XLAW® is the innovative solution SaaS technology conceived and developed to try to improve the traditional method of crime prevention by revolutionizing and basing it, thanks to machine learning processing, on the possibility of predicting snatches, robberies, thefts, pickpockets and other crimes that normally occur in our beautiful cities.
The technical functioning of the final tool is based on the emission of georeferenced predictive alarms, processed according to an exclusive machine learnig forecasting model. Compared to traditional alarm systems, all deputed to issue post-event alerts, XLAW® allows to prevent offenses according to the principle of cause and effect e to selectively and sequentially monitor those places where crime is scientifically expected to occur. The long and widespread experimentation, the results of which have been validated by the most important security structures and by two universities, has allowed us to determine that the reliability and accuracy of the alarms provided by XLAW® they make it an artificial intelligence that supports the controller to precisely monitor the territory according to the real degree of risk in order to be able to intercept and anticipate the offenders on time and make them less effective and more vulnerable over time and space.
«Its long use has moved the strategic construct of the control action from a restorative vision of the damage to a vision probabilistic risk, therefore from a run-up logic of the problems and the effects that they generate typical of the permanent emergency, to one who works on the schemes of prevention "(Prof. Giacomo Di Gennaro Department of Political Sciences Director of the II level Master Criminology and Criminal Law Criminal Analysis and Policies for the Urban Security Federico II University of Naples)
2004/2019Police Department Napoli, Salerno, Prato, Venezia, Parma e Modena.
2018Finalist and winner of the SMAU Digital Innovation Award.
2019Department of Public Security Central Anti-Crime Directorate.
2017/2019Federico II University Department of Political Sciences - Parthenope University Department of Business and Economic Studies.
2014Best practice recognized within the European project BESECURE and S.E.L.P.E of the Giancarlo Siani foundation.
Genesis and evolution of the project
The Research and Development project of XLAW® it starts downstream of a twenty-year lay study on urban deviance phenomena thanks to which it has been possible to understand that thefts, robberies, snatches, pickpockets, scams and other predatory offenses have cyclical and permanent characteristics and can be foreseen through the processing, according to an innovative predictive machine learning model, of some information relating to the offender, the target, the victim and the context socio-urban.
The predictive model, the result of years of multidisciplinary study, is based on heuristic principles and on an advanced machine learning analysis procedure never applied before, verified and validated independently by two universities and multiple public safety offices.
The model surpasses all approaches such as that of crime linking, statistical calculation and elaboration on topographic map of areas with a higher criminal incidence (hot spots) which, notoriously, present ethical criticalities and functional limits.
The first use of XLAW® has made it possible to find that basing the activities on the selectivity and sequence of the controls by virtue of the forecasts elaborated by the technology, it is possible to prevent crimes more effectively than the traditional method. Through an articulated framework .
Through an articulated framework XLAW® has been introduced in police operative divisions of eleven Italian cities and employed according to a protocol called SICUREZZA 4P© or in short S4P©. With the aim of improving the safety of cities according to a different paradigm and preventing the offenses by foreseeing them, the controls on the territory were prepared in advance with precision and punctuality revolutionizing the traditional method. With the operational support by Artificial Intelligence product,operators have acquired greater decision-making skills directly in the field without waiting for orders that can inevitably arrive late and leadership in the daily dispute with the offender, limiting selectively and sequentially the criminal intention in time and space.
Start of the study on urban deviance phenomena
Ideation of the predictive model and development of enabling technology XLAW®
First experimentation in Napoli
Creation of the protocol SICUREZZA 4P
Academic validation and launch of the framework for additional input police operations offices in eleven cities.
Official testing in the police operational offices of Napoli, Prato, Salerno, Venezia, Modena e Parma.
Operational validation of the Central Anti-Crime Department of the Public Security Department.
The AIWEEK event dedicated to excellence that makes use of artificial intelligence was presented.
Testing cities involved
For the analysis of the official experimentation, six cities among the eleven have been chosen, which up to now employ technology different in size and socio-urban dynamics.
