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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pianosa Island
Native name: Isola di Pianosa
Costa occidentale Pianosa (LI).jpg
west coast, Pianosa
Tuscan archipelago.png
Location Tyrrhenian Sea
Archipelago Tuscan Archipelago
Area 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi)
Region Tuscany
Province Livorno
Commune Campo nell'Elba
Population (uninhabited)

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

The small island of Pianosa (about 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi) in area) forms part of Italy's Tuscan Archipelago. Its name expresses the idea of the Italian word pianura (plain): its highest point stands only about 22 m (72 ft) over sea-level. For administrative purposes, Pianosa forms part of the Elba island municipality. On clear days, Elbans can see Pianosa as a dark blue line over the lighter blue sea. Pianosa has no permanent residents, but was the site of a maximum-security prison (1858-1998) holding especially dangerous Mafia criminals.

The ancient Romans knew the island as Planasia. It became noted in history when the princeps Augustus banished his grandson and ex-heir Agrippa Postumus there in AD 6 or 7.[1] Postumus remained there until his execution around the time of the death of Augustus in 14.

Another, even smaller, island called Pianosa lies off the Adriatic coast of Italy, due north of Monte Gargano.

In popular culture

Joseph Heller's absurdist novel Catch-22 is set on a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber squadron base on Pianosa during World War II, but Heller conceded that he took some literary license in making Pianosa big enough for a major military complex. Heller's island also has a small community of Italian villagers, unlike the real island.




External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PIANOSA (anc. Planasia), an island of Italy, belonging to the province of Leghorn, and forming part of the commune of Marciana (Elba), from which it is 72 m. S.W. Pop. (1881), 774. As its name indicates, it is quite flat, and the highest point is only 95 ft. above sea-level. Its area is 6 sq. m. Augustus banished to it his grandson, Agrippa Postumus, and some ruins of baths near the harbour still bear his name. It changed hands more than once in the wars between Pisa and Genoa in the 12th and 13th centuries; from 1390 it belonged to the prince of Piombino, but was depopulated in 1553 by the Turkish fleet, and only resettled at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1857 a penal colony was established here.

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Simple English

LocationLigurian Sea

ArchipelagoTuscan Archipelago

Area10 km²

 (29 m)



Pianosa is a small (about 10 km2) island in Italy's Tuscan Archipelago. The name is derived from the Italian word "pianura" (plain) because its highest point is some 22 meters over sea level.Pianosa has no permanent residents. It is known in Italy for a maximum-security prison, where especially dangerous Mafia criminals are held. For administration,Pianosa is part of the Elba island municipality. On clear days, it can be seen from that island as a dark blue line over the lighter blue sea.

In the novel Catch-22, a U.S. Army Air Corps bomber squadron is based on the island during World War II,

There is another, even smaller island called Pianosa off the Adriatic coast of Italy.

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