Looking back I could say that I’ve immediately fallen in love with Ponza… Yet I just say that a two-days-staying in Ponza is so surely not enough. Thus, once yachting was over, we’ve decided to go to this fantastic island for next ten days. Even if it was the last minute idea (we haven’t book anything!) and despite the high season (the week of the Ferragosto), thanks to our friend Barbara from Gaeta and her friend Gino – who owns the estate agency “Magi” in Ponza – we haven’t experienced any difficulties. We have been lucky to find a graceful and spacious apartment with a huge panoramic terrace overlooking the sea in the high area of Santa Maria.
Numerous on the island are also hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and other entertainment venues. Ponza is notable for being the most expensive of the Pontine Islands (and perhaps all over Italy). Yet, if you have a desire and a possibility to cook – in Ponza’s fish-shops you can buy fresh fish caught just a few hours before on low prices (for example, the kg of oysters costs only 10 Euros).
But now let’s go back to our yacht and continue…
…discovering the Pontine islands…
The largest island in the Pontine archipelago is characterized by dozens of lovely beaches, hidden bays and unexpected coves, and underwater cliffs that attract thousands of divers every year.
The most addictive and interesting point for diving is le Formiche (literally: “Ants”). The name is due to the plenty of rocks that emerge from the water. As for its attractiveness… Let’s see: the 30-meter-deep canals overlook a promontory that slopes to over 50 meters, where the red gorgonian is visited by morays and groupers.
Another place for dream diving is definitely the Rock of Botte, with its two caves, located eight miles from Ponza.
Absolutely to visit are also Cliff and Faraglioni di Lucia Rosa that commemorate the name of a sweetheart who, hindered in her desire to marry the beloved one, killed herself by jumping down from the rock. Creepy, huh? For its tragic love story or not, Lucia Rosa’s beach is so loved for its sunsets.
Best beach…which one?
As for a relaxing bathe, the most famous is the sandy beach of Chiaia di Luna, surrounded by cliffs overlooking the sea. From the ground this small beach can be reached on foot through a long tunnel excavated in the tuff by the Romans. Still, from the sea the view of Chiaia di Luna is even more romantic and enchanting: seems as if it is dominated in eternity by the gigantic lava wall that divides it from the rest of the island.
Among the other beaches favoured by the bathers are the Fèola Cave Bay with its natural pools, the Forna and the Frontone beach. The last one, a pebble beach with transparent water, is also a favourite place for on-shore aperitifs where tourists like to stay for dancing and having fun until the night goes down.
Ponza is also a VIP island, whose beaches and venues are frequented each year by the Italian and international jet set. 2017 is the year of Tiffany Trump, the fourth daughter of the current American president Donald, who started her Italian holiday from Capri and then has directed to Ponza. In recent years the beaches of Ponza have been trampled with names like Beyonce and her husband Jay Z, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, and Rihanna. Among the most affectionate VIPs of the place, with registrations at least once a year, there are also the designers Roberto Cavalli and Diego della Valle. As for the most beautiful, fascinate and famous world’s faces that have been seen on the island, one can name those of Naomi Campell, Michael Douglas, and Monica Bellucci, as well as Giorgio Armani – another affectionate of Ponza.
De gustus non disputandum…
And there are always those of us who prefer the savage relaxation and adventure to glamorous vacations. So, some islanders believe that during the summer Ponza becomes too chaotic. And hence refuge in their cave houses of Palmarola, typical dwellings dug in the rock. We could not wait to see them… Next (and unfortunately the last!) destination: Palmarola!
Palmarola – the third largest and the wildest among the Pontine Islands – is also called the Forcina (literally: “Hairpin”) because of its shape.
The natural reserve, the island is inhabited only in the summer. Intact and uncontaminated, rich in variety of shores, Palmarola is deservedly considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. And here we are, to have breakfast anchored in the crystal clear waters with the Faraglioni of Mezzogiorno on the left and the Punta Vardella on the right.
The surrounding sceneries remind postcards: vertiginous peaks, lovely caves, small hidden beaches and the clear colored sea.
Palmarola has no ports, no houses; there are only two small restaurants and the Villa of the Sisters Fendi. These only island constructions are in the Cala del Porto, also known as “Beach of Maga Circe”. Here, there is also the beach, an enchanting cove of sandy cobblestones, a peace of great wild and intact nature, protected by the “Rock of San Silverio”. By the way, San Silverio is the Saint Patron of the city of Ponza.
Yachting in these area means constantly keeping an eye on the nautical chart as the seabed is often insidious and there are no shadows.
From the sea and on the ground…
Our yachting adventure around the Pontine Islands is over… but fortunately the overwhelming enthusiasm and vacations are not. Children on board? Two: 6 and 10 years old. Problems with them during navigation? Zero.
For adventurers like me, I would only add that during the year the whole Pontine archipelago is not inhabited, but with the arrival of the first warmth, the islanders “wake up” and open the hotels, shops and restaurants. So, the three great Pontine islands are newly filled with life and tourists, lovers of mysterious bays and fabulous beaches. On the other hand, the Pontine season lasts until late October. And here, apart from the enchanting landscapes, you can see the dream boats of different sizes and performances, coming from all over the world!
Wind in the Stern!
Have you ever been to Ponza? Share your experience!
This post is also available in: English