Ponza Journals

The Pearl of Rome

An April 2007 trip to Ponza by sirverity

Overview Photo, More Photos
Quote: The 'Pearl of Rome' is an Italian Gem--A Visit to the Island of Ponza

The Pearl of Rome

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Overview Photo,
Quote:
This Mediterranean gem situated some 40 miles off the coast between Rome & Naples is the namesake of a small archipelago called the Pontine Islands, and has always been off the beaten tourist track—that is if you’re not counting the period when Ponza, once dubbed as the “Pearl of Rome” served as a summer retreat for the ruling elite. Had I not married a girl who still has family there, I probably never would have heard of the place. As we drew near the port, I marveled at the chalky cliffs of eroded sandstone sculpted and bleached by eons of wind, waves, and sun that would be a geologist’s dream. Often there would be a cluster of pastel colored boats at their base, bobbing up and down in th...Read More
Le Fariglione Photo,
Quote:
Situated midway along the curving spine of Ponza's profile, is an area known as Le Forne. Here there is a small cluster of houses and the like perched above two gorgeous coves along the west shore. The southernmost of the two, Cala Feola, is everything you'd expect out of a Mediterrenean seaside village. Viewed from above, I couldn’t help but remark at how the boxy, light-colored houses draped along the rocky slopes to meet a sapphire sea looked like something right out of a postcard. (As it turns out, such a postcard is available at the souvenir shops down by the port). Traversing the brutally steep incline of the road on foot, it was a moderate hike down to the natural pools at the bas...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2008

Chiaia di Luna

Attraction

Looking In Photo,
Quote:
The star of Ponza's beaches is without a doubt Chiaia di Luna. Accessible only by boat or a short walk through an ancient yet recently refurbished tunnel, this crescent of towering vertical cliffs looks too good to be true. The eroded walls of discolored rock shelter a broad narrow cove of turquoise water and a sliver of sand and pebbles. While I've been on much more appealing sand, what the beach lacks in comfort is more than made up for in the view of nearby Palmarola perfectly framed by the surrounding cliffs. The water is an appealing aquamarine, and is generally quite calm.In summer there is a small snack bar at the tunnel entrance but other than that this is about as private ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2008

Palmarola

Attraction

Docked For Lunch Photo,
Quote:
A twenty minute boat ride to the west of Ponza brings you to the predominantly uninhabited island of Palmarola. Geologically similar to its sister island, there are some interesting rock formations such as Le Scoglie-misshapen pillars of rock jutting out of the water, and even a natural tunnel.Palmarola has no infrastructure to speak of other than a snack bar that is open only during the summer. It is located on a quiet rocky beach under cliffs of former dwellings carved right into the hillsides. Around the northern tip of the island is a spot called La Cattedrale-the cathedral-which is a wall of sheer cliffs plunging down into the turquoise water. It was here that our little boat ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2008

The Port

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Around the Curve Photo,
Quote:
Cradled in a naturally curved harbor at the base of the island's highest peak, the port of Ponza is the financial and population center of the Pontine Islands. Over the centuries, this Greek then Roman outpost developed a structured two-tier crescent along the harbor edge which now houses the vast majority of the island's retail offerings.Hydrofoil service is located at the end of the pier near the lighthouse. Just around the bend is Piazza Carlo Piscacane, named after an Italian patriot known for his ill-fated attempt to unify Italy who once made a stop here. Behind the seafood restaurants is Torre dei Borboni, a centuries-old tower with a commanding view. Beyond that is the island's cemete...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2008

About the Writer

sirverity

sirverity
Shirley, New York