The Pontine Islands
In the Tyrrhenian Sea, a few tens of kilometers from the coast of Lazio, rises the archipelago of the Ponziane Islands, known as the Pontine Islands.
There are six islands: Gavi, Zannone, Palmarola, Ventotene, Santo Stefano and the largest, Ponza, from which the archipelago takes its name. Magnificent islands, where nature, fishing and clear waters are always protagonists.
The culinary tradition of the Pontine islands is one of the most ancient and tasty and gracefully mixes the flavors of Roman cuisine with those typical of the sea.
The most important island is Ponza, only eight square kilometers in which are concentrated rocky and sandy beaches, natural arches, stacks, pristine sea, romantic coves where to moor and a magnificent rocky and hilly landscape.
Characteristic is the village with its alleys, craft shops and the numerous restaurants where people love to spend the evenings. Typical are the houses with the barrel roof and the facades painted with pastel colors overlooking the harbor.
In the island there are dozens of beaches and coves: among the most famous, the sandy and very clear beach of Chiaia di Luna; that of Lucia Rosa, loved for its sunsets; the bay of Cala Fèola with its natural pools and the beach of Frontone, where many people go with the boats for an aperitif. The Ponziane islands also offer a magnificent marine spectacle, much appreciated by divers: the submerged isthmus that joins Ponza to Zannone is fantastic and the deep seabed that holds ancient treasures, from Roman ships to wrecks of steamboats sunk during the last war.
Palmarola is also a nature reserve that, due to the spectacular nature and the coast, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Characteristic are the houses dug into the rock, the only ones present, as well as a small restaurant located on the beach. The uncontaminated nature also surrounds Zannone, the northernmost of the islands, which for its naturalistic importance has been included in the Circeo National Park since 1979.
The island, uninhabited, was the seat of a Cistercian monastery of which important ruins remain.
This island is a small jewel: a few houses, gathered around the port and an ancient history of confinement that ranges from members of the Roman imperial families to opponents of Fascism who laid the foundations of our modern idea of Europe there.
Today Ventotene, together with the island of Santo Stefano, creates a splendid nature reserve and a Marine Protected Natural Area.