“When from the sea the shape of an island appears, there it becomes a site of the soul.”
Ponza is one of six islands that make up the archipelago called the Pontine Islands. Set in the Tyrrhenian sea just off the west coast of Italy between Rome and Naples, Ponza is the largest and most developed.
The port of Ponza was alive with sparkling lights pinned against the dark silhouette of rising hills as we deported the boat from Formia on the mainland. Excited but tired, we made our way through the night to our lodgings. Our explorations would wait until morning, after a good nights sleep.
My three days on Ponza proved to be full of exciting island discoveries. The weather was warm and welcoming with just a scent of an ocean breeze. Following is a list of my very favorite.
1. Comfortable and Accommodating Lodgings Close to the Village.
Some of us found lodging at the Piccolo Hotel Luisa, just a short stroll up from the village on the port. Our pull bags clattered over the cobbled streets as we made our way up to the door. We were warmly greeted and taken to our rooms. The next morning, a full breakfast was set out on the covered veranda with surrounding views of the island.
2. Fresh Produce
Ponza village is colorful and packed with several quaint shops. One of the delights in passing are the produce stands packed with ripened fruit.
3. Ambience that Inspires Friendship
Life is much more fun when you share it with friends! Some of my team and I walk the port snapping photos and shopping. It isn’t long before we work up a thirst.
As a result, we found a small outside table and enjoyed spritzes while engaged in ‘serious‘ conversation.
Abundant plates of perfectly prepared mixed seafood freshly caught from the surrounding clear waters of the Tyrrhenian sea are served up with gusto at Trattoria Monte Guardia. Perched on the highest hill of the island, views from the veranda are stunning. It is one of the best places to watch the sun set dramatically over the island.
6. Vineyards and Views that Captivate.
Wine is superb and harvested from the vineyards on the hills of the island. Antiche Cantine Migliaccio makes a wonderful Rosato among their other wines. However, because the production is small, it is difficult to find, creating another very good reason to visit Ponza!
Two of my friends lounged comfortably on our boat as we take an excursion around the island. We explored several caves and grottoes carved into the cliff side by boat.
We could not have found a better guide than Antonio from Noleggio Barche da Tritone. If not for his keen boating skills and island knowledge, we would have missed a lot of exciting caves and exotic scenery.
8. Evening Aperitif on a Sailboat
Adventure on the high seas was enjoyed as we took a small skiff from the harbor out to a stately sailboat anchored off shore. We were invited to a delicious aperitif by Jayne who sails the S&S Swan sailboat. Her lively conversation and gracious hospitality made it difficult to head back to shore. She provides various sailing excursions to those looking to live their dreams of sailing the high seas.
Many surprises awaited us as we explored the water’s edge. From caves deep and cavernous to ocean floor artwork, Ponza seems to always have something new up her sleeve.
9. Exotic Escapes on the Island
After a full few days in the village, we retired to a secluded lodging. Villa Il Gabbiano is an exotic B&B with surrounding views of the sea that provide a tranquil experience.
Ponza is more than another island. Ponza has allure, one that the Etruscans, the Romans, and the Bourbons found impossible to resist. Intertwined with centuries of myth and legend, this island paradise makes it easy to believe.