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Discovering the Pontine Islands
Discovering the Pontine Islands
Posted in: Italy

The Pontine Islands are located off the coast of Italy, south of Rome. If you are coming from the country’s famous capital, take a train to Anzio which takes no more than an hour. From there, regular ferries and hydrofoils will take you to Ponza,…

The Pontine Islands are located off the coast of Italy, south of Rome. If you are coming from the country’s famous capital, take a train to Anzio which takes no more than an hour. From there, regular ferries and hydrofoils will take you to Ponza, the archipelago’s largest island. The biggest attractions in the Pontine Islands are the ancient archaeological and diving sites offering visitors new opportunities for discovery when visiting Italy.

The islands of Ponza and Ventotene are the most visited in the area because they are the only ones large enough to provide accommodation to tourists. Ponza is the most popular with its superb beaches. Ventotene, on the other hand, is the more tranquil sister and is just perfect for those looking for some peace and quiet. They are connected to the much smaller islands of Santo Stefano, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi by boats. One thing is for sure, there will always be a willing boatman in Ponza and Ventotene to take you around for a tour of the Pontine Islands. Moreover, boating trips come cheap so take advantage of this wonderful treat.

Ventotene has a long history of exiled royals such as the daughter of Emperor Augustus and Nero’s wife Octavia. Famous personalities also added to the list over the years like the Saint named Flavia Domitilla and no less than the dictator Mussolini himself. Head to the Eolo headland, take a glimpse of the Roman ruins of Villa Giulia and imagine what its like to be exiled on a small island far away from the rest of the world. While in Ventotene, try not to miss going on a diving excursion because there are some stunning underwater gardens to discover nearby.

There are two major settlements in Ponza, Porto around the harbor and Le Forna located north of the island. These are the busiest sections of the Pontine Islands, with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes catering to the many tourists milling about and enjoying the sights.

Those who are working on a budget will find wide-ranging options for cheap accommodation on the island. Although there is not much in terms of splendid landmarks and specific attractions, the island’s stunning landscape more than makes up for it. The area’s visitors are usually more than happy with the sun, sand and sea offerings of the area. The long crescent beach of Chiaia di Luna with a dramatic background of towering cliffs is the islandís most popular destination. But if you are looking for crystalline natural pools, head towards Le Forna where you will experience the gorgeous pools of Piscine Naturali. Moroever, getting around the island should not be a problem because there are buses and water taxis connecting the island’s villages and major sites.

Of course, a boat trip to the nature reserve of Zannone is a must when visiting the Pontine Islands. Discover the three caves of Grotte di Pilato along the shore or go diving to explore some wrecks and underwater attractions. The island of Santo Stefano also makes for an interesting visit to take a look at its lone standing edifice which served as a prison from 1794 to its closure in 1965. Probably its most famous prisoner was Alessandro Pertini, an honored Italian patriot who went on to become President of the Italian Republic in 1978!

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