Take a ferry to Ponza, the largest of the three Pontine Islands and experience a fascinating place of natural beauty near Rome especially popular to filmmakers!
Ponza is the largest of the three islands of the Pontine Archipelago, along with the islands of Ventotene and Palmarola and the easiest way to reach it is from Rome in about 3 hours making it an ideal destination even for a weekend.
The island of Ponza has been inhabited since ancient times (Neolithic era) and over the centuries it has been inhabited by many cultures, the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans. The influence of the Romans is evident on the island where there are two Roman cemeteries, artificial caves (including Pilate's), the ruins of two Roman villas, the most famous of which is on the Madonna hill, Roman aqueducts and the self-proclaimed ancient baths. During the Middle Ages the island of Ponza remained a thriving religious and commercial center but from the 9th century onwards, Ponza Island suffered heavy raids by Saracen pirates and therefore remained uninhabited for almost two centuries. It was repopulated in the 17th century by families from Ischia and it is from these families that the current inhabitants of the island descend.During Roman times it was used as a place of deportation and usually killing of those who fell victim to the authorities of Rome; also, during the Italian fascist era Ponza served as a penal colony.
Arriving on the island, the visitor is faced with a lush green landscape, with imposing white cliffs all around, colorful and cheerful houses and a beautiful picturesque harbor. It is no coincidence that because of its special atmosphere it became a favorite destination for filmmakers, as in Fellini's film 'Satyricon'. Ponza is perhaps one of the most beautiful islands in Italy, but more rustic than other more popular islands such as Capri, maintaining for most of the year the atmosphere of a small town. For the most part the island is overrun with Italian tourists who come from all over Italy in the summer months between June and September but there are never any heavy crowds and the relaxed atmosphere remains.
The visitor to Ponza will enjoy the sea, the beautiful beaches, the good food and interesting places such as ancient Roman ruins, caves to explore and nice walks. The food of the island is mainly fish which is abundant on the island and the local specialties such as the combination of fish and legumes, such as lobster linguini and lentil soup is a gourmet experience.The typical dessert of the island is the Ponzese casatiello.
Plan your trip to Ponza and book your ferry tickets to Ponza in advance to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing holiday in a pristine place, a hidden gem in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
How to get to Ponza by ferry
The easiest way to get to Ponza is from Rome. You can take the train (Trenitalia) to the towns of Anzio, Formia and Terracina and then take the ferry to Ponza.
- Anzio - Ponza: the trip has a sailing time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Formia - Ponza: with the fast ferry the trip takes 1 hour and 20 minutes and with the conventional ferry 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Terracina - Ponza: with the fast ferry the trip takes 1 hour while with the conventional ferry the trip takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. From Rome, you will need to change trains to get to Terracina.
The port of Ponza
The port of Ponza is located in a protected bay in the southern part of the island and is the main entrance and exit for visitors as many ships and hydrofoils depart and dock there daily. The port area is very lively and has several restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. In the evening, tourists walk along the harbor's side street to dine overlooking the sea. In the port there are also many boat rental agencies for organized excursions.
Getting around Ponza
Getting around Ponza can easily be done on foot as most shops and hotels are located in the port area. However, there are also the following means of transport on the island:
There are several offices in the harbor area where you will see them on arrival.
An ideal solution to get around any part of the island but also the most expensive.
There is a local bus service that runs fairly frequently and is quite economical. Ask the port information booth for its timetables.
It is the ideal solution to get to know the whole island even in areas that are inaccessible and dangerous from the land. It is advisable to book in advance because during the summer months, there is an increased demand
Ideal to visit some isolated beaches for a few hours.
Vacations in Ponza
Vacations in Ponza will surely be unforgettable because it remains an island that has not been worn out by mass tourism. It has a natural unspoilt beauty, having been formed by the remains of an extinct volcano, with beautiful beaches, wonderful caves, underground Roman galleries and several attractions that show the rich history of the island. Ponza, although less visited, has a unique island aura with its sunny beauty, its colorful traditional houses and its many kilometers of coastline. Exploring the coastline by boat is a must-do for travelers to Ponja and truly a unique experience. At the island's marina there are plenty of private boats and yachts for hire for one or more days depending on the visitor's needs.
Whoever is looking for true relaxation while swimming in deep blue waters, enjoying fresh seafood and enjoying a cocktail on the terrace of a restaurant overlooking the sunset then Pontaza is the right place even for a weekend! For food lovers, Ponza is mainly famous for its fresh fish and is well known for the wonderful wine produced on the island as well as the wine from the nearby island of Ventotene, which is equally wonderful.For nature lovers it is the ideal place since hiking in pristine places and diving in caves and coves are among the activities offered on the island. A truly unique destination just 33 km from the Italian mainland.
Highlights in Ponza
Ponza is a real jewel of Italy, an interesting destination with many interesting places that betray its important history but also with a unique unspoilt natural beauty that is suitable for many activities such as diving, fishing and exploring its coastline by boat!
