- 1978 – A crowd of young people spontaneously showed up at the funeral. They came mostly from Palermo and neighbouring villages, shouting “Peppino is alive” and carrying banners condemning his tragic death and supporting his values. The banner that opened the funeral procession read, “We continue with Peppino’s ideas and courage”. The cultural challenge left by the dead Impastato stirred the conscience of his native country. His fellow citizens voted for him in elections for the City Council and elected him virtually.
- 1998 – On May 8th 1998, on the twentieth anniversary of Impastato’s death, the University of Palermo posthumously awarded him an honorary degree in Philosophy.
- 2000 – Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and with the screenplay by Claudio Fava, the film “The Hundred Steps” was released, bringing the story of Peppino, played by Luigi Lo Cascio, to the attention of the general public. The title refers to the number of footsteps in Cinisi between the home of the Impastato family and that of the Mafia boss Gaetano Badalamenti. The film enjoyed an extraordinary success: it won – among other awards – the prize for best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and five David di Donatello awards . But above all it marked a watershed. From that moment everyone knew the story of Peppino, even those who had never approached the work of reporting, documentation and research of his family members and the Impastato Centre. Children, young people and adults from all over the country know him and begin to jam “Casa Memoria”, the family home where, since Peppino’s death, his mother Felicia welcomes anyone interested in knowing and embracing his fight for justice.
- Giuseppe Impastato’s name is included in the Journalist Memorial of the Newseum in Washington which contains the faces and names of journalists killed while doing their work.
- At the Casa del Jazz in Rome, Impastato is remembered on the plaque of the innocent victims of mafias affixed to the entrance and on the Memorial Panel of Ossigeno per l’Informazione.
The places of remembrance
After the death of his mother Felicia, in 2004 “Casa Memoria” becomes “Casa Memoria Felicia and Peppino Impastato”. In 2013, after renovations, it was transformed into a real museum with unpublished documents and materials, a meeting place, a bookshop and an exhibition area. Today it is a “secular altar”, as Umberto Santino, president of the Impastato Centre defines it: a place where memory meets commitment and culture, where the ideals of freedom, social justice and truth live on.
In 2010, the house of the Mafia boss Gaetano Badalamenti which had been earlier confiscated, was assigned to the Peppino Impastato association for cultural and social purposes.
In 2012, also thanks to the committed reproach and awareness of Giovanni Impastato, Peppino’s brother, the Sicilian Region started the process of expropriation, for public use, of the land and the cottage in the Feudo district, where Peppino was killed, in order to make it a site of commemoration. In 2014 it was declared a place of cultural interest. In January 2020, the expropriation procedure moved into an implementation phase. According to the agreement between the Region of Sicily and the Metropolitan City of Palermo, it will become the “National Cultural Centre for the Fight against the Mafia”.
After Peppino’s death, his mother Felicia Bartolotta distances herself from the mafia context of the family, forming a civil party against the mafia. From that moment, until her death (2004), Felicia devoted herself entirely to the commitment to defend and transmit the memory of her son and to the struggles to obtain justice. Among the relatives of innocent Mafia victims of the Libera association, Felicia Bartolotta becomes the most popular individual and her example is often cited by Don Luigi Ciotti, a leading advocate of Libera. Around her, her son Giovanni, Peppino’s companions and the members of the Sicilian Documentation Centre, a movement of ideals has developed over the years in Cinisi that today unites thousands of people who carry on the battles of Peppino Impastato.
Groups, associations, collectives, cultural initiatives, songs, drama productions, books, newspapers, and even streets, squares, parks and schools have been named after him throughout Italy.