Prison in Santo Stefano

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jllaf
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Prison in Santo Stefano

Post by jllaf »

After finding a marriage document from 1861 for one of my ancestors in Naples I discovered that at the time my 2x-great grandfather Giovanni LaFianza was living on the island of Santo Stefano, near Ventotene. I have learned that Santo Stefano was strictly in use as a prison at that time, housing political prisoners of the most extreme kind. It was Italy's version of Alcatraz. How can I find out more information about him while on the island, or about anyone sent there?

He was born 10 May 1818 in Matera, but his family moved to Ferrandina, Basilicata, just a few years later, where he eventually married Maria Luigia Petraglia. They moved on to Naples where a daughter Carmela was married. I have done extensive research on this line of the family - I am only interested in his time on Santo Stefano. Many thanks in advance.

Thank you.
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Tessa78
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Re: Prison in Santo Stefano

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There is some information about the prison here:

http://www.italianways.com/il-carcere-di-santo-stefano/

Translation...
According to some, the prison of Santo Stefano, on the homonymous island of the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the coast of Lazio and Campania, has a horseshoe structure because in designing it the designer took into account the thought of the English philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham , the inventor of a new type of radiocentric prison, the "Panopticon", which had the goal of "gaining control of the mind over another mind".

When, theorizing, he spoke of "the basis of an ideal cone formed by the visual rays, having the eye of the spectator at the top", Bentham thought concretely of the eye of a jailer who was able at all times to keep all the inmates under his control , who instead would never have had the certainty of being looked at or not.

Built at the end of the seventeenth century at the behest of the Bourbon king Ferdinando IV, the prison of Santo Stefano hosted famous inmates, including the writer Luigi Settembrini, the brigand Carmine Crocco, the anarchist Gaetano Bresci and the bandit Sante Pollastri. During fascism, the future president of the Republic Sandro Pertini was also imprisoned.

The prison is no longer in use since 1965. Fortunately, here today there is no longer any convicted person. No one here is more forced to live between the dull oppression of closed walls and the distressing noise of the open sea, with its constant breath of freedom impossible to reach.
And here: (also in Italian)
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcere_di_Santo_Stefano

T.
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