The archipelago of the Pontine Islands, which can be easily reached from Rome, is located almost in the centre of the Tyrrhenian Sea, facing the Lazio coast. Set in crystalline waters with breath-taking sea beds, it is just the place for a great getaway and an unforgettable holiday experience.
One of Lazio’s true tourist gems, the archipelago is part of the Province of Latina and consists of two groups of islands: Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi to the north-west and Ventotene with Santo Stefano to the south-east.
Ponza and Ventotene are the only inhabited islands. There are some restaurants and eateries in Palmarola, while Zannone is part of the Circeo National Park and the former Bourbon prison complex is located in Santo Stefano.
The Pontine Islands are well worth a trip or even a longer and more relaxing stay, once the beginning of spring has arrived and up until late autumn. All the peace you desire, an ever-enchanting sea that is so transparent you can even admire the sea bed from the surface; semi-deserted beaches and coves; the pleasant sensation of feeling almost like exclusive guests; colours and scents and a temperate climate; the chance to fully enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the inhabitants.
In contrast to the worldliness and “verve” of Ponza and Ventotene, which have various types of accommodations that blend with the clearly Mediterranean island architecture, there is the wild nature of the smaller islands. Palmarola, a little more than 7 miles from the port of Ponza, has just one landing spot at Cala di San Silverio with the homonymous beach. Zannone, about 6 miles from Ponza, an extension of the Circeo National Park, is only accessible from Punta del Varo; Santo Stefano, just over one nautical mile from Ventotene, shares the status of being recognized as part of the State Nature Reserve.
For those not lucky enough to own a boat, the main islands can be reached by year-round and seasonal summer ferries and hydrofoils from the ports of Formia, Terracina and San Felice Circeo, but also from Anzio (province of Rome).
From Ponza and Ventotene it is possible to go on to Palmarola, Zannone and Santo Stefano, with motorboats that make shorter trips within a narrower radius.