Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gorgona

Gorgona island seen from a ferry
[Photos by Stefano]
My friend Stefano went for work to the island of Capraia and when the ferry, coming back, touched the island of Gorgona, he was able to take some shots of a part of Livorno I have never visited. The island is still a penal colony and access is restricted.Gorgona island seen from a ferryThe “Torre Nuova” (New Tower), recently restored, was built by the Medicis at the end of the 17th century to defend the island only landing.Gorgona island seen from a ferryThis is the village where the few Gorgonesi live. The white strip on the left is part of the small marina, guarded by a tower, where the motor boats of the Penitentiary Police dock.
On the left you can see the church of Saint Gorgonio, rebuilt in 1723 to replace an older one destroyed in the 15th century. The large yellow building in the middle is used as police officers' living quarters.Gorgona island seen from a ferryA close up of the small beach from where a stair lead to the rest of the village. On the left the moored motor boat of the police.Gorgona island seen from a ferryThis is “Cala Martina” (Martina Cove), where some inmates work at the desalination plant and at the power generators.

See also: Island Prison - Man & Boat - Lisbon Express

30 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

Very interesting, I like the photos.

Jacob said...

Fascinating. It's probably a good thing that you've never been "asked" to visit the island of Gorgona!

Stine in Ontario said...

The penal colony doesn't look anything like the prisons...but wait! What DO the prisons HERE look like? I really don't know! Well, the penal colony doesn't look like what I imagine prisons look like here. :)

brattcat said...

Wow, what an amazing series of images. How lucky we are to see this. Thank you.

Dina said...

When I hear penal colony, I think Australia. But you have one too?
It is all quite sad.

Jilly said...

How fascinating and how charming it all looks but perhaps it isn't when we hear the word penal colony. Amazing to think such a thing still exists.

Small City Scenes said...

Very interesting. A penal colony huh? So many prisons are built on islands for good reason I suppose---no break-outs.
great pictures too. Imagine buildings built when America was a colony itself and before too. MB

Saretta said...

That's very interesting, kind of like Alcatraz.

joo said...

I haven't realised that penal colonies still exist in Europe! Looks really interesting. Nice images, by the way:)

Eleonora said...

For unexplained reasons, I have always been attracted to jailhouses, penal colonies and the scariness of prisons. A morbid side of me I can't quite pinpoint.

I must make a trip to this mysterious island and see what vibe I pick up there...

Lovely images!

Cezar and Léia said...

Very very interesting my friend!
Thanks for this opportunity to see the island.I think it would be a place that I wouldn't like to visit LOL
Léia :)

Leif Hagen said...

Some great photos! Looks like a MUCH nicer place to go as a prisoner than most of our jails over here! Especially with the ocean view!

B SQUARED said...

I wouldn't get too close to that place. I've seen too many movies to know better.

Lois said...

What interesting pictures! It looks so isolated. I'm not sure I would want to work there!

Ilse said...

Amazing! A penal colony founded by the Medici! Now that's a place I'd like to visit. Must be very interesting. I suppose the prison is the major source of employment on the island.

merrytait said...

OOOOh, this is VERY PRETTY! What a nice place, wonderfully captures.

amatamari© said...

Absolutely fantastic: thanks for the wonderful shots!

Halcyon said...

It looks pretty nice for a prison island. I feel special to get the inside scoop!

Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Very interesting, and the photos are fascinating! I read the wikipedia article, too, it says a few fishing families still remain in the village although the government has tried to get them to leave. I wonder what they were defending the island against in the 1700s?

Thank you for the tour of an area not usually seen.
Three Rivers Daily Photo

cieldequimper said...

So inmate's families have to take the boat to visit them?

Great shots Stefano, I love the ruggedness of the coast and the matching stones.

Per Stromsjo said...

Seems a bit archaic, why not find a better use for this island?

Hilda said...

Absolutely fascinating. And so old too. Please thank Stefano for us.

I don't think I'd want to live in a small village with just police officers and prisoners as my neighbors. Sounds like a tough life.

Tinsie said...

Looks like an interesting place :-)

Rob and Mandy said...

I'd love to visit this place, for a day, not 20 years! Straight out of the 16th or 17th century. I absolutely love this kind of places, literally out of this world.

Steffe said...

I totally agree with Jacob!

Paula said...

How interesting that it's used as a prison. Tell you friend thanks for the photos.

Andreea said...

So Livorno has its own Alcatraz! Did someone ever escape from Gorgona? It looks quite picturesque seen from a distance, I wouldn't have guessed it houses a penitentiary.

JM said...

The village is so pretty! Love the little beach and the houses so close to the water.

Kate said...

The photos of the village are remarkably picturesque. What a delightful peek you provided for us!

Gena D said...

What an awesome catch .... this looks like an exquisite palce to explore .... really appeals to my sense of adventure .....
Gena @ Thinking Aloud
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