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Coordinates: 42°35′N 10°05′E / 42.583°N 10.083°E / 42.583; 10.083

Pianosa
Pianosa
Island

Native name: Isola di Pianosa

Forte Teglia, Isola di Pianosa

Pianosa
Pianosa
Island

Geography

Location Tyrrhenian Sea

Archipelago Tuscan Archipelago

Area 10.25 km2 (3.96 sq mi)

Length 5.8 km (3.6 mi)

Width 4.8 km (2.98 mi)

Coastline 22 km (13.7 mi)

Highest elevation 29 m (95 ft)

Administration

Italy

Region Tuscany

Province Livorno

Commune Campo nell'Elba

Capital city Pianosa

Demographics

Population 10 (2001)

Pop. density 1 /km2 (3 /sq mi)

The small island of Pianosa
Pianosa
(Italian pronunciation: [pjaˈnoːza]), about 10.25 km2 (3.96 sq mi) in area, has a coastal perimeter of 26 km (16 mi) and forms part of Italy's Tuscan Archipelago
Tuscan Archipelago
in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Flora 3 Fauna 4 History 5 Penal colony 6 Marine protected area 7 Geographical landmarks 8 In popular culture 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Geography[edit] In Roman times the island was named Planasia (plain) because of its flatness – its highest point stands at 29 m (95 ft) above sea level. It is a triangular-shaped land mass 14 km (9 mi) south west of Elba, and is a frazione of the municipality of Campo nell'Elba. Pianosa
Pianosa
is the fifth biggest island of the Tuscan Archipelago and the only one to be formed out of sedimentary rock of the Neogene
Neogene
and Quaternary; such fossils as echinoderms, mollusca and bryozoa of the Pliocene
Pliocene
are frequently found. [1] Flora[edit] The vegetation consists mainly of Mediterranean species as lentisco, fennel, juniperus, rosemary and pinus halepensis, which was introduced on the island in the 1900s. Fauna[edit] The animals living on the island are largely small mammals, such as hedgehog and hare, introduced in the 1800s, as well as the pheasant and the red-legged partridge; the magpie and the Audouin's gull
Audouin's gull
nest along the coast and are protected by the National Park. The island is a stopping place for migrating birds in their seasonal passage from North to South. The sea around Pianosa
Pianosa
is rich in fish because the coast was unapproachable for a long time, while today National Park regulations forbid fishing. grouper, dory, dentex, moray, crawfish and many other species of fish inhabit the seas around the island. [2] History[edit] The island was first inhabited in the Upper Palaeolithic, the Later Stone Age, but when in 5000 BC the sea level augmented and reached the current, the few inhabitants took refuge on the nearby Scola islet where traces of their stay were found. Fishing tools and ceramic of the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
were found as well as artefacts in quartz and flint probably coming from Elba.[3] The ancient Romans' Planasia had buildings and was extensively cultivated. It became noted in history when the princeps Augustus
Augustus
banished his grandson and former designated heir Agrippa Postumus
Agrippa Postumus
there in 6 or 7 AD. [4] Postumus remained there until his murder by an assassin sent by Tiberius, around the death of Augustus
Augustus
in 14 AD. Postumus lived in Pianosa
Pianosa
at Villa Agrippa which was discovered by abbot Gaetano Chierici in the second part of 1800s and included a theatre, a thermal bath (Bagni di Agrippa), and a Roman villa with black and white mosaic floors with marine mythological decorations.[5] In the 4th century a small Christian community lived in Pianosa
Pianosa
and left traces of their presence in since excavated catacombs. These are on two levels and are the largest north of Rome; 700 catacombs were discovered, indicating a fair number of residents.

Forte del Marchese

Pisa had the island in custody after the victory in a naval battle in those waters occurred in 874. In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
the island's ownership was disputed by Pisa and Genoa because of its strategic position. In 1238 Genoa sent troops on the island supposing the inhabitants exercised the piracy; destroyed the village and the fortifications built by the Pisans and made prisoners the 150 inhabitants. Pianosa
Pianosa
returned shortly after to Pisa, but Genoa had the supremacy of the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
after the Battle of Meloria. The island returned to Pisan control under an agreement that required the Pisans leave it uncultivated and uninhabited, but the pact was not honoured. The Appiano family, who ruled Pisa, gave the island on rent to the family De Leis then to the Landi in 1344. The Appiano sold Pisa to Gian Galeazzo Visconti
Gian Galeazzo Visconti
in 1399 and established the small Principality
Principality
of Piombino
Piombino
which included Suvereto, Scarlino, Vignale, Populonia
Populonia
and the islands of Elba, Montecristo
Montecristo
and Pianosa. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Spain on August 15, 1552 consigned to Cosimo I de' Medici the Principality
Principality
of Piombino
Piombino
in exchange of a loan of 200,000 scudi. [6] Pianosa
Pianosa
underwent numerous incursions by pirates but the worst of all was that took place in 1553 by a French Turkish fleet commanded by Dragut
Dragut
who wiped out the population, from then on the island changed several times of ownership and was populated only seasonally from farmers coming from Elba
Elba
to cultivate. On 27 August 1802 Napoleon established that Elba, Capraia, Gorgona, Pianosa, Palmaiola
Palmaiola
and Montecristo
Montecristo
were part of the French territory and in 1805 assigned to his sister Elisa Bonaparte
Elisa Bonaparte
the region of Piombino, Elba
Elba
and Pianosa that was fortified. On April 9, 1809 the Archipelago returned to Tuscany, which was ruled by the French; on 10 May British marines and sailors from HMS Seahorse and HMS Halcyon landed on Pianosa
Pianosa
and Gianuti. The landing parties destroyed the forts and captured about 100 prisoners during four hours of fighting. British losses were one marine killed and one wounded.[7] The landing party also sent the farmers back to Elba
Elba
and left the island a desert. Napoleon
Napoleon
went to Pianosa
Pianosa
from Elba
Elba
twice, rebuilt the tower, emplaced a garrison to defend the island, and built some houses to settle farmers. The Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
assigned Elba
Elba
and the Tuscan Archipelago
Tuscan Archipelago
to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Although 18th century documents report that it was once densely wooded, humans and the animals they brought have destroyed the trees on the island, which is now largely grassland except some coastal area. [8] Penal colony[edit]

