Italy - Feature - The abandoned penitentiary of Santo Stefano Island
The island of Santo Stefano, in Italy, belonging to the Pontine Islands archipelago, have been for 170 years the seat of a penal colony, which lodged many prisoners, both illustrious and humble, but all victim of hardest conditions of detainment and often of violence, which brought some of them to the death.According to Ptolemy the island was named Parténope, while other names of the Roman age were Palmosa, Dommo Stephane and Borca, and the current name could be due to a monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen. The island was colonized many times, but at last it remained deserted for the raids of the Saracen pirates, which used it as a starting point for their incursions. In 18th century Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, the king of Naples, decided to repopulate the Pontines, including Santo Stefano, in the beginning, in 1768, with two hundred convicts who had the task to bu
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