Beautiful residence of 200 sqm, Elegantly renovated. The Villa consists of the large entrance, living room with fireplace, large kitchen carved into the rock and dining room, three double bedrooms, service room, three bathrooms, finely furnished. From the villa, you can enjoy the Island of Palmarola, large terraces at different levels and the garden terrace on the highest point overlooking the beach of Lucia Rosa.
Ponza is a small and hilly island off the western coast of central Italy, between Rome and Naples. A picturesque and low-key holiday destination, it is popular with Italians, especially Romans or celebrities keeping a medium profile and also visited by a few adventurous foreigners. If you like pretty fishing villages, island atmosphere, boats, the sea, and exploring, Ponza is an ideal stop on a tour of Italy or a base for a relaxing break.
The largest and most varied of the Pontine islands, Ponza is relatively straightforward to reach, but on arrival, it feels a long way away from modern Italy.
In Roman times Ponza was one of the Empire’s prison islands, used to house illustrious exiled figures including members of the Imperial family. Later, monks inhabited the island, before repeated raids by Saracens led to its abandonment. In the 18th Century, under Bourbon rule, the island was re-populated with colonists from the island of Ischia.
Interested visitors can seek out several traces of Ponza’s history. Unfortunately, as the island’s tourism is mostly summer-only and not especially cultural, its heritage is rather neglected and not much of a ‘feature’ of Ponza’s tourism offering. But boat tours will point out the ruins of the Roman clifftop villa, of caves and of an aqueduct running through the cliffs. Adventurous explorers can scramble along a path to see ancient tombs carved into the cliffs, while a visit to the beach can be combined with a dip in an old Roman fish-pond dug in the rock. A Roman tunnel connecting the island’s two shores was still used in modern times to access the famous moon-shaped Chiaia di Luna beach, though more recently tunnel and beach have been closed for safety reasons.
Boating is one of the most popular activities with Ponza’s annual Italian visitors. You can hire small boats to go fishing, tour the coastline or visit nearby islands. One of the classic Italian island activities is to join an organised boat tour, and Ponza offers a choice of these, including circuits of the island and trips to the smaller islands of Palmarola and Zannone. Palmarola is beautiful and fascinating, its bay thronged with pleasure boats in summer, while Zannone is a nature reserve. Boat tours head out from Ponza for day-long trips including swimming opportunities and pasta on board.
Frontone beach and rock basin Like most Italian islands, Ponza is rocky so don’t have many sandy beaches.
Ponza has fairly good ferry connections to the mainland. Most connections are to the port of Formia, a town on the railway line between Rome and Naples, with a few seasonal services to Anzio, Terracina and to Naples (via the islands of Ventotene and Ischia). For most of the year, depending on timetables, the easiest way to reach the island is to fly to Naples or Rome airports. From Naples, unless there is a convenient ferry from Naples on your day of travel, take a bus to Stazione Centrale and a train to Formia. From Rome Fiumicino airport take the Leonardo Express train to Stazione Termini and a train to Formia. The port in Formia is around 10-15 minutes walk downhill from the railway station.
Bordering Tuscany and Umbria in the north and Campania in the south, this often overlooked region of central Italy is rich in cultural interest and natural beauty. Outside of Rome, it is sparsely populated and geographically diverse, with large volcanic lakes at Bracciano, right, and Bolsena, sandy beaches and remote Apennine peaks. Its northern reaches are lush and green, their soft rolling contours reminiscent of the classic Tuscan countryside further north. To the south and east, the landscape takes on a sharper note as the hills become higher and the terrain less hospitable.
In the centre is Rome, Lazio’s great showcase city. Founded in 753BC – if the legend of Romulus and Remus is to be believed – it grew to become the fearsome Caput Mundi (capital of the world), the hub of an empire that stretched from Spain to the Middle East, from North Africa to northern England. Decline set in after the 5th century when it fell to Germanic barbarians. But many of its monuments survive, not only in the city itself but also in the surrounding countryside, where you’ll find epic sites such as Ostia Antica and the Unesco-listed Villa Adriana at Tivoli.
During the Middle Ages, Rome became an important religious destination as Christians flocked to the city to worship at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul. Trailblazing British pilgrims arrived on the Via Francigena, a 2,083km road that ran from Canterbury through France and Switzerland down to Rome. Some 800 years on, the Via is still open to walkers. Camino Ways (020-3468 1516; caminoways.com) is one of a number of operators that offers hiking tours along the Lazio leg of the route.
The Vatican and its priceless treasures are still a big draw for the city, especially at Easter when huge crowds gather on St Peter’s Square to hear the Pope deliver his Urbi et orbi blessing.
Religious activity apart, spring is a gorgeous time to be in Lazio. Sunshine and blue skies bring out the best of Rome’s colourful streets and the countryside is awash with greenery and wildflowers. In Rome, the Spanish Steps burst into life in mid-April when they are adorned with hundreds of blooming azaleas. Later, on 21 April, the city celebrates its birthday with fireworks and historical re-enactments.
But long before Rome was founded, Lazio was home to a thriving ancient civilisation. The Etruscans emerged from the Stone Age to dominate pre-Roman Italy. Little now remains of their once powerful city-states but Lazio’s northern landscape is littered with haunting reminders of their passing.