ISLAND OF PONZA: TOURISM SERIES 2013 ITALY MAXIMUM CARD

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Item Id #: 10660

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Description

As part of the annual series promoting tourism, on 16 November 2013, Italy issued a 0.70 Euro postage stamp depicting a familiar view of PONZA , the largest of the Pontine Islands in the province of Latina – an attractive tourist destination of Central Italy.
Possibly, but not surely, named after Pontius Pilate, Ponza has a solid history going back to the Etruscan and the early Roman days well before the Christian Era. Scholars have suggested that the name originates from the Latin “Pontia” (Land of Bridges).
Ponza was used by the early Roman Emperors as a place to exile enemies or undesirable family members such as Agrippina the younger, Nero Caesar, and Julia Livilla. This tradition continued through the centuries well into the 19th and 20th century when the island was still used as a penal colony to confine prisoners and hot heads. Mussolini made ample use of Ponza to get rid of political opponents; ironically enough, in July-August 1943, after the fall of his regime, Mussolini was, for a while, confined in Ponza.
During the Middle Ages the island was abandoned due to repeated incursions of the Saracens and other pirates. This problem persisted later on, as the Turks became a scourge of the Mediterranean. In 1552 the Ottomans defeated the Spanish fleet near Ponza. The Turks continued to pester the archipelago and in 1655 they blasted the tower of the port of Ponza until it was completely demolished. During the 1760s the Spanish rule made a solid attempt to recolonize the island. After the Napoleonic era, in 1813 the British took over Ponza and after the 1815 treaties, the area was restored to the Bourbon- ruled Kingdom of Naples.
In modern times the island has attracted increasing numbers of tourists, including artists, actors, famous politicians and public figures. Great attractions include Ponza’s varied coastline, grottos, caves, rocky coves and sandy beaches. The island is not over developed and mass tourism has only started to make itself felt.
Pictured here is a limited edition Maximum Card created for the PONZA postage stamp which is cancelled by a pictorial first day of issue matching postmark.

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