The Pontine islands have always been renowned for the beauty of their surrounding sea and sea-beds. They consists in two main subgroup: Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi to the north-west, Ventotene and Santo Stefano to the southeast.
Here, divers will experience magical emotions in a totally unspoilt environment. The islands have been acclaimed for many years as the perfect charter destination to be fully enjoyed only by boat. The most renowned are Ponza, Palmarola and Ventotene.
Don’t miss the chance to have a trip to the wonderful ancient Roman sea caves commonly referred to as the Grotte di Pilato. It’s best to bring a mask and swim in the caves (four in all, connected by underwater tunnels) that were hand-excavated by the Romans and used as a murenario (eel farm) in the 1st century A.D., when the emperor Augustus first built a villa on the hill above.
We suggest to circumnavigate the island to discover all of its stunning bays, like Chiaia di Luna, Capo Bianco, Cala Feola etc.
At sunset, the party-goers can pay a visit to the must-go aperitif at the Frontone, which is a rustic outdoor bar set up among the trees just behind the sand.
As for dinner, It’s not easy to choose among the many beautiful typical restaurants scattered along the island.
Palmarola is one of the most charming places of Italy’s Pontine Archipelago. It is a natural reserve and, in winter, it is completely uninhabited, except for the guardian.
Palmarola has an extremely craggy coast dotted with grottos, bays, cliffs and crags. Landing is possible at a small natural harbor to make a brief stop and take a look at the grottos excavated by the sea; this is a bather’s paradise, and a wonderful area for snorkeling.
In circumnavigating the island, we suggest a search for the pirate’s treasure at Cala Brigantina, where pirates used to refugee in the Middle ages, and a visit to “la Cattedrale”, a shoreline that has been shaped by the sea and the wind and now resembles a cathedral.
Ventotene is a very charming and very small island, it is in fact less than two miles long, first inhabited by the Romans. Here they built an incredible palace whose ruins can still be admired; it is named villa Iulia, after the daughter of the emperor Augustus who was sent here to exile. Another very interesting attraction in Ventotene is the “peschiera” (Roman fish farm), one of the few surviving examples of fish engineering. It was made up of two covered pools, protected from waves and sunlight, where fish could nest. They were attracted in a bigger outside pool, and trapped inside by an ingenious use of shutters and meshes. The Peschiera Romana is best visited by boat and offers its best to snorkelers and divers, because since the Roman Empire the sea level has gone up by around a meter and nowadays most of the ruins can be admired underwater.