Below, we give you a list for the best sights to see in Ponza for incredible experiences:
- Archaeological remains: in Ponza, there are many Etruscan and Roman archaeological remains, the most important being the Roman Gallery, which is a Roman tunnel that connects the town of Ponza with the Chiaia di Luna beach
- Botanical Garden of Ponza: is located at the top of the Bourbon Belvedere hill and is a private villa plot built in the 1980s. Here the visitor will see the diverse flora and fauna of the island with a large number of plants and birds
- Grotte di Pilato (Caves of Pilate): is a complex system of tunnels and pools from the Roman period. Many locals believe that it was used for breeding moray eels. In 1997 a Roman statue was discovered submerged in one of the tunnels
- Island of Palmarola: is located 10 km from Pontaza and is a steep, uninhabited island in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the second largest of the Pontian islands. It is worth visiting for its beautiful blue waters, making it one of the best locations in Italy for snorkeling or diving
- Ponza Port: a beautiful harbor, with a picturesque promenade full of restaurants and bars
Make a visit to the islands of Palmarola and Ventotene : boat tour to visit these nearby islands in Ponza
- Monte Guardia: an abandoned semaphore station that harkens back to the age of the optical telegraph
- Belvedere Della Madonnina: is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset overlooking the island of Ponza and the nearby island of Palmarola
- Spiaggia di Chiaia di Luna: consists of a thin strip of land bordered by 300 meters high rocks from the top of the mountain. Due to the fall of the rocks the visit is no longer possible but can be enjoyed by boat or from a viewing platform at the top of the rock. The view is stunning and the place is almost unreal
Beaches in Ponza
There are wonderful pristine beaches in Pontsa, sandy and rocky many of which are accessible on foot, while others only by boat.Pontsa has a rugged 40 km coastline with limestone cliffs and beautiful coves but also rich in sea caves that can be explored by boat and is ideal for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts
We give you a list of the beaches of Pontaja that are worth visiting for real relaxation:
- Cala del Frontone: is the largest beach of Pontza and is easily accessible from the port. It is equipped with sunbeds and attracts a youthful crowd
- Cala Feola: sandy beach in a beautiful spot , organized and with a small beach restaurant. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes as you will have to walk up quite a few steep steps to reach it. Ideally you should take a taxi
- Cala dell’Acqua: a magnificent and quiet spot with crystal clear waters where you will find some rocky beaches. You can reach this place either by walking on a rough road, quite dangerous but with a unique view or by following a sandy path
- Cala Felce: a small paradise cove located in the heart of Ponza with a magnificent landscape. In Cala Felce there is a massive presence of sulfurous stones that can be used for the production of cleansing facial masks and body mud
- Bagno Vecchio: is a secluded beach south of the port of Ponza It is a historic spot with monuments from antiquity. Although it has clear waters and is quite picturesque, the seabed is rocky and sunbathing under the rocks is not recommended because there is a risk of landslides
- Spiaggia Cala del Core: is located in a natural place with a very picturesque view, among the mountains, surrounded by rocks. It is a coastline with crystal clear turquoise waters and white pebbles. This beach is suitable for snorkeling lovers and for those who like to relax; it is almost a deserted place even during the high season
- Piscine Naturali: is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Ponja, also known as "Fontone". They were formed as a result of the intense volcanic activity of the island and have a very unusual shape, which has been made by the erosion of atmospheric agents and the attempt of fishermen to create shelters to store their boats.There are two large swimming pools, one enclosed in the rocks suitable for days when the sea is rough and the other overlooking the sea, with clear blue waters
Hotels in Ponza
- Torre dei Borboni: is a magnificent Mediterranean-style hotel located right next to the Bagni di Pilato , ruins of pre-Roman settlements, built in the 1st century BC by the Romans
- Hotel Chiaia di Luna: a unique hotel overlooking the green bay of Chiaiaia di Luna! A magical location, from which you can admire a unique sunset
- Grand Hotel Santa Domitilla: is very close to the famous Chiaia di Luna beach and a 12-minute walk from the Giardino Botanico Ponziano. It is surrounded by green hills and offers many services such as 2 swimming pools, wellness center, restaurant and beautiful rooms some of them with sea view
- Hotel Villaggio Dei Pescatori: is set in a quiet location overlooking the natural pools of Cala Feola Bay. It has beautiful rooms fully equipped and with a restaurant with panoramic sea views
- La casa Rosa: offers quiet rooms near Lucia Rosa Beach and 4 km from Spiaggia di Santa Maria. It has a lovely garden with rooms overlooking it
- Il Fogliano Hotel: is a design hotel in the dunes of the Circeo National Park. It is located on the seafront in the Ulysses Riviera and has modern rooms with a terrace overlooking a private sandy beach. In summer, free sun loungers and umbrellas are provided on the beach. The rooftop terrace has hot tubs
- Virgilio Grand Hotel: is a quiet hotel just a 3-minute walk from the Blue Flag beaches of Sperlonga and offers modern rooms, a spa and an outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi
- Piccolo Hotel Luisa: located a short walk from the port, the hotel offers fresh, modern, boho-style rooms. It has a beautiful restaurant with a lovely terrace
- Il Gabbiano Guesthouse: is a small hotel with a stunning view from its terrace. You will have to take a car or bus as it is not very close to the port
- Hotel Gennarino a Mare: quite cute hotels located just 10 minutes walk from the port. The rooms are nice but with a beautiful view of the harbor