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Airbnb® | Diamante–Vacation Rentals & Places to Stay - Calabria, Italy
Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. He has had six years to think about what he is about to say.
It was February 16, — a clear, frozen Sunday evening in Belgium. Notarbartolo took the E19 motorway out of Antwerp. In the passenger seat, a man known as Speedy fidgeted nervously, damp with sweat. Notarbartolo punched it, and his rented Peugeot sped south toward Brussels. They hadn't slept in two days. Speedy scanned the traffic behind them in the side-view mirror and maintained a tense silence. Notarbartolo had worked with him for 30 years—they were childhood buddies—but he knew that his friend had a habit of coming apart at the end of a job.
The others on the team hadn't wanted Speedy in on this one—they said he was a liability. Notarbartolo could see their point, but out of loyalty, he defended his friend.
Speedy could handle it, he said. And he had. They had executed the plan perfectly: no alarms, no police, no problems. The heist wouldn't be discovered until guards checked the vault on Monday morning. The rest of the team was already driving back to Italy with the gems. They'd rendezvous outside Milan to divvy it all up. There was no reason to worry. Notarbartolo and Speedy just had to burn the incriminating evidence sitting in a garbage bag in the backseat. The loot was never found, but their trash was.
Notarbartolo pulled off the highway and turned onto a dirt road that led into a dense thicket. The spot wasn't visible from the highway, though the headlights of passing cars fractured through the trees. Notarbartolo told Speedy to stay put and got out to scout the area.
The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist
He passed a rusty, dilapidated gate that looked like it hadn't been touched since the Second World War. It was hard to see in the dark, but the spot seemed abandoned. He decided to burn the stuff near a shed beside a small pond and headed back to the car. When he got there, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Speedy had lost it. The contents of the garbage bag was strewn amongst the trees. Speedy was stomping through the mud, hurling paper into the underbrush. Spools of videotape clung to the branches like streamers on a Christmas tree.
Israeli and Indian currency skittered past a half-eaten salami sandwich. The mud around the car was flecked with dozens of tiny, glittering diamonds. It would take hours to gather everything up and burn it. Notarbartolo glared at him. The forest was quiet except for the occasional sound of a car or truck on the highway. It was even possible to hear the faint gurgling of a small stream. Speedy was breathing fast and shallow—the man was clearly in the midst of a full-blown panic attack. They were leaving. Nobody would ever find the stuff here. Location along the E19 motorway north of Brussels where Speedy dumped the garbage bag of evidence.
They had just received a frantic call: The vault had been compromised. The subterranean chamber was supposed to be one of the most secure safes in the world. Now the foot-thick steel door was ajar, and more than of the safe-deposit boxes had been busted open. Peys and De Bruycker were stunned. The floor was strewn with wads of cash and velvet-lined boxes. Peys stepped on a diamond-encrusted bracelet. It appeared that the thieves had so much loot, they simply couldn't carry it all away.
Peys and De Bruycker lead the Diamond Squad, the world's only specialized diamond police. Their beat: the labyrinthine Antwerp Diamond District. Eighty percent of the world's rough diamonds pass through this three-square-block area, which is under hour police surveillance and monitored by 63 video cameras.
Business relationships follow the ancient family and religious traditions of the district's dominant Jewish and Indian dealers, known as diamantaires. In , the Belgian government realized it would require a special type of cop to keep an eye on things and formed the squad. Peys and De Bruycker were the first hires. De Bruycker called headquarters, asking for a nationwide alert: The Antwerp Diamond Center had been brazenly robbed.
Then he dialed Securilink, the vault's alarm company. The Diamond Center's vault after the robbery. It was a cramped, narrow place with a half-dozen small tables, but from the corner by the window Notarbartolo could look out on the epicenter of the world's diamond trade. During business hours, Hasidic men wearing broad-brimmed hats hurried past with satchels locked to their wrists.
Armored cars idled tensely while burly couriers with handguns wheeled away small black suitcases. There were Africans in bright blue suits, Indian merchants wearing loupes around their necks, and bald Armenians with reading glasses pushed up on their mottled heads. During the day, they travel from office to office in briefcases, coat pockets, and off-the-shelf rollies.
At night, all those gems are locked up in safes and underground vaults. It's one of the densest concentrations of wealth in the world. It's also a thief's paradise. In , Notarbartolo rented a small office in the Diamond Center, one of the area's largest buildings. He presented himself as a gem importer based in Turin, Italy, and scheduled meetings with numerous dealers.
He bought small stones, paid cash, dressed well, and cheerfully mangled the French language. The dealers probably never knew that they had just welcomed one of the world's best jewel thieves into their circle. By his own account, Notarbartolo had pulled off dozens of major robberies by It wasn't just about the money anymore. He stole because he was born to be a thief. He still remembers every detail of his first robbery. It was —he was 6. The milkman had been asleep, and young Leo rifled through his drawers. His mother beat him, but it didn't matter. He had found his calling.
