Unlike the earlier trial, which ran from 1986 to 1992 and targeted a large number of Cosa Nostra families in Sicily, Wednesday's trial is aimed at just one group, the Mancuso family, which forms a powerful section of the sprawling 'Ndrangheta mafia
In Italy's biggest organised crime trial in decades, hundreds of alleged members of Italy's most powerful mafia group are set to face justice.
The 355 suspected mobsters and corrupt officials were charged following a long inquiry into the 'Ndrangheta group, reports the BBC.
More than 900 witnesses are expected to give evidence, and the charge sheet includes murder, drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering.
The trial begins on Wednesday and is expected to last more than two years.
It will take place in a specially modified building in the southern region of Calabria, which is at the heart of 'Ndrangheta territory.
The building, formerly a call centre in the town of in Lamezia Terme, has been converted into a fortified courtroom to make space for the hundreds of people likely to attend the proceedings. No mafia trial has been held in Italy on such a scale since the 1980s.
Unlike the earlier trial, which ran from 1986 to 1992 and targeted a large number of Cosa Nostra families in Sicily, Wednesday's trial is aimed at just one group, the Mancuso family, which forms a powerful section of the sprawling 'Ndrangheta mafia.
Although the 'Ndrangheta are now bigger than Cosa Nostra, the Mancuso clan are said to operate mostly in the Calabrian province of Vibo Valentia.
During a recent pre-trial hearing it took more than three hours to read the names of the defendants, AFP news agency reports. They include politicians, police officers, civil servants as well as alleged members and accomplices of the mob.