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Secret Island of Ponza, Italy

Ponza town harbour captured at blue hour.

Ponza Town Harbor

The main island and the anchor of the Pontine Islands, Ponza is located just off of the west coast of Italy, about 35 nautical miles from Gaeta.  Once a favorite resort island of the Greeks and Romans, today Ponza Harbor is considered one of the nicest harbors in the world, and is ringed with fresh fish cafes along the quay.  With no airport and limited ferry service, the easiest way to reach Ponza is to include this island in a luxury yacht charter itinerary.

Museum in a town, Ponza, Province Of Latina, Lazio, Italy

Museum in Ponza

Ponza, rumored to have been named after Pontius Pilate, is one of only two inhabited islands in the Pontine Island Archipelago. During the Middle Ages Ponza was abandoned due to constant pirate attacks until re-colonized by the Kingdom of Naples in the 1700’s. However, it is the Roman civilization that has left the strongest historic mark on this island. There are many Roman ruins remaining; including the ruins of the palace of Julia Lavilla, a sister to Caligula, who was exiled to Ponza, and a feat of Roman technology, a 180-meter tunnel dug through the rock of the island from the fishing village of Ponza to Half Moon Bay, on the other side of the island, a spectacular beach ringed by white cliffs. Today, many of the local inhabitants dig up Roman and Etruscan artifacts just while gardening. The town of Ponza is laid out like an amphitheater around the port and is the island’s main tourist and seaside resort. Because car traffic is limited, it is a particularly peaceful spot.

Detail of a Grotto in Ponza Italy, shimmering clear Water

Sea Cave Grotto

 

Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Pontine Islands are known for crystal clear waters in varying shades of blue, which surround these islands created by ancient volcanic activity. Ponza is believed to be the remains of the edge of a volcanic crater. With the rest of the island made up of soft limestone and chalk, Ponza has beautiful white cliffs set against the blue seas. Many grottos and rock formations have been carved over many centuries out of the limestone and chalk cliffs by the seas. Along the northern coast of Ponza are a series of caves washed into the cliffs including what was thought to be the “Grotto della Maga Circe”, the home of the sorceress Circe featured in Homer’s tale, “The Odyssey”.

Ponza Cliffs, Italy

Cliffs in Ponza

For such a small bit of land, Ponza has a great history, many historical sites to see and explore, is a lovely beautiful island, which all combined makes this island a great port of call on a luxury yacht charter itinerary.

Ponza, Italy View

Ponza View