The Isole Tremiti are an archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, north of the Gargano Peninsula. They constitute a comune of Italys Province of Foggia and form part of the Gargano national park, the name of the islands relates to their seismic hazard, with a history of earthquakes in the area, tremiti means tremors. The islands were used for the internment of political prisoners during Benito Mussolinis Fascist regime and this was nothing new, two millennia earlier Augustus had exiled his granddaughter Julia the Younger to one of these islands. The islands are now an important tourist attraction because of the waters surrounding them. Up to 100,000 visitors come to the islands in the summer season, ferry services from the mainland operate from Termoli, Vieste, Rodi Garganico and Capoiale, while Alidaunia offers flights from San Domino Heliport to Foggia and Vieste. San Domino is the most developed island for tourism and has the only beach in the archipelago. San Nicola is where most of the population resides and it is the site of a monastery where a monk named Nicolò was buried. Legend has it every time someone tried to move his corpse off the island. Cretaccio is a block of clay and thus uninhabited. Pianosa is a small, uninhabited island and its maximum elevation is 15 metres. Sometimes, during storms, the cover it. Inhabited since late Iron Age times, the Tremiti Island have been a confinement place since ancient times, roman emperor Augustus had his granddaughter Julia the Younger transferred here, where she died after 20 years. In the Middle Ages the archipelago was ruled by the Abbey of Santa Maria a Mare at San Nicola island, in the 13th century the abbey had gained its autonomy from the father monastery, and owned lands from the Biferno to Trani on the Apulian mainland. After an alleged period of decadence, in 1237 the Benedictines were replaced by the Cistercian order. In 1334 the abbey was sacked by Dalmatian pirates from Omiš, in 1412 the Lateran Canons took ownership of the islands, and restored the abbey with cisterns and fortifications which withstood the assault of Ottoman ships in 1567. The abbey was suppressed in 1783 by King Ferdinand IV of Naples, during the Napoleonic age the islands were a stronghold of Joachim Murats supporters, who resisted a British fleet in 1809. In 1843, to repopulate the islands, King Ferdinand II of Two Sicilies moved a number of people from Naples slums to the islands, in 1911, about 1,300 Libyans who had resisted Italian colonial rule were confined to Tremiti. After a year, around one-third of them had died, mainly from typhus, during the Fascist era, the archipelago continued to perform its function of confinement, detaining, among others, Amerigo Dumini, and future president of the Republic, Sandro Pertini
A view of San Nicola island from the nearby San Domino island, with the Abbey of Santa Maria a Mare fortified complex.
Image: Isole Tremiti Stemma
Image: Map of comune of Isole Tremiti (province of Foggia, region Apulia, Italy)