The island life on Ponza is perfect for an Italian summer escape. This gorgeous island in the Mediterranean, near the island of Ischia, is almost untouched by the mainstream tourists of Italy. You can explore the unspoiled flora and fauna, which is in abundance, while also relishing the laid-back island life. The cliffs that surround the sea make for a picturesque sight. So if you’re planning a visit to this beautiful hidden gem in Italy, this guide will help you plan the perfect holiday. Read on to learn more!
How To Get to Ponza
Ponza is quite accessible, both if you’re flying in to Naples or Rome.
You can take a train from Rome and head on down south to either Anzio or Formia which might take you around an hour or so. There you can either board the hydrofoil which takes about an hour to reach Ponza or get on a boat for a slower but scenic ride of about 2 to 3 hours. Another way to get to Ponza is to get on the ferry from Naples. Check the timetables here. You can also book a day-trip to Ponza from Rome here.
Best Time to Visit Ponza
The apt time to visit Ponza is from the months of May to September. But if you want to have a relaxed trip where you don’t run into a crowd at every step of the way, July and August are the months for you to avoid.
What To Do in Ponza
There isn’t much to do around Ponza as it is a small island with small towns, beaches, and fishermen. You can take in the ambiance and explore what island life feels like. You’ll get fresh seafood and wine(a lot of it). So eat all you can while you are there and treat your palette with the best Italian wine, all of this while you enjoy some breathtaking panoramas of the Mediterranean sea.
Fancy a dip in the crystal clear waters? Well, the Piscine Naturali is the place to go. The swimming experience that you get here is otherworldly. The water is clear and azure and makes you feel like you are in some heavenly pool. This is by far the best way to cool off on a hot Italian day.
Spiaggia Di Frontone is a sandy beach. You may be wondering what makes it so unique. Well, beaches in Ponza are not your regular sandy beach, instead, they are full of rocks and stones. You may have to hike down the hill or use the stairs to get there, but if you are in the town center, consider yourself fortunate because you can charter a boat around the island. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try any of the other two ways down the hillside.
Chiaia di Luna is where the ocean meets the cliffs of Ponza. The view is so astounding that you have to be there to experience it in all its grandeur. There are hotels that let you sit by the cliffs and enjoy the view while you sip your glass of wine. If you feel like you want to experience the cliffs and the bay up close, you can charter a boat and enjoy the tranquil bay and even take a quick dip in the water.
You can walk around the Marina Boardwalk to experience what shopping on the island feels like. Here is where you can enjoy a wide range of drinks and appetizers on sale in the little shops by the boardwalk. You can also find shops that sell beachwear or hats around this area.
Make sure you explore the tunnel that is situated close to the town center. It’s a very unique feature that adds to the rustic nature of the island. This is also where the cave or grotto restaurant is situated, you shouldn’t miss that.
Through a diving center, you can explore the beauty that lies below the sea. The diving experience is really serene and lets you explore the teal waters around Ponza. The diving experience includes a day out at sea and diving in two different spots where you can take in the aquamarine beauties that the bay around Ponza has to offer.
A day atmany of Ponza’s beaches can be a day out on its own. Some of the beaches can only be accessed via water taxi but once you get there you can have an amazing time. Rent a beach umbrella and chairs for a perfect time under the sun as you enjoy the waves crashing on the golden beaches.
A boat tour can be an amazing experience as it is one of the best ways to explore Ponza. You can get a look at the island and its natural and untouched beauty while also enjoying the calm Mediterranean sea in the bay around the island which is surrounded by cliffs. The rustic pastel houses stand out as you look at them from a boat. The colors just pop out and make it a treat for your eyes and amazing for pictures.
All in all, you can have a fun time relaxing on Ponza, it has a lot to offer. You can indulge in the local lifestyle, meet the locals and see what they get up to or just relax and unwind with the best wines and fresh seafood.
Hidden Gems in Ponza
Well, Ponza in itself is a hidden gem in Italy and not a lot of people who visit the country take time out to come to this island. But if you’re on the island, there are some hidden gems in Ponza that you could visit:
The Grotte di Pilato is a system of artificial caves carved out by hand during Roman times. These caves, although now underwater due to the rising sea levels, used to be above the sea when they were made. They were used as fish farms. You can enjoy this hidden gem via a boat ride. The caves are an attraction not very well known but not to be missed by you.
The Semaforo di Monte Guardia is an ancient ruin that sits on top of Monte Guarida. It is an abandoned semaphore station where the early form of telegraphy was developed. This is a place that you can visit if you find archaeology and historical events interesting. You can trek there from the town center but the trail is overgrown and you might need to go through some rough terrain, apart from that it is an enjoyable trek.
The San Silverio Chapel is a little chapel situated on top of a sea stack. This chapel is dedicated to the patron saint of Ponza Saint Silverius. It is kind of hard to reach this chapel if you don’t have a boat of your own and that is one of the reasons this chapel is a hidden gem in Ponza. You can rent a boat which is easily available, drop anchor by the sea stack and walk up to the chapel, you can enjoy an amazing view of the bay.
What to eat in Ponza
Seafood, wine, pizza, and pasta, are the essential delicacies that the island of Ponza has to offer. These items complement each other so finely that you won’t feel the need to have anything else while you are there. Here are some restaurants that you should visit while in Ponza:
Il Tramonto is a great restaurant with an amazing view of the sea and the island. Enjoy the beautiful sunset with all the shades of red and orange as the sun sets over the azure sea creating a memorable view that is breathtaking.
Il Timone is a Cave restaurant located in a grotto, quite a unique experience in itself with an amazing view of the marina. You can pop into this quaint place while visiting the tunnel near the town center. You can enjoy a drink with some amazing pizzas.
If you want to enjoy seafood by the sea, La Marina in Cala Feola is the perfect spot to hit. This seaside dining experience is one of a kind in Ponza. You can have the freshly caught seafood right as it comes out of the sea, complemented by the best wines of course! The friendly owners and staff go the extra mile to make you feel at ease even though you might not understand anything they say.
Transportation in Ponza
Getting around Ponza is just like any other Mediterranean island, easy and fun. Rent a Vespa, scooter, or motorbike and go breezing down the streets of the island. The local buses on this island are a unique experience in themselves. Taxis and water taxis are a way to move about but aren’t as fun as some of the other options. The best way to explore and enjoy the essence of the island is to roam around its nooks and crannies on foot and find a new delight around every corner. Cars are not recommended on the island as it causes traffic jams but on the same note, you can ride in buggies and the mehari jeep.
Where to stay in Ponza
Well, accommodation on the island isn’t like the rest of the Italian tourist hubs. The best way to do that is to rent a villa or an apartment to get the utmost privacy and a homely feel, which you can easily book beforehand. You can also choose a hotel or BnB in the city centre. You should be able to find them for any budget if you check in advance.
Some other tips
You may have to learn a little bit of Italian or use a translator app like google translate as not much English is spoken around the island. It is always exciting to be immersed in the culture you are trying to explore.
The beautiful island of Ponza will make you work a lot as getting around places involves walking, climbing steps, and hills if you choose to do so. You can always avoid the hectic walks and climbs by hopping on a boat or water taxi.
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