Benvenuti / Welcome to
The Pontine archipelago is a cluster of five islands which lie off the Rivierra Di Ulisse. They are made up of two groups, the first being Ponza, Palmarola, Zannone and Gavi to the northwest and the second being Ventotene and Santo Stefano to the southeast. All are of volcanic origin.
The islands have been inhabited since Neolithic times and colonised by the Etruscans and the Romans. During the reign of Caesar Augustus, Rome used to exile its political prisoners to Ponza and Ventotene.
The islands were abandoned during the Middle Ages due to constant raids by the Saracens
and Turkish pirates. The islands were re-
Nowadays Ponza and Ventotene are inhabited, whilst the smaller islands are not.
This is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The coastal landscape of the islands
is rugged and dramatic, with towering multi-
Website, text, photos
© LM Shapcott 2009 -
All rights Reserved
Except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner
The largest island is Ponza, which is crescent shaped and approximately 5 miles in length. The highest point is Monte Guardia (928 feet [283 metres]).
It has a natural harbour, in the shape of a horseshoe, which is framed by the hills of Madonna and Punta Bianca, and guarded by the Bourbon Tower. The main town has little meandering streets lined with pretty pastel coloured houses. There are some attractive squares and a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants.
The main beach, called Chiaia di Luna, is just a few minutes on foot from the port, however there are many more secluded little beaches to be found. Inland there is peaceful countryside to be explored, where wild herbs and flowers flourish. There is a regular bus service that takes you around the island or you can take a boat trip around the beautiful scenic coastline.
Photo by Mariantonietta La Rocca