Repubblica Italiana

From the Territories 18 Jan 22

Municipality of Ventotene

We publish the speech by Gerardo Santomauro, Mayor of Ventotene, in Lazio, where the free hotspots have been activated and in addition to the Municipalities that have joined the WiFi Italia Project.

We enthusiastically joined the Wifi Italia project, Ventotene is part of the Pontine Islands Archipelago. The island, of volcanic origin, with reddish and brown lands, covered by low vegetation and prickly pears, already offers the unmistakable flavor of "antiquity" at the first impact. The promontory with its sparse and unmistakable tufaceous mass, called Punta Eolo, is a reference to the mythical God of the wind, whose presence you will certainly and widely be aware of during your stay on the island): the remains are scattered above it. of an imposing Roman villa to which tradition has attributed the emblematic name of "Villa Giulia", in memory of the daughter of the Emperor Augustus who stayed there in exile. But the most singular surprise will come as soon as you walk ten meters from the quay of the pier, with the extraordinary spectacle of the ancient port of Ventotene, entirely carved into the rocky bank.

For Ventotene the presence of protohistoric material is ascertained, found about forty years ago in a piece of land between the cemetery and the western slope of the island. These were finds, mostly reduced to ceramic frustules, relating to the Bronze Age (16th-17th century BC). Also in ancient times the island of Ventotene is now called Pandataria, now Pandotira. Only starting from the Middle Ages did the phenomenon of the progressive lexical deformation of the original name of the island, called at the time Bentetien, then Ventutena, take shape, until finally arriving from Ventotiene to the current name "Ventotene", which most likely derives from the term " wind". After a long period of silence throughout the Republican age, during which the island evidently suffers from the greater exploitation of Ponza, Ventotene comes to the fore in the news starting from the end of the 1st century. B.C. with its designation as a place of exile, for dissolute life, of members of the imperial family. Giulia had the sad fate of inaugurating the series of illustrious guests of the Pontine archipelago, we know that in 2 BC. the daughter of Augustus was relegated to Ventotene for violation of the lex iulia on public morality, issued by Augustus in 18 BC.

With the Bourbons, the conditions were created for a new urbanization of Ventotene, the second after the Roman one. If the Roman period structures were too large and extensive to be completely erased, the same cannot be said for the sporadic testimonies of the following centuries, which were therefore swept away or totally replaced.

The ancient seaside village, the church of S. Candida, the Forte Torre and the majestic prison on the islet of S. Stefano are the most important Bourbon monuments in Ventotene. "