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    Italo Balbo’s lightning strike

    by Punta Ala

    Italo Balbo, politician, Under-secretary of the national economy and minister of the Regia Aeronautica, fell in love while flying over the area, with this desolate place, with only two cultivated farms and a few buildings erected a few hundred years earlier. 

    He fell so much in love with them that he wanted to buy them. Which he did, and which he turned into his favourite holiday resort until the 1970s. He was responsible for the construction of roads, cattle pens, and the provision of water and electricity to what used to be called the Tre Pini farm. 

    And it is to him that we owe its current name: Punta Troia was renamed as “Punta Ala”, after the wing he recognised. Punta Troia was renamed as ‘Punta Ala’, after the wing he recognised when flying over the promontory. The island of Troia became “lo Sparviero” (the sparrowhawk), while the “porcellini” (the rocky rocks that emerge from the water and separate it from the mainland) remained that way. Legend has it that the old name is attributed to a wild boar sow which, in order to escape the hunters, ended up in the sea followed by her young. 

    After the end of the First World War, Balbo’s property was requisitioned by the Italian state and deemed “regime profit”. It was then resold to Costantino Llentati in the early 1960s, until the first stone of the marina tourist port of Punta Ala was laid in 1962. 

    Punta Ala as it is known today and described in the other sections of this site, is the result of the first project for the Punta Ala tourist settlement, drawn up by architect Walter di Salvo in 1959.