While there are some really great Loot items dropping from fights (known as Fight Loot), some of the *best* items you can obtain in Mafia Wars now are in your Italy Village Port. Each time you upgrade your Port, from levels I through X, a new item becomes available.
Starting at Level IV, certain Port Loot items have both amazing stats AND permanent boosts for Energy, Stamina, Attack, Defense, or Health.
The Port uses the four basic Italy upgrade parts: Marble Slabs, Italian Hardwood, Terracotta Tiles, and Stone Columns. There is no "unique" part needed to upgrade your Port as there is with your other Village Properties.
My strategy was to use all of my Italy upgrade parts to develop my Port to Level X, leaving the other five Village properties at Level I. I was able to accomplish it quickly by combining the Double Free Gift Trick with the Terracotta Tiles & Stone Columns Trick. If you're not using both of these tricks in Italy, you should be. No need to grovel for upgrade parts!
But at first, with a Level X Port and Level I Villa, Winery, Fishery, Auto Boutique, and Football Stadium, my Italy Village looked like a ghost town with a bustling Port:
That's fine, because the Port is where you can buy the best Loot in the game (without spending 35 Reward Points a pop). You use Lira, which I find plentiful from the jobs in Italy Regions 1-5. As you develop your other Village properties, you'll have even more Lira.
The twist with purchasing Port Loot is that you can only buy one item per day (well, sort of...). You can see the timer and green meter showing you how close you are to purchase time, and you'll see this symbol bouncing up and down about your Port when you can purchase Loot there.
Without the once-per day limit, players could amass Lira and skyrocket their stats with the items at the top Port levels, reviewed below. If you just can't wait, or win 35,000 RPs on the Lucky Stash jackpot, you can get more than one Port Loot item per day by using Reward Points. This concept already exists in the Chop Shop, Weapons Depot, and the Armory: .
It costs 16 RPs to buy an item immediately after your 24-hour countdown starts, and 1 RP to buy it when you're in the final hour - just in case you can't wait. The RP cost decreases (and your green meter goes up) as you get closer to the full 24 hours.
Now let's see these much-heralded Port Loot items!
The items at Levels I and II are not much to brag about - the Escalation (47/37 Weapon) and Officer's Jacket (48/40 Armor) probably won't make your top-501 at this point. Save your money and wait to get to Level III.
The rest of the items ARE worth bragging about:
52A/24D -- 76 points
Better on attack than your Chain Viper (46, Bangkok) or Bark Scorpion (50, Las Vegas).
35A/55D -- 90 points
Don't confuse this impressive car with the Conchiglie pasta dish from the Silence Don Romo Collection. The Conchiglia has the same 55 Defense as the Goldsmobile (Las Vegas), but more total points. The Extended Cab 640 (Armory) also has 55 Defense, but 108 points and a +3 Skill Point boost.
Either way, for Defense, the Conchiglia puts the Mojave Mike (53, Las Vegas), Ruby Red (52, Fight Loot), Luxury Sailboat (51, Italy), and Mugati Sport (51, Chop Shop) in its rear-view mirror.
57A/40D -- 97 points
+1 Stamina Boost
After you buy one Coccodrillo for the thrill of it as your Port reaches Level V, hold off on buying more. The Coccodrillo only tops the Diamondback (Las Vegas) by 1 Attack but has 11 fewer total points. The best Port Loot Animal is coming up shortly...
*Un Tuono* (Weapon)
60A/49D -- 109 points
A solid Weapon on both Attack and Defense that will make the Artcurian Assault Rifle (Las Vegas) obsolete upon arrival.
*Water Truck* (Vehicle)
45A/64D -- 109 points
+5 Health Boost
A very nice Vehicle here, especially with the +5 Health Boost (the biggest boost of all the Port Loot). On Defense, the Water Truck outpaces the Foo Fighter (60, Area 51) - as well as on total points.
66A/52D -- 118 points
This is a strong Armor piece on Attack and Defense, although it lacks a stat boost. On attack, it beats out the hard-to-find Corpo Armatura (63, Napoli).
68A/55D -- 123 points
The Bolla is easily my favorite Port Loot item. It blows away most other Animals on Attack and many on Defense as well.
The Bolla's 68 Attack tops the Galapagos Hawk (64, Declare War), Turkey Vulture (62, Missions), Meadow Viper (62, Napoli), and Diamondback (56, Las Vegas) on Attack. Only the Nyala (65, Fight Loot), Bighorn (64, Hoover Dam), and Barracuda (Missions) have better Defense.
23A/71D -- 94 points
A somewhat underwhelming choice as the top Port Loot item in terms of total points, but the Fanteria's 71 defense makes it the top collectible defensive stat Weapon in Mafia Wars, replacing the Death Dealer Minigun (64D, Missions) and Range Finder Rifle (54D, Las Vegas)
More good news on Port Loot: The top items co-exist nicely with the top Fight Loot so you're not collecting two items in the same Loot class that echo each other with top Attack or Defense stats.
For example, the Phantasm - the top Fight Loot Vehicle - has 67 Attack, while Port Loot features the Water Truck with 64 Defense. The Fight Loot/Port Loot pairings continue with the Ottoman Krug (64 Defense)/Antiproiettil (66 Attack), the M45 Overcast (66 Attack)/Fanteria (71 Defense); and the Nyala (65 Defense)/Bolla (68 Attack)
Make sure you pick up a piece of Port Loot once a day - your overall Attack and Defense stats will soar as you replace lower-stat items in your top-501, and the boosts will let your indivdual stats to trickle upwards towards stardom.
Update: On November 10, Mafia Wars added 9 new items to be purchased in the Port... stay tuned for Part II of this post...