Palazzo della Specola

In 1856, Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Tuscany
established a penal colony in Pianosa
Pianosa
because it was considered a perfect place to isolate, segregate, and oversee detainees; at the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
in 1861, there were 149 prisoners on the island. In 1864 a structure able to contain 350 prisoners was built, but in 1872 the island was divided into numerous farms organizing the inmates as small communities; in 1880 there were 960 detainees. The captives cultivated cereals, produced oil and wine as Sangiovese
Sangiovese
and Procanico, there were poultry, pigs, and cattle farms. From 1884 until 1965, because of its dry climate, Pianosa
Pianosa
hosted convicts from all over Italy
Italy
who had been affected by tuberculosis. At the beginning of the 1900s, the population on the island was 21 civilians, 80 prison guards, 40 soldiers, and 800 prisoners. The former President of the Republic of Italy
Italy
Sandro Pertini
Sandro Pertini
became an inmate in 1932 for political reasons. During World War II, on 17 September 1943, Germans troops invaded Pianosa
Pianosa
and occupied it; on 19 March 1944 French commandos landed on the island, and after a short firefight left again, taking away 40 prison guards as hostages; the following month an allied bomber attacked the island, killing six people. [9] In the post war period the colony returned to its original role. A Carabinieri
Carabinieri
station was established, as was a detachment of Guardia di Finanza, and houses were built to accommodate the families of the soldiers. In the 1970s, on order of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, the former sanatorium named Agrippa Branch, was transformed into a maximum security prison to confine Mafia bosses and terrorists of the Red Brigades, such as Giovanni Senzani, Renato Curcio, Alberto Franceschini, and Bruno Seghetti. Under the article 41-bis prison regime, in May 1977 aircraft and helicopters transferred 600 convicts from all over Italy
Italy
to Pianosa
Pianosa
in only two days.[10] A reinforced concrete wall, six meters high and 3 km (2 mi) long, was built in 1979 to separate the village from the penitentiary. The killing of the judges Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone
and Paolo Borsellino
Paolo Borsellino
in 1992 led to the reopening of the Agrippa Branch under the 41-bis regime and during the night of July 20, fifty five Mafia bosses incarcerated at Palermo
Palermo
Ucciardone prison, among them Michele Greco, were transferred by military transport aircraft to Pisa Airport
Pisa Airport
and then to Pianosa
Pianosa
by helicopter. [11] The island became an impenetrable and inapproachable fortress until 17 July 1997, when Gaetano Murana, the last 41-bis prison regime detainee, was transferred to another prison; up to this date Pianosa had hosted Mafia bosses such as Pippo Calò, Nitto Santapaola
Nitto Santapaola
and Giovanni Brusca and had become well known for the brutality inflicted on the prisoners. [12] The Prodi government decided to close the penitentiary permanently on 28 June 1998. Pianosa
Pianosa
was evacuated in a single day by the remaining detainees and residents, and only a few guards remained on the island for surveillance. [13][14] Marine protected area[edit]

West coast

Pianosa
Pianosa
is part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, which has been a marine protected area since 1996 in order to preserve its archaeological and environmental heritage, until now saved because of its inaccessibility to tourism. The island may be visited daily by 250 tourists but fishing, diving, or anchoring are not allowed without a special authorization. During the summer season Pianosa
Pianosa
is connected once a week by Toremar
Toremar
from Rio Marina
Rio Marina
and Piombino,[15] from San Vincenzo by Aquavision twice a week and daily from Marina di Campo.[16] It is possible visit the island only with organized excursions or trekking by bicycle escorted by Park guides.

Geographical landmarks[edit]

Bagni di Agrippa Cala dell’Alga Cala Giovanna Cala dei Turchi Cala San Giovanni Cala di Biagio Cala del Bruciato Cala della Ruta Golfo della Botte

Porto Romano Punta del Marchese Punta del Grottone Punta Secca Punta Brigantina Punta del Segnale Punta del Libeccio Punta del Pulpito

In popular culture[edit] Joseph Heller's absurdist anti-war novel Catch-22
Catch-22
is set on a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber squadron base on Pianosa
Pianosa
during World War II. Heller notes in the introduction that Pianosa
Pianosa
is obviously too small to "accommodate all the actions described." Heller's Pianosa
Pianosa
has a small community of Italian villagers, unlike the real island. "From early May 1944 until December 1944 [Heller] was stationed on the island of Corsica where he flew sixty combat missions in B-25 'Mitchell' bombers with the 488th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, 57th Bombardment Wing, 12th Air Force."[17] See also[edit]

Tuscan Archipelago Pianosa
Pianosa
Lighthouse Battle of Pianosa

References[edit]

^ Italian Paleontological Society ^ Archipelago Toscano National Park ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Tacitus Annals Book 1.3 ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 22, p.255. ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Insorgenze.net ^ Corriere della Sera ^ La Repubblica ^ Corriere della Sera ^ Associazione Pianosa ^ Toremar ^ Aquavision ^ Scoggins, Michael C. Joseph Heller’s Combat Experiences in Catch-22
Catch-22
War, Literature & the Arts Journal

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Isola di Pianosa.

Arcipelago Toscano National Park

Italy
Italy
portal Geog

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