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La Storia


The name of the island Lampedusa uncertain origin. Probably derives from the effect that they had frequent lightning storms in the Mediterranean which illuminates the island, made ​​it visible from afar to mariners of the sea. It has a great archaeological and artistic heritage, as some remains of Neolithic hut, which they concluded that the island was visited since prehistoric times, probably due to its geographical position, situated in the middle of the Mediterranean. Coins, lamps, vases, water cisterns, tombs, attest with certainty but the presence of Roman settlements that at the time of the Punic Wars they used the island as a strategic point for expeditions against Carthage. But not only that, for millennia Lampedusa was a stopping place for ships of the Phoenicians, Greeks, the Saracens. Despite these many testimonies ancient history of Lampedusa, if you can call it, is rather small, "often intertwined events between reality and myth", and can be reconstructed only by following a chronological order of events.


For nearly six centuries that the expulsion of the Saracens in 813 AD there were not news, it was not until 1430 when Alfonso V of Aragon, the first king of Naples, granted it to John De Caro, valet of the king, all the powers of the island. In 1551 Admiral Andrea Doria, at the head of the fleet of Charles V , stopped in Lampedusa to the return of a company against the pirates in Tunisia Mekdia destroying the stronghold. At that time the crew remained on the island, which ended up being hunted and enslaved by them in 1553 Tunisian pirates fought before. In 1630 Charles II of Spain granted the island to Giulio Tomasi property earning the title of Prince of Lampedusa. In 1784 the inhabitants were suffering from a terrible plague probably imported from Libya, or from the landings of the galleys of Malta; of what he was witness to the discovery of an inscription in which you could read the inscription: "Here is found a corpse in the dead of the plague June 1784 ". In 1800 Malta also took over ownership and management of the island, when the princes of Lampedusa granted a part of the land to a group of farmers of the Maltese family GATT., Which in turn, a few years later, he granted a portion of all 'English Alexander Fernandez, who was soon installed a colony of 300 people by building a long wall on the west zone that divided the island into two parts. Since then began the deforestation of the land that until then among dense undergrowth and tall trees, were inhabited only by wild boars, deer, hares, rabbits, making way for the cultivation farm.


"Old port"

In this period the four towers were built on the promontory of the ancient port. Shortly after the relationship between the Tomasi di Lampedusa, Malta and the descendants of the British broke down resulting in the purchase of the whole island from the king of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand II, at a price of 12,000 ducats, following an application of the principles of Tomasi sell to the British.


In September 1843 began the first colonization of the island, that is when the Knight Sanvisente Bernard Mary under the title of governor landed on the island under the orders of King Ferdinand II and the guidance of 120 persons including 90 men and 30 women with 'position to make the land arable. The Sanvisente been built seven palaces with ten apartments and then another ten for the inhabitants, but also roads, oil mills, pasta factories, warehouses for food, health offices, military, customs, cemeteries, etc. ... in short, gave an impetus to a period of prosperity, especially for fishing for sardines and sardinella, since the peak in 1858 when many of Lampedusa built new boats, warehouses and equipment. In 1860 it fell to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Kingdom of Italy was born as Lampedusa and pelagie became Italian. In 1872 the Italian government decided to convert Lampedusa penal colony by planting a colony of convicts. In the same year he was made ​​a royal commissioner with a mandate to revoke all grants of lands to settlers depriving the island of the few crops now, and this caused great discontent among the population that will soon be soothed by the birth of the first fixed link with Sicily.


"First town"

Lampedusa in 1878 was elevated to the rank of common Linosa, was transformed into a military stronghold for its exceptional strategic position and telegraph cables were built with the mainland. In 1951 a power plant was installed in 1968 and created the new civil airport has a single runway, so Lampedusa finally had a chance to communicate with the rest of the world in all respects.