- Surface 117,27 km²
- Population 972.130
- Population density 8.148,22 per km²
- Police Department 1
- Police Office 19
- PCrime 9 (Criminal Pressure Index)
- Surface 97,35 km²
- Population 185.089
- Population density 2.004 per km²
- Police Department 1
- Police Office 0
- PCrime 9 (Criminal Pressure Index)
- Surface 260,6 km²
- Population 197.499
- Population density 757,86 per km²
- Police Department 1
- Police Office 0
- PCrime 13 (Criminal Pressure Index)
- Surface 59,85 km²
- Population 134.850
- Population density 2,215,89 per km²
- Police Department 1
- Police Office 2
- PCrime 19 (Criminal Pressure Index)
- Surface 415,9 km²
- Population 259.809
- Population density 624,69 per km²
- Police Department 1
- Police Office 3
- PCrime 12 (Criminal Pressure Index)
- Surface 183,19 km²
- Population 186.307
- Population density 1.017,02 per km²
- Police Department 1
- CPolice Office 2
- PCrime 15 (Criminal Pressure Index)
Diminished in the cities experience snatches, robberies, thefts and pickpocketing in larger than the national average ed in cities similar in size, number of inhabitants and socio-economic dynamics. The greater effectiveness of the method has been demonstrated forecast compared to the traditional method
Enhancement of human capital
Improve the motivation, participation and ability to make strategic decisions for achieve short and medium goals term by control operators of the territory and operational performance of the entire organization
Savings on safety management costs and for the community
Rationalized the interventions and reduced mileage from patrols, fuel consumption and it stress of men and means. Savings for the collectivity based on the decrease of crimes
Operational integration with the others law enforcement - improvement of perception of security and trust in institution by the citizen - improvement of professional reputation from part of the operators - containment of risk factors e of operator stress - scientifically based definition of real safety e perceived - favorable acceptance by the media, academia and law
Analysis method for checking results
Reduction of crime committedThe number of crimes committed in the cities tested in the year before the trial and in the year in which the trial took place was considered and the results compared with those obtained in other similar cities.
Failure to move the crimeThe georeferenced distribution of the crimes committed in the year before the trial and in the year in which the trial took place was processed.
Effectiveness of the traditional and predictive prevention methodThe number of crimes committed was acquired when the traditional and forecasting method was adopted and the difference in results was worked out.
Reduction of Km traveled by patrols and wear of vehiclesThe number of kilometers traveled by patrols was acquired when the traditional and forecasting method was adopted and the difference was worked out.
Forecast accuracyThe crimes committed and the forecasts processed by the software were compared daily using a special verification tool to assess the reliability and accuracy of the report.
Participation of operatorsThe number of prevention checks carried out on the initiative of operators using the traditional and forecasting method was acquired and the difference was worked out. A questionnaire was submitted to the operators evaluating the solution.
Real security and perceived securityIn order to verify any differences between real and perceived security, the PCrime (Criminal Pressure) index was considered an integral part of the innovation XLAW® that measures the pressure of crime on the territory in question by virtue of the number of crimes committed in relation to the number of resident and non-resident citizens, the number of homes, businesses, theaters, cinemas, etc., the size of the territory and socio-economic dynamics.
Impact on the media and public opinionThe data of interest relating to services were extrapolated and articles offered by the press, TV and web channels.
Precision forecast calculations
Through a special verification tool it was possible to evaluate the reliability of the forecasts offered daily by the XLAW® technology.
|Experimentation||% Forecast accuracy|
ResultsN.B. the results are based on testing by a single police force in six eleven cities that so far employ technology
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 22%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-12,6%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-66,7%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 555.800|
|Fuel savings||€ 33.580|
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 38%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-21,2%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-36,8%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 101.400|
|Fuel savings||€ 80.300|
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 34%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-10%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-55,6%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 522.600|
|Fuel savings||€ 75.920|
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 19%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-22,8%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-50%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 134.800|
|Fuel savings||€ 54.020|
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 43%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-25,8%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-50%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 303.800|
|Fuel savings||€ 75.920|
|Prevention results - Overall decrease in crime: 16%|
|Thefts in homes and businesses||-14%|
|Criminal Pressure Index||-25%|
|Savings for citizenship based on prevention results||€ 36.300|
|Fuel savings||€ 68.620|
Effectiveness of the forecast method
Crime reduction with the forecast method above the national average and in similar cities
It is common belief that in Italy the reduction of predatory crimes that has been recorded in Italy for some years, can be motivated by several factors including the failure to report by the citizen therefore the doubt that could arise is that the reduction obtained during the experimentation, may possibly be connected to this trend.