In elementary school, he filched money from his teachers. As a teenager, he stole cars and learned to pick locks. In his twenties, he devoted himself to the study of people, tracking jewelry salesmen around Italy for weeks just to understand their habits. In his thirties, he began to assemble teams of thieves, each with their own specialty.
He knew lock-picking experts, alarm aces, safecrackers, guys who could tunnel under anything, and a man who could scale the sleek exteriors of office buildings. Each job brought a different mix of thieves into play. Most, including Notarbartolo, lived in or near Turin, and the group came to be known as the School of Turin.
Notarbartolo's specialty was charm. Acting the part of the jolly jeweler, he was invited into offices, workshops, and even vault rooms to inspect merchandise. He would buy a few stones and then, a week or a month later, steal the target's entire stock in the middle of the night.
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Antwerp provided a wealth of opportunity and a good place to fence hot property. A diamond necklace stolen in Italy could be dismantled and its individual gems sold for cash in Antwerp. He came to town about twice a month, stayed a few days at a small apartment near the Diamond District, then drove home to his wife and kids in the foothills of the Alps. When he had stolen goods to sell, he dealt with only a few trusted buyers. Now, as he finished his espresso, one of them—a Jewish dealer—came in and sat down to chat. They headed out, and once they were clear of the district, the dealer picked up the conversation.
His tone had changed however. The casualness was gone. The agreement was straightforward. For an initial payment of , euros, Notarbartolo would answer a simple question: Could the vault in the Antwerp Diamond Center be robbed? He was pretty sure the answer was no. He was a tenant in the building and rented a safe-deposit box in the vault to secure his own stash. He viewed it as the safest place to keep valuables in Antwerp.
But for , euros, he was happy to photograph the place and show the dealer how daunting it really was. So he strolled into the Diamond District with a pen poking out of his breast pocket. At a glance, it looked like a simple highlighter, but the cap contained a miniaturized digital camera capable of storing high-resolution images. Photography is strictly limited in the district, but nobody noticed Notarbartolo's pencam.
He began his reconnaissance at the police surveillance booth on the Schupstraat, a street leading into the center of the district. Behind the booth's bulletproof glass, two officers monitored the area. The three main blocks of the district bristled with video cameras: Every inch of street and sky appeared to be under watch.
The booth also contained the controls for the retractable steel cylinders that are deployed to prevent vehicular access to the district. As Notarbartolo walked past, he began taking pictures. He headed toward the Diamond Center itself, a gray, story, fortresslike building on the south end of the district. It had a private security force that operated a nerve center located at the entrance. Access was blocked by metal turnstiles, and visitors were questioned by guards.
Notarbartolo flashed his tenant ID card and breezed through. His camera captured crisp images of everything. The 3-ton steel vault door. He took the elevator, descending two floors underground to a small, claustrophobic room—the vault antechamber. A 3-ton steel vault door dominated the far wall. It alone had six layers of security. There was a combination wheel with numbers from 0 to To enter, four numbers had to be dialed, and the digits could be seen only through a small lens on the top of the wheel.
There were million possible combinations. Power tools wouldn't do the trick. The door was rated to withstand 12 hours of nonstop drilling. Of course, the first vibrations of a drill bit would set off the embedded seismic alarm anyway. The door was monitored by a pair of abutting metal plates, one on the door itself and one on the wall just to the right. When armed, the plates formed a magnetic field. If the door were opened, the field would break, triggering an alarm. To disarm the field, a code had to be typed into a nearby keypad. Finally, the lock required an almost-impossible-to-duplicate foot-long key.
During business hours, the door was actually left open, leaving only a steel grate to prevent access. But Notarbartolo had no intention of muscling his way in when people were around and then shooting his way out. Any break-in would have to be done at night, after the guards had locked down the vault, emptied the building, and shuttered the entrances with steel roll-gates. During those quiet midnight hours, nobody patrolled the interior—the guards trusted their technological defenses.
Notarbartolo pressed a buzzer on the steel grate. A guard upstairs glanced at the videofeed, recognized Notarbartolo, and remotely unlocked the steel grate. Notarbartolo stepped inside the vault. It was silent—he was surrounded by thick concrete walls. The place was outfitted with motion, heat, and light detectors.
A security camera transmitted his movements to the guard station, and the feed was recorded on videotape. The safe-deposit boxes themselves were made of steel and copper and required a key and combination to open. Each box had 17, possible combinations. Notarbartolo went through the motions of opening and closing his box and then walked out.
The vault was one of the hardest targets he'd ever seen. Notarbartolo leans toward me in the Belgian prison and asks if I have any questions so far. It is a rare break in his fast-moving monologue. There is a sense of urgency. He is allotted only one hour of visiting time per day. Notarbartolo was born in Palermo, Sicily, and members of his extended family have long been dogged by accusations of Mafia connections. Those accusations reached a crescendo last year when anti-Mafia police arrested Notarbartolo's cousin Benedetto Capizzi, claiming he was about to become the new leader of the Sicilian Mafia.
