A Roman café that was frequented by politicians and journalists alike was raided by Italian police Tuesday.

The two-story coffee shop, just a few steps from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office and the headquarters of the Italian government, is allegedly run by the notorious 'Ndrangheta crime organization.

The 'Ndrangheta are the version of the mafia in Calabria, Italy's southern boot tip. While the mafia operate mainly on Sicily, the 'Ndrangheta are deeply ingrained on the mainland.

According to a Financial Times report, the café -- called Antico Caffee Chigi -- was one of 18 places seized by police in and around Rome. The police have purportedly captured 20 million euros in mafia assets.

The raid followed a similar event last week. Police arrested Gaetano Riina, the presumed head of the Corleone family in Sicily. Authorities captured Riina after three years of undercover investigation.

The crackdowns are a further sign that Silvio Berlusconi's government is taking a hard line on ingrained organized crime in Italy, which had been rampant and unchallenged for decades.

Over the past three years, the Italian state police force known as the Caribineri have arrested more than 8,000 suspected Mafiosi.


The name of the cafe refers to the House of Chigi, a noble Roman family who were traditionally bankers. Ironically, one of the members of the mafia cafe's namesake became Pope Alexander VII.