The EHL Site

Ventotene is an Italian municipality that governs two small islands, Ventotene and Santo Stefano. Both islands due to their small size and discrete distance from the Tyrrhenian coast have historically been used for Confino and Prison, respectively. Confino on Ventotene was used both in Roman times, when Emperor Augustus built a beautiful villa there and then confined his daughter Julia, and in the early 1990s, when Fascism confined intellectuals who opposed the regime there.

From both eras, Ventotene preserves the evidence that thus allows those who visit it to learn about history. But Ventotene was also structured by the Bourbons so that it could be populated. Ventotene retains a clear representation of Bourbon architecture that characterizes the small harbor and the village above, as well as the prison built in Santo Stefano, which was incredibly open until a few years ago.

European dimension

The beauty of the places, however, has inspired important thoughts for humanity, those, for example, that prompted people like Altiero Spinelli and Aldo Rossi to write the Manifesto for a Free and United Europe, now called as the Ventotene Manifesto.

Today, the island is part of a marine reserve and hosts an ornithological research center of primary importance precisely because it lies on the migration routes of birds that make long intercontinental journeys to nest.

The organization

The Ventotene EHL Site is managed by the Municipality of Ventotene.

The Municipality of Ventotene constitutes a symbolic place of Europe and for this reason, it hosts continuous initiatives that are inspired by and refer to it; this has allowed it to be rightly awarded the European Heritage Label. The beauty of its islands and the attention paid by the population in the field of environmental protection make it one of the most attractive and exclusive places in Europe.