Appropriate checks were therefore carried out and the cities tested were compared with those that have the same socio-demographic characteristics, determining that in the cities where the experimentation took place, the reduction in crimes was significantly higher.
|City||% crime reduction
(Obtained in the experimentation period)
|N. fewer crimes|
Effectiveness of the forecast method
Productive difference with traditional and forecasting prevention method
In Italy, control of the territory is shared between two police forces according to a coordinated plan. In the cities you experience the productivity of the one that has adopted the technology XLAW®, was significantly higher, that is, the crimes were committed in greater numbers in the areas of competence of the other force that adopted the traditional prevention method.
During the experimentation, some tests were carried out which provided for the suspension of the use of the technology, verifying that during the suspension the crimes began to increase again and then again to decrease when the technology was used again.
One of the critical points attributed to the forecasting method and to the academic debate center is the possible possibility of moving the crime which in criminology is called "displacement" or one of the risks that criminology attributes in the case of prevention interventions that act on the space or context of the realization of the crime is that the phenomenon moves.
The verification was carried out using diagrams. Starting from a point where the phenomenon was concentrated before the treatment, a diagram was superimposed that unites various points where it would have been possible to move after the treatment based on the morphology and characteristics of the territory.
By virtue of the greater checks carried out on the basis of the alarms generated by the forecast system XLAW®, at the point where the phenomenon was more concentrated (hunting reserve) the only places where it could have been moved are those indicated by numbered circles.
After a year of experimentation the phenomenon has reduced but there has been no movement in any of the alternative points. The verification method was adopted for all the cities where the experimentation took place and for all types of predatory offenses, the result was always the same: the phenomenon has reduced but has never moved.
Leadership and ability to autonomously make strategic decisions in the short to medium term by local control operators
In the operational offices where the experimentation took place, compared to previous period in which the traditional prevention method was adopted, the checks carried out on the initiative of the operators engaged in control activities of the territory increased daily stimulated by the forecast calculations provided by the systemXLAW®.
A solution assessment questionnaire was submitted to the operators. 100% of the operators interviewed considered the use of the solution useful and motivating, the processing provided by the same for the daily control of the territory was effective, determining the its use for the results that have been achieved, effective in enriching professional skills, simple and inexpensive the protocol for its use perfectly compatible with the existing one.
Media and public opinion
The use of the XLAW® system thanks to a courageous choice of openness and transparency, has been favorably received by the legal and academic world and has aroused considerable interest from the media which have published numerous press articles and launched numerous television services where the emphasis has always been placed on the innovation adopted, positively affecting the reputation of the institutional brand and the public's feeling of trust towards the institution.
- 261 local press
- 134 nationl press
- 82 international press
- 2.324 Link WEB
- 27 specialized press
- 12.439.000 audit TV 13% share
- 12 local TV
- 15 national Tv
- 12 international TV
XLAW® was born as a lay research and development project that in the course over the years has embraced multiple fields of science. With multidisciplinary approach each phase of the project was carried out with the contribution of many subjects from the world of public and private security, academia, criminologists, sociologists, urban planners, pedagogists, jurists, computer scientists, economists, doctors and also citizenship, especially active citizenship.
From the outset, the project was open to anyone who wanted to contribute or verify not only the ethical aspects technological but also the results of research, study and testing of the final solution carried out in several contexts in most of which, without the influence of those who conceived and developed it. Thanks to these courageous ethical choices, XLAW® is today the only solution in the world of this type which was transparently placed on free trial and received independent consent not only for professionals but also for academia, law and public opinion. Unlike many other solutions often criticized for lack of transparency, XLAW® is a White Box system and both the user and whoever wishes to carry out a serene evaluation, he knows very well what he has in hand, what his development is based on, what the purposes of its use are, how it works and what information is collected.
