I used to know him and I am ready to swear that the events went more or less like that: Maranzano and his escapes were a bother, and Vincenzo had decided to put him in the punitive sector: in the hands of that violent madman, with a brain befitting a two-year old child. Surely he also told Alfio to be particularly harsh and to break him up real well.. Alfio, happy, didn’t need to be told twice and for the poor Maranzano the doors of hell must have opened up.

Then, a reaction, even weak, barely there, and Alfio vented all his fury. Then the unfixable happened and they all ran to the boss looking for a solution. A solution that Vincenzo, without even getting bothered more than the bare minimum, found in the rubbish dump.

It’s impossible, for those who have been in San Patrignano, to believe that Vincenzo wasn’t aware of everything.

Source: SIMS Studio Intervento Malattie Sociali (Research Intervention Social Illnesses)