Notarbartolo says the Italian authorities traveled to Belgium soon after the heist to question him about Capizzi's possible role in the robbery. If there is an organized-crime link, Notarbartolo might be inventing a story about the Jewish diamond dealer to distract attention from what really happened. Notarbartolo scoffs at this idea and insists that his cousin had nothing to do with the heist. The reality, Notarbartolo says, is that he thought the vault was impregnable.
He didn't believe it could be robbed until the dealer went to extraordinary lengths to prove him wrong. The Door 1. Combination dial 2. Keyed lock 3. Seismic sensor built-in 4. Locked steel grate 5. Magnetic sensor 6. External security camera. The Vault 7. Keypad for disarming sensors 8. Light sensor 9. Internal security camera It took five months for the diamond dealer to call back after Notarbartolo told him the heist was impossible. Casa arredata con ampi armadi, cucina, frigorifero E TV su richiesta. Entrambe le camere hanno un balcone.
Perfect house to live a real experience in Calabria. This house is perfect if you like green tourism, nature and little village full of tradition. Pollino Park and Tirrenian sea are very near; you could stay during the morning in the forest and to go to the sea, in a solitary beach, in the afternoon for a beautiful sunset. I have so many secrets about the area to share with you.
Free breakfast with coffee, milk, fresh fruits, eggs, biscuits, etc. La natura incontaminata a pochi passi dal centro, piccoli gioielli sconosciuti di arte. Uno dei migliori ristoranti della Calabria nelle vicinanze. Cibo biologico a km 0 ogni giorno. E' possibile godere in mattinata del fresco dei boschi ed al pomeriggio concludere la giornata con un rilassante bagno a mare. Il paese conserva molte tradizioni, in particolare gastronomiche. Casa Antico borgo in collina Unesco Pollino Park. Grazioso monolocale arredato, composto da piccola zona giorno, ampia camera da letto e bagno. Disponibile tutto l'anno.
Tutte le spese relative ai consumi e alle pulizie finali sono comprese nella quota di affitto. Residenza "La Panoramica" Monolocale. Dispone di una piscina privata, 3 camere da letto e 3,5 bagni. La villa dispone di tutti i comfort e servizi essenziali. Benvenuti a Villa Rosa, la vostra prossima casa vacanza! La villa si trova a Diamante ed offre una affascinante vista panoramica sul mare.
Le spiagge della costa sono raggiungibili a piedi in pochi minuti. Per accedere alla struttura potrete parcheggiare la vostra auto nei posti auto adiacenti e, dopo aver varcato il nostro cancello privato, troverete un curatissimo giardino con fiori, piante, piscina privata a cascata e doccia esterna. Al piano terra abbiamo un ampio salone con zona working, cucina abitabile e bagno. Al primo piano ci sono due camere da letto matrimoniali con bagno privato. Villa Rosa - Elegante villa con piscina panoramica. Deliziosa villa a gestione familiare. Tutte le stanze sono dotate di bagno privato,tv, collegamento internet, aria condizionata, terrazzo panoramico, docce calde esterne e parcheggio privato.
Sita nei pressi di antiche vestigia medioevali, adorna di giardino arricchito da sculture e dipinti. La struttura dista a 1 km dal mare e dal centro. A cinquanta metri dalla struttura si staglia sulla collinetta limitrofa i Ruderi di Cirella ,un antico villaggio medievale. La Casa dei Minimi Stanza uno. Appartamento dotato di tutti i comfort. Una dimensione comoda e assolutamente consigliabile per una coppia o famiglia di 3 elementi. Lo spazio prevede una zona giorno composta da cucina, piccola stanza e bagno con doccia, e una zona notte al piano di sopra con una stanza da letto comoda e spaziosa e bagno in camera.
Oppure percorrendo il lungomare vecchio si accede alla zona della guardiola. Un piccolo appartamento nel centro storico. Palazzo recente in pieno centro a mt dal mare, balconi spaziosi in tutte le stanze, posto auto, negozi e servizi sotto casa, spiagge, parchi, locali e vita notturna a 2 passi, raggiungibili a piedi. Prezzi scontati in base alla durata del soggiorno. Posizione geografica ideale: sul mare e adiacente alle colline. Triple Room parc view in a beautiful country.
Casa di Teresa. Grazioso bilocale in buono stato 4 posti letto dotato di tutti i confort wii-five 2 tv, lavatrice,frigorifero, Phon, stoviglie situato in parco privato parco corallo con salone munito di angolo cottura e divano letto matrimoniale con terrazzino vista mare, camera da letto con terrazzino, bagni con doccia ed igienici. Elegante bilocale Difronte al mare x brevi vacanze. Superhost Details. Popular experiences in Calabria. SUP-ando nel blu dipinto di blu Meet the 6 centuries-old Chestnut Tree. Il Cammino dei Briganti del Pollino.
Explore nearby. Naples km away. Positano km away. Sorrento km away. Bari km away.
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Amalfi km away.