XLAW® besides being a technological innovation, it is pure research and the results of its experimentation they are an original contribution for the whole scientific world and for those who intend or still find it difficult to approach similar projects because it allowed to scientifically define more aspects. First of all that based prevention method on predictive processing, it was more effective than the traditional method which is based on the acquisition of mere statistical elaborations of past events or on the evaluation of formulated requests by the community to provide short and medium-term responses that inevitably can come late and that produces poor results. Thanks to the research carried out, which is made available to anyone who wanted to deepen, finally the predictive police it can be considered reality and no longer science fiction or suggestion.
Conceived and developed after a long research period, XLAW® confirmed the assumption shared by the researchers involved, according to whom it is possible get to predict certain types of urban crimes that have the characteristic of repeating over time and space if you are able to define and implement an appropriate forecasting method and that the greater the possibility of reducing crimes on the basis of the high reliability and precision of the elaborations of the predictive model conceived and developed. Proven and proven that if you can predict and prevent crime, it does not move to other areas of the territory, it follows that robberies, robberies, thefts and pickpockets occur in places that are difficult fungible that if managed with scientific punctuality and precision, you can get to make the criminal more secure and bewildered who inevitably becomes less effective and more vulnerable in time and space.
It is no coincidence that the XLAW® project, in addition to the tangible results, has sanctioned sensational upheavals of known theories on urban criminology, arousing hype and attention in the international scientific world.
The framework for the introduction of XLAW® technology inside of a complex organization, it was the real success considering that technology is never an end in itself and that it is not simple propose and introduce innovation, where working methods are not prepared for this. An exclusive method was therefore studied, developed and adopted with the help of psychologists and technicians to put a tool that was fully usable, effective and that did not distort the previous protocols, with very low cost of installation and management to affect the performance of the organization and of the individual operators which, thanks to the paradigmatic revolution of the operating objectives and not to the distortion of the working method, they are results from the first hours of using technology fully proactive and able to make strategic decisions in everyday life dispute with the offender.
The conclusion is that XLAW® should not be considered an additional one resource in addition to those already existing but an innovative and exclusive tool which allows to revolutionize the paradigm of security to reduce crimes, costs, the risks and stress of men and means and the economic and moral damages of the community.
The results, the validation by the Public Security Department and the Federico II University and Parthenope of Naples, the prizes, the awards obtained, the high approval of public opinion and the media and the fact that technology is based on it of his long experimentation he has reached the maximum level of maturity TRL9 expected that no instrument of this type currently has reached this level of maturity, determine that XLAW® can be an artificial intelligence ready to work daily alongside the police to help them make our beautiful cities safer.
Although at this historic moment Italy is worried about the emergence of other emergencies (effects of the change climate, corporate crises, reduced productivity), the issue of urban security in the country remains on the agenda institutional always at the top, even if a more constant planning of urban security policies is struggling to be realized and the solution of the interventions lend themselves to easy exploitation, both from the right and from the left.
However, it cannot be denied that security represents a fundamental good of the person, a universal right acknowledged of the person (art. 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and as such is considered by ours Charter among "the inviolable rights of man" (art. 2 Italian Constitution), so as such it is payable because without freedom cannot be exercised of it and without this no human activity can be pursued and expressed in all its greatness. Therefore, security should be managed continuously, beyond the party deployment.
Security, justice and freedom are interconnected values: without security there is no freedom and it cannot even be guaranteed justice. Safety is however an objective condition (guaranteed by a set of protections and devices) and subjective, insofar as it pertains to the person's state of mind, his psychological condition, so much so that this dimension is studied through the perception of insecurity. When the state fails to ensure security formations in history they offer themselves as alternatives to offer protection, protection and guarantees. The mafia originates historically just as a social entity offering protection in the absence of the state. It is sold to the point that Franchetti already in 1876 in the famous "Investigation" identified the mafia as experts in the use of violence for protect property rights that are weakly or not at all safeguarded by the state.
