A German property agency specialising in islands is offering for sale most of the island of S. Stefano, one of the Pontine archipelago off the coast of Lazio in the Gulf of Gaeta, not to be confused with Porto S. Stefano in Tuscany. The asking price is around 20 million. The part of the island which is for sale, about 62 acres in all, belongs to a Neapolitan businessman who bought it about ten years ago for the equivalent of 260,000. The large horseshoe-shaped building on the island, which was constructed for the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV in 1795, was used as a prison until 1965. The dilapidated prison building, which belongs to the Italian state, is not for sale.
A few days before the sale announcement appeared on the internet, the Lazio regional government had approved plans to expropriate S. Stefano and turn it into a marine observation centre; the authority however is only able to offer about 2 million for the island.