Spatola was the fourth of six children raised in poverty on a small farm in north of Carrington. He was born in 1956 to Ludovico Spatola (1920-1972) and his wife (died in 1966). He turned to crime in his early teens. His first conviction was when he was 18, for stealing bread.
Spatola was involved with the local mafia. The police arested him in 1991 but found no evidense to detain him. He became dedicate to politcs and joined the CDU in 1994. He renounced ties with the mafia in 1994 and now is only affiliated with legal activites.