The loss of security feeds fear and paradoxically advanced modernity being pregnant with new ones Risks instills a greater sense of general insecurity because it makes many living conditions more precarious vulnerable what were once customary certainties. However, there being a very close relationship between security and inequality, those who inhabit the lowest rungs of the social ladder are objectively more vulnerable as it is less protected and consequently the perception of insecurity is a function of the weaker status. Those who are placed, on the other hand, in the upper steps enjoy greater guarantees, acquire more self-protection and for them the sense of insecurity feeds more on subjective elements or those aspects of contemporary life which as connected to global risks (pollution, terrorism, large flows migrants, economic crises) instill anxieties, fears, anxieties.
One of our specificities is that, unlike other contexts such as the United States, England or France itself, urban security programs have never been crossed by strategic trials of models centered on event prevention and attention to victims in a defined urban space. This occurred abroad more frequently under the aegis of programs implemented by active departments police in collaboration with universities, mayors or government offices. The New York period of "zero tolerance" (from 1990 to 2001) implemented especially by Rudolph Giuliani (1994-2001) it would be wrong to translate it and identify it in an exclusively political key. This would prevent you from catching some analytical ideas and insights which, starting from the studies of the social psychologist P. Zimbardo at the end of the 1960s on "collective indifference" and subsequent "broken windows" theories Kelling and Wilson, 1982), the "social contagion" (Cook and Goss, 1996) and the hypotheses related to the Moving programs to Opportunity (MtO) (Harcourt - Ludwig 2006), have made it possible to capture some social effects related to and / or induced by urban decay and disorder.
Criticisms of Safe and Clean Neighborhoods programs and even more of zero tolerance strategies instead they have given rise to a long period of experimentation coinciding with the foot-patrol programs, community policing, problem-oriented policing, which although of little effectiveness or not giving the expected results (Jang et alii, 2008) are been superimposed by other applied models (“pulling levers” policing, third-party policing, hot spots policing, compstat and evidence-based policing) to prevent or counter crime. Especially after 11 September 2001 when answering citizens' security questions has become an absolute imperative. Rather than backing off, the many critical issues that emerged in recent years with respect to the different experiments in the USA have consolidated the search for new ways, testing the results of applying new strategies and enriching the correlation models between factors in order to provide more reliable answers (Taylor, 2001; Nixon 2005; Braga et alii, 2014). The insiders and scholars of the field are debating on the one hand, explaining the idea that good deterrence is built by pursuing both minor infringements and violent crimes, even if the approach to the type of crime present in a given area should be contextualized. Fear, disorder, crime development are however related to both minor infringements and violent crimes whose side effects they end up discouraging interest and participation in the defense of the community. On the other hand, how many believe that criminalizing incivilities and any form of soft crime is a mistake, a waste of resources and an ineffective way of to counteract the sense of insecurity of the community, even if collecting inadequate results on the crime front (Braga et alii, 2015). Even increasing the number of agents on the street or making the sentences harder and longer does not work effective deterrent effects towards those who choose the ways of crime (Paternoster, 2010).
The study behind XLAW® accounts for how the issue of urban safety, although it requires interventions integrated social, economic, redevelopment of public spaces, environmental design and incentives the participation of citizens in the care and defense of public affairs, is founded primarily on the application of territorial control strategies by the most organized law enforcement agencies. Reformulated on the basis of previous criminological analyzes capable of simulating future situations.
The Federico II University of Naples has accepted to collaborate on the project because a comparison has developed over the years tight on the use of operational and predictive security models and the XLAW® model, poses serious questions to contagion theory (which also includes illustrious thinkers: G. Le Bon; S. Freud; N. Smelser) and psychology of collective behavior whose results were then extended to the mathematical theory of diffusion of diseases used by epidemiologists to predict the course of infections within a population (N.T.J. Bayley, 1957).
The results that XLAW® produce are located exactly in that progressive itinerary that has shifted attention from irrational to rational and intentional processes studied in the context of transmission theories beliefs and information within the equity markets (A. Lynch 1998, 2000; R. J. Shiller 2000) and which are overwhelmingly revolutionizing new criminology by cross-checking, among other things, the results that derive from it from environmental design research and victimization research.
