Last keeper of Italy's orgy island dies

Zannone island near Rome was infamous for orgies in the 1960s.

The death has occurred of Salvatore Pagano, the last caretaker of Zannone, a small Italian island that was once a decadent destination for the rich and famous.

Part of the cluster of Pontine Islands located off the coast between Rome and Naples, Zannone was leased from the Italian state by an eccentric Roman aristocrat and his actress wife in the 1960s.

Pagano, who died aged 86 in nearby Gaeta, was employed in 1964 as the island's caretaker by Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino - known to his friends as Camillino - and his wife Anna Fallarino - who presided over Zannone.

Anna Fallarino and Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa

Pagano was responsible for welcoming the steady flow of uninhibited visitors - which included celebrities, billionaires and members of Italian nobility - as well as taking care of the villa and feeding the island's mouflon wild sheep which were hunted for sport.

The couple's villa, situated on the summit of the rugged 'red-light' island, was the scene of heavy drinking and wild parties, with orgies also taking place in surrounding bushes and on the beach below.

The villa allegedly had a 'hidden mirror room' where the marquis could spy on sex sessions, many of them involving his wife, who enjoyed swimming naked with guests.

However, on 30 August 1970, the parties at Zannone came to an abrupt and tragic end when the marquis - enraged with jealousy over his wife's young lover, student Massimo Minorenti - shot them both dead before turning his rifle on himself.

The double murder-suicide, which occurred in the couple's apartment on Via Puccini in Rome, brought to light the goings-on at Zannone, following the discovery of the Marquis' secret diary and a locked drawer of 1,500 'indecent' photographs of Fallarino.

Pagano, who took many of the island's secrets to his deathbed, was devastated by the tragic events, recalls his nephew who told La Repubblica newspaper recently: "My uncle took that story very badly. He had a real friendship with the Marquis, who treated him as one of the family".

Following the tragedy, the villa slowly fell into ruin and Zannone was once again only inhabited by the mouflon. In 1970, the island became part of the Circeo National Park.

Cover photo courtesy Parco Circeo - Marco Buonocore.

 

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Last keeper of Italy's orgy island dies

Zannone, Italy