The Forbidden Atoll

With emerald-green waters, blue skies and and a rugged empty landscape, Zannone has everything you'd expect from a near-deserted Italian island. It also has a reputation for something rather more unexpected: Orgies.

"See that white colonial villa up high there?" says former fisherman Giorgio Aniello as he points a rough finger at a clifftop villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. "That's where the Marquis Casati Stampa held lavish sex parties." Aniello is a regular visitor to Zannone, taking tourists on boat trips to the wildest atoll among the Pontine archipelago off the west coast of Italy. The big attraction, aside from the island's natural beauty, is its dark, sexy past, most of which centers around the Marquis and his wife Anna Fallarino, a former actress.

"He was a lewd man, a voyeur who liked to watch and photograph his starlet wife get kinky having sex with with other younger guys," Aniello adds, enjoying spinning R-rated tales as he navigates a maze of reddish-yellow cliffs, old stone fisheries and sea stacks. During the 1960s, Zannone -- meaning "big fang" in Italian -- was a secret vacation retreat that the chic and sexually adventurous aristocratic couple had rented from the state. "The nobleman went hunting while his beautiful wife killed time doing different activities," says Aniello.

These, he adds, included skinny dipping in ancient Roman pools and entertaining herself on the beach with other men. The isle's isolation made it a perfect place to host masked parties that would culminate in debauched scenes reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." And its exotic setting matched the provocative nude photographs of Anna taken by her husband. Dozens of yachts and motorboats would land during weekends as dukes, barons, countesses, VIPs and billionaires dropped by.


Guests and hosts drank heavily. During recent maintenance work, heaps of broken bottles and glass shards were found buried in the ground by local authorities. According to rumors, the villa also featured a "hidden mirror room" to spy on heavy sex sessions. "The villa was a hot jet-society get-together," recalls former caretaker Salvatore Pagano, an old Zannone sea dog who once lived next door to the marquises. "It was crazy here." The erotic games ended in bloodshed in 1970 when Anna fell in love with one of her many handsome lovers.

In a fit of jealousy, her husband killed the pair, then shot himself in the head in their attic in Rome.

Kemo D. 7
Credit: CNN travel
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