XLAW® must be taken seriously, the result of teamwork and institutional synergy that has crossed different knowledge, experiences and abilities whose results break one of the assumptions that go for some for the greater: building security by militarizing the territory. Nothing could be more false. The activity of Predictive urban security offers more effective results as research, technology and criminological reflexivity are combined.
In fact, XLAW® collects information based on a theoretical selective hypothetical construct which, while inspired rational models (integrates the theory of opportunities by P.M. Mayhew, R. Clarke et alii, 1976; D.B.'s rational choice theory Cornish and R.V. Clarke, 1986; the theory of criminal geometric spaces by P.J. Brantingham and P.L. Brantingham, 1991; routine activity theory By M. Felson and L. Cohen, 1979; crime mapping, the results of victimization), goes beyond both because it refutes, as anticipated, some aspects of the reaction-diffusion models of predatory crimes related to training of the hot spots and therefore to the displacement effect, both because it shows the temporal character - does not exclude it - relatively the reconstruction of the "hunting reserve". Which puts law enforcement in the condition to anticipate moves (prevention) disarticulating the conditions that originate the event. An evaluation selection, therefore, of the criminogenic factors that with high probabilities determine the cases, building a risk assessment model based on the logic of the use of "big data".
Situational prevention is enriched because the selection of information that the XLAW® model tends to incorporate does not care about reducing opportunities, but assumes that it is the hunting reserve (with its own characteristics) that must be modified and observed, awaiting its infungibility (or reconstruction of similar properties).
Is it transferable to other contexts?
It is transferable to other crimes (displacement other crime)?
The assumptions about seriality, specialization, modus operandi and defined victim typology they tell us it's possible. It is the challenge that should be accepted. Of course the operating method and the tenacity - uncommon - of those who conceived and promoted the project show how important it is the updating and specialization of local police forces should be appropriate, albeit by law enforcement agencies, stabilizing in courses of comparison with the academic world, the experts and those who experiment with new ones criminal analysis models or new territorial control strategies.
XLAW® moves the strategic construct of the control action from a restorative view of the damage to a probabilistic view of the risk. So from a "run-up" logic of the problems and the effects they generate (typical of the permanent emergency) to one who works on prevention schemes.
Such an operational proposal must be considered. Results are offered that return operational effectiveness, enhancement of human capital, new knowledge, savings on management costs, supplementary hypotheses for action with other law enforcement agencies. And it is no small thing!
- Prof. Giacomo Di Gennaro Department of Political Sciences Director of the II level Master Criminology and Criminal Law Criminal Analysis and Policies for the Urban Security Federico II University of Naples -
- Department of Public Security
Central Anti-Crime Directorate
- Police Department Napoli
- Police Department Salerno
- Police Department Prato
- Police Department Venezia
- Police Department Parma
- Police Department Modena
For evaluation and validation
- University Federico II
Department of Political Sciences
- University Parthenope
Department of Business and Economic Studies
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Michele Iasselli Avvocato, docente di logica ed informatica giuridica presso l’Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II. Docente a contratto di informatica giuridica presso LUISS - dipartimento di giurisprudenzaper ALTALEX (2018) XLAW: la polizia predittiva è realtà https://www.altalex.com/documents/news/2018/11/28/x-law-la-polizia-predittiva
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Roberto Tomas già magistrato minorile-docente di criminologia del Master di criminologia presso la Sapienza-Università di Roma per Polizia Penitenziaria (2019) L’algoritmo XLAW che prevede dove e quando sarà commesso un reato https://www.poliziapenitenziaria.it/lalgoritmo-xlaw-che-prevede-dove-e-quando-sara-commesso-un-reato/ o https://www.poliziapenitenziaria.it/la-criminalistica-e-lalgoritmo-xlaw-che-prevede-i-reati/
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Dal sito Polizia di Stato Modena https://questure.poliziadistato.it/it/Modena/articolo/11985c51a2f6283d9419790581
Dal sito Polizia di Stato Parma https://questure.poliziadistato.it/it/Parma/articolo/9705c78e0dc72025864615081
Dal sito Polizia di Stato Venezia https://questure.poliziadistato.it/it/Venezia/articolo/21495c78f156f095a768502689
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