Have you ever heard of Ponza Island?
When I first met Cris he told me about a special place he knew on the coast of Italy.
Describing endless blue waters and multicolored cherry tomatoes, Cris explained how Ponza was a hidden gem that Italians were proud to keep it a secret.
It didn’t take me long upon arrival to realize how right he had been: I was by far one of the very few people on the island who didn’t speak Italian.
Walking around the small stone paths of the island, the Italians around me couldn’t help but stare in fascination at the alien speaking English to her boyfriend.
(In case you are new here, Cris is Italian himself, but as I don’t speak the language – yet – we usually communicate in English with each other).
Indeed, you can’t get more Italian than Ponza Island.
But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
WHAT IS THE ISLAND ALL ABOUT?
I honestly can’t believe I am in month 6 of my blog and I haven’t written a post about Ponza yet!
When it comes to the Mediterranean havens, Ponza is by far the best-kept secret… That is, from anyone who is NOT Italian.
Romans and Napolitans, on the other hand, know the island quite well. In fact, they have been visiting this special piece on Earth for over 2,000 years!!!
(that is 4x the existence of Brazil, my country of origin).
With its pastel, colorful houses spread-out around town and busy streets full of people, Ponza has a unique charm and energy that is hard to put into words. You really have to go and experience it for yourself.
HOW TO GET TO PONZA ISLAND
There are a few ways to get to Ponza, and you’d be surprised in how easy it is to actually get there.
Cris and I took a 1h30 train from Rome to Anzio, and from there a ferry ride directly to the beautiful Ponza Island.
Find below two itinerary options you could take to get to Ponza on your own from Rome:
Option 1 – To Fromia-Gaeta
- Take the train to Formia-Gaeta (one hour, €16.50 or 1.5 hours, €8.20)
- From Formia, Laziomar runs ferries to Ponza (80 minutes, €25.50 or 2.5 hours, €16.70);
Option 2 – To Anzio
- Take a train to Anzio (one hour and €3.60).
- From Anzio, Vetor offers ferries to Ponza (70 minutes, €25 to €48)
WHAT TO DO ONCE YOU ARE THERE
Forget renting cars or scooters, Ponza is all about the Ocean.
Yep, you understood it correctly, in Ponza your means of transportation is a BOAT!
There aren’t actually beaches in Ponza, per se. So what you do is rent a boat and go to different locations of the Island, jumping into the water from your boat.
TIP: Ideally, you should bring some food and water with you. There are some commercial boats passing by selling ice creams and drinks, but you don’t want to depend on those.
You have two options:
1) You take a tour boat
This option is the most convenient, especially if you do not know how to drive a boat. There are endless options for boats that take people around different spots of the Island.
The downside, as you can imagine, is that you will be sharing the ride with a lot of other people and that, to me, kind of ruins a bit of the experience. However, if you are afraid to get a boat on your own, don’t let the other tourists stop you from seeing the best of what Ponza has to offer.
2) You rent your own boat
Of course, there are different levels for different skills. Furthermore, you will be probably happy to know that some boats don’t require a driving license. This means that they are simple enough that even inexperienced sailors can easily maneuver it.
You probably guessed by now which option Cris and I took, right?
Yep, we had our own private little boat for 3 beautiful days under the sun.
The boat was a simple, long wooden boat, that had space for both of us to lay down and tan (ahem, keep in mind Cris is almost 2m tall). In addition, it also had the option of having a solar panel, to protect us from the sun (this is super important, considering we literally stay the entire day on the boat).
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
From the moment you wake up to the moment you go back to the hotel, you will be in a boat (this means breakfast and lunch included).
Therefore, before boarding our boat for the day, we would stop in different shops to buy assorted things to eat (and this is when I got really excited: picking out from the hundreds of options of Italian local goodies to eat).
OUR TOP PICKS
- Colorful cherry tomatoes (yellow, red, blue)
- Super fresh Mozzarellas (and we ate them like apples haha – keep reading for more information)
- Cut pizza (those pizzas they cut with scissors)
- Parma ham
- Water bottles (and beer, after all, you are on vacation)
- A sun hat
- Sunscreen (!!!)
- Medication (in case you get motion sickness)
There are things you can bring with you if you ever feel bored from being on a boat all day.
- A book
- Some cards
floatie( I took a doughnut floatiewith us)
EATING IN PONZA
Ponza is not exactly the cheapest location, but you can be sure to find a great variety of places serving delicious Italian food everywhere.
Our personal recommendations is a small restaurant called Il Pachero da Rita (address: Via Roma 1, Isola di Ponza).
In fact, we liked it so much that we literally went back the following day and had the EXACT SAME DISH again.
WHEN TO GO TO PONZA
As you can imagine, Ponza is an
However, don’t go booking your tickets for July just yet!
In other words, even though Ponza might not be known to the vast majority of the world, it is a common summer destination for many Italians.
This means that peak season is just as crowded as anywhere else in the world (and might I add, more expensive too).
Cris took me during the first week of September and I have to say it was PERFECT!
Indeed, the city was lively, but not crowded. Furthermore, since
Certainly, it is warm enough to swim and enjoy the sun, and your pockets will definitely thank you for not going during the months of July/August.[mailerlite_form form_id=2]
Did I convince you yet?
Then take a look at the gallery below and get inspired to visit Ponza ASAP!
DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS POST FOR LATER SO YOU REMEMBER TO GO TO PONZA FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP!
- Where to Eat in Rome (recommendations from a proud local)
- Your Ultimate Rome Guide – Everything you need to see (with helpful tips for each attraction)
- Visit Italy Like a Pro – Do’s and Don’ts when Going to Italy
- What to expect when going to Europe for the first time