Thursday, August 02, 2012

Wild and lovely in Ponza

This summer, after five years, I finally got the chance to visit Ponza. I spent 6 memorable days and nights there and although, when writing this post, I am already on another vacation, I still cannot get over Ponza. So here comes another post (4th!!! read them here) about Ponza. An honest look on the island. 

I had organized the vacation carefuly already a few months before. I made sure I knew about everything going on. But reality turned out to be different. Firstly because I had forgotten I was dealing with a small italian summer resort where things change from year to year, therefore all my gold-worthy information kind of turned out to be words written in the sand. Most of the places (restaurants and beach bars) were either sadly empty or simply closed, forever. Secondly because Ponza is different. Ponza is not about planning and organizing, it is all about going with the flow.

Ponza is surely not for lazy people. To get the most out of it there is a lot of walking and climbing to do. The days we weren't riding a boat, we were climbing up and down some small stares craved in stone, exploring new ways to get back in the water.

In those few days (6 days for Ponza are nothing!) we had so much more to do in the sea that it turned out pointless to rent a car. Because of the incredible rocky W I K I nature the real breath-taking views were the ones that you could contemplate from the sea. Also as all the most beautiful spots to swim at are unaccessable by land, renting a boat at least for a day is a must.

Ponza is definitely not comparable to trendy Elba with its vibrant night scene or to fancy Capri, with all its comforts and glamour. Ponza is simple. And due to its remoteness, which I personally found extremely refreshing and terapeutic, it offers you the kind of experiences you won't find easily in other, extremely packed, italian summer resorts. Primitive and quite wild, Ponza gives you a unique sense of freedom. In the most romantical way.

If you are a lover of fine soft sandy beaches Ponza is not for you. Although the crystal blue waters in Ponza are breath-takingly beautiful its coasts are mainly rocky. Rather than beaches Ponza is full of “places to swim at”.

The famous Frontone is the one that most resembles a classical beach. Supposedly, due to its bars, this beach is the place to be and be seen during the sunsets. I personally didn't make it as at the end of the day after all that swimming I was quite exhausted. 

Unaccessable by land, there is a comfortable boat taxi service (5 euros) which takes you from the main port to the Frontone in 10 minutes. This beach is the best option if you have kids but not that exciting if you seek for a little excitement. 

Our apartment was near to Cala Feola, where we found one small beach, with real sand!!, reachable by feet. The water was not as blue as in the rest of the island, but after our adventurous day, it seemed like a paradise! The beach is called La Marina. 

The best “places to swim at”
At Cala Feola we found several other amazing places for swimming like Le Piscine Naturali and La Caletta. Although as I already mentioned the best spots are accessable only by boat. Usually where other people are swimming it should be nice. Spiaggia del Cuore was lovely in my opinion!

Boat renting
You can get a boat from any port or beach. They're all the same but a bigger choice is available in the main port. The price for a small boat should be 50 euros, not more. They also charge you for the gas which should be around 30 euros. For that we drove until the Palmarola island and back.

If you haven't ride a boat before (like us) and you're not really secure about yourself I'd suggest you to stay around Ponza. Because the open sea inbetween Ponza and Palmarola island may be wavy even on a very calm day it might be a bit frightening.

As the sun illuminates the east coast waters in the morning its better to rent the boat from the port and then head towards North. By the time you will have reached the other side of the island, the sun will have moved with you. I would recommend you to ride at least until La Spiaggia di Lucia Rosa. From there in either directions it is the same distance back to the port. More South there is the famous Chiaia di Luna, some consider it to be the most beautiful spot of the island but due to the numerous yachts and boats the water is not always the cleanest. It is spectacular in the warm afternoon sunlight.
However if you are determined to visit the Palmarola island yourself it's better to rent the boat from the coast which faces Palmarola, in that way the ride back is easier and faster. You never know how the winds and waves might change by the end of the day. 

Boat excursion
All the boats which take you on excursion are pretty much the same looking. You can choose either a trip around Ponza or a trip to Palmarola or a combo of both islands. We went around the main port asking all different companies the prices and decided to opt for the cheapest one. We paid 15 euros per person for a Ponza-Palmarola combo. There is one company which also offers you food (simple seafood pasta) with cheap white wine. For that you pay 25 euros. Considering you will be out from 11 o'clock in the morning until 5 in the afternoon I would suggest you to bring your own lunch if you don't opt for the last one. There is a bar/restaurant, very poor looking and quite expensive, on the Palmarola island.

If you are planning to rent a boat yourself I would suggest to do the trip before. In this way you can spot all the nice places and come back to your favourite one yourself.

Unfortunately I didn't manage to put the pictures in order because of blogspot's new stupid posting system.. Farewell!



Useful links:
Vetor Aliscafi, ship from Anzio

Guide to some (inevitable) costs in Ponza:
100 euros weekly food budget
80 euros boat rent
40 euros a meal at any restaurant, excluding wine
20 euros for fresh fish, we bought 8 calamaris for a dinner for two
15 euros boat excursion around Ponza + Palmarola
5 euros boat taxi from port to Frontone beach
1.2 euros one way bus ticket
tutta l'arte e' politica altrimenti sarebbe semplicemente una decorazione.

To get to Ponza:
70 euros two way ship ticket to Ponza
7.2 euros train ticket to Anzio and back

I also didin't manage leave short comments under the photos, if any questions please leave in the comments.

 -At La Marina, the third place to swim or better, the first real beach  we found the first day, in the background you can see a restaurant on the rocks, worth going, they serve the freshest fish!! you find the number on one of the numbers at the end - the 4 pictures of a house are from the La Casa Victoria, the apartment we stayed at. The cheapest price and the best stay you can find in Ponza, just contact me for the number of the owner - the view from our terrace, lovely sunsets every day - panoramic view on La Marina - our boat - the crowdy Frontone beach - the calamari we bought and cooked ! delicous!! - number for the restaurant - the Chiaia di Luna -


For those who don't know, Ponza and Palmarola are summerhomes for the Fendi sisters. I spotted them both on the Palmarola island. You can spot the house on the right, in he middle of the green. Check out the post about Silvia Venturini Fendi's house here.

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