Passengers traveling by ferry to Ventotene arrive in a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, right at the border between Lazio and Campania, Italy!
The Ventone island is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. The island is a treasure trove for archaeologists, birdwatchers, divers and just about anyone in search of a terrific holiday. Most tourists on the island come from the nearest areas on the mainland, around Rome and Naples. The Ventone has changed names even more often than it has changed hands. From the Greek for ‘dispenser of all things’ the Romans used to call it Pandataria, owing to the island’s rich terrain, and over the centuries this has evolved into Ventotene, the reference to wind – vento – being no coincidence.
Ventone is an excellent place to get away. Visitors should explore the island's highlights including Roman ruins and make an excursion to the neighbouring island of Santo Stefano, a former prison. In 2009 it was discovered in Ventone, a "sunken museum," a small fleet of Roman ships found at a depth of 150 meters (c. 500 feet). The Ventone island is thin and less than two miles long, steep and rocky on one side and sloping towards the sea on the other. With no water springs, it was an unpromising place until the ingenious Romans turned up and set to work. They dug a harbour out of the island's tufa rock and created a network of rock-cut water cisterns to save rainwater and channel it around the island. An imperial villa was built on a panoramic headland, and the island, then known as Pandataria, served as an agricultural estate attached to the villa. The ruined villa is now known as the Villa Giulia.
The cape of Punta Eolo is covered by Villa Giulia and when you visit it you will begin to find traces of the past of glory - fragments of mosaic, painted walls, and ruined baths. Also another important attraction on Ventotene are its cisterns, whose underground chambers have been used and reused over the centuries for a range of purposes. The basement of Ventotene's imposing town hall is housed The archaeological museum (Museo Storico Archeologico),and the Torre Borbonico, an old Bourbon fortress which dominates the town square.
Ferry routes to Ventone are occuring from Naples, Ponza, Terracina and Formia.