The project was launched in 2016 by President Renzi with Minister Franceschini, in the presence of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande.
In 2017, the "Institutional Development Contract "was signed, which provides for the "reuse of the entire complex for primarily cultural and higher education purposes".
The project was launched in 2016 by the then Prime Minister Renzi with Minister Franceschini, in the presence of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande.
In 2017, the "Institutional Development Contract" was signed, which provides for the "reuse of the entire complex for primarily cultural and higher education purposes". In January 2020 the Decree of the President of the Republic appointed Silvia Costa Extraordinary Commissioner, with the new mandate the project was set in motion once again.
Vision and purposes
• Restore to collective memory the historical events and human experiences that have marked the 170 years of the Prison's life, highlighting topics such as the dignity of the person, human rights and freedom of thought, as well as the evolution of architecture, prison culture and the concept of punishment.
• Promote a “School of Higher Thoughts” (Eugenio Perucatti, former “enlightened” Director of the Prison) inspired by the values of the Italian and European Constitutions, for the future of Europe and the Mediterranean.
• Protecting and enhancing the cultural, natural landscape and environmental heritage in line with the European Green Deal.
• Promoting cultural and artistic production.
Urgent measures for securing the complex in the Panopticon
Safety and restoration works of the former prison
International design competition of the former
Historical research and networking of archives
Production of video testimonies
Production of cultural and artistic content
Partnerships and framework agreements with Eu/Med universities, cultural
and environmental research institutes
Media partnership with RAI
Workshop with the Community of Ventotene
Interactions with the Lazio Region
and the Government
Local entrepreneurship development support
- Relationships with associations
Bilateral agreements with the Administrations of the Permanent Institutional Table for projects on the island of Ventotene, with additional resources
Relationships with national, European and Mediterranean institutions
Features and activities
• Guided tours of the exhibition routes dedicated
- to the prison
- to the landscape and the sea
- to the restoration project and its progress
• Learning and Education
Integrated activities with the island of Ventotene in the cultural, scientific, artistic and environmental fields, in collaboration with Italian and European institutional and associative partners
• Artistic and cultural productions
• Workshops, events and exhibitions • Marine and bird observation points • Educational sites
From 2026, when activities will begin at full speed, a stable flow of visits to Santo Stefano coming exclusively from Ventotene with authorised boats is expected.
The number of visitors is limited to a maximum of 280 per day and the visiting period is set at 8 months per year, respecting the fragile environmental balance, the protection constraints and the marine weather conditions.