Protected from the prison for 142 years , first penal settlement, and high security prison up today. The island is flat but also a unique resource: meadows of Poseidonia, a real “ nursery” of the ichthyic fauna of the high Tyrrhenian sea , the most important catacombs to the north of Rome, the roman villa of Agrippa, the sanatorium of Punta Marchese where also Sandro Pertini was banished, a rich fauna and flora with many rarities due also to the isolated evolution and to an extraordinary migratory flow. The prison moreover, with its potentials, is a modern monument of the history of our land which goes from the robbers of the Maremma to the Austrian prisoners and includes the years of the terrorism and the slaughters of the Mafia. The wall which splits the island , was built in the 1978 and it is a historic proof too. Unfortunately in the closed area there are the bays and the most beautiful cliffs of the all Tuscan archipelago. Pianosa is the only Tuscan island composed of sedimentary rocks. Thanks to its calcareous nature and to its level ground it has been cultivated since the ancient times.
It belonged to the Romans and Augustus banished there his nephew Postumio Marco Giulio Agrippa who was killed . In the cave of S. Giovanni you can see still today the ruins of Agrippa’s villa . All the island gives hospitality to the goal and therefore it is a closed place where you can get ashore only with the permission of the Ministry of the Interior or for well grounded reasons due to the navigations as damage to ship or rough sea. Its population is only made of convicts and guards. The island in spite of its rough and rugged coastline changes gradually its landscape into a quite and flat ground: cactus, olive-trees, agave, mild climate, corn and barley fields. The depths of Pianosa are shallow and deepen gently, the bathymetry of minus 50 is reached on average at about 1500m from the coast.
The island is included in the national park of the Tuscan archipelago. The navigation and the fishing are not allowed within the radius of 1 mile. The admission is referred to a permission issued by the direction of the park.