The island of Ponza is the largest of the Ponza islands, an archipelago located in the Tyrrhenian Sea facing the Gulf of Gaeta, and belongs to the province of Latina. Its territory is almost completely hilly and its beaches, taken by storm in the summer months, are jagged and mostly rocky, demonstrating the volcanic origin of the island.
The waters are perfect for diving thanks to the transparent seabed rich in fish. Ponza, however, is not just the sea, it holds a historical heritage to be discovered from the Roman structures to the Bourbon intervention.
If you are planning a weekend or even a day trip, here is one drive up on the island of Ponza: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening.
- 10 things to see in Ponza in a weekend
- What to see in Ponza in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Ponza: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Ponza
- Plan your stay in Ponza: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
10 things to see in Ponza in a weekend
1 - Porto Borbonico
A splendid setting where you can enjoy a pleasant walk and admire the sea.
The main feature is being considered one of the best examples of Bourbon architecture; the urbanization project was commissioned by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, and was entrusted to the major of the genius Antonio Winspeare and to the engineer Frances or Carpi. The port, more specifically, is a horseshoe-shaped dock in a semicircular promenade. The colors that are scrutinized are beautiful and they range from the red tones of the old warehouses on the pole to the yellow tones of the town hall. The entire structure faces west and is inserted in the ancient Greek port.
- walk in 5 minutes from Piazza Carlo Pisacane in the center - Get directions
- always accessible
2 - Cave-houses
One of the most particular attractions. It is real dwellings carved into the rock dating back to prehistoric times and restored over the centuries. During the Bourbon period and with the repopulation of the island, colonies of workers arrived from Torre del Greco; they settled down and built a rural village of caves which were then whitewashed, with internal tuff walls and capable of conveying rainwater for domestic use given the natural slope of the land. The most curious thing is that these caves are still inhabited today, especially by tourists on holiday on the island. The cave-houses can be found in large quantities in the Le Forna area.
- by bus in about 15 minutes from the port - Get directions
- always accessible (from the outside)
3 - The Caves of Pilate
Un cave system excavated by man southeast of the port, under the hill of the Madonna and the cemetery; are located at the height of the sea and are reachable only by sea.
Made in Roman times to be used as fish ponds, they are composed of 5 caves dug into the tuff and connected to each other by submarine tunnels joined to an external tank. The most accredited hypothesis is that they were used for the breeding of moray eels, a fish considered sacred by the Romans, which is why the caves are also called "the ancient Roman moray".
The most famous name is linked to Pontius Pilate, who is thought to be a young scion of a Roman noble family, sent to Ponza to quell a revolt, or to keep him away from city troubles. Succeeding in trying to quell the spirits, the Senate promoted him as Governor and with the nickname of Pontius.
- from the port in 10 minutes by renting one of the gozzo boats and heading east (from € 80,00 per day), or with organized excursions that always depart from the port - Get directions
- always accessible
4 - Church of Saints Silverio and Domitilla
A construction dating back to the Bourbon period, specifically to 1775. A beautiful building characterized by the dome overlooking the sea and the center of Ponza. The chapel and the walls are decorated with frescoes dating back to the 1940, which draw inspiration from those of the Sistine Chapel; inside, built with local tuff, there is a precious mosaic depicting the Holy Trinity and the Nativity of the Virgin by Michelangelo Cerruti. A very important monument for Ponza, where every year the Feast of San Silverio with processions along the streets of the town, festivals and traditions.
- from the port in 5 minutes on foot towards Via Roma - Get directions
- 11:00AM - 19:00PM
5 - The Botanical Garden
It is a real gem. IS' dominated by a Bourbon villa in Neoclassical style overlooking the port and part of the east coast from above, on the Belvedere Hill. It extends on the south-eastern side of the island and is rich in Mediterranean and exotic species. Here it is possible to admire the typical flora of the place and many resident and migratory birds that nest in this area. The view is breathtaking, offers postcard views.
- from the port in 10 minutes on foot towards Via Madonna - Get directions
- every day, visit by appointment
6 - Ethnographic Museum
The museum is located in Via Frontone inside a cave near Cala Frontone. Inside there are letters of lived stories, historical tools, statues, furnishings and photographs that were part of the everyday life of the ancient Ponza people, the idea of putting all these objects together and creating a museum was by Gerardo Mazzella, founder of the Cala Frontone Cultural Association. It impresses visitors for its being a atypical museum, is small and from an intimate and familiar environment. It offers the possibility, in a pergola in front with tables and chairs, to taste local specialties in a place with a regenerating atmosphere in front of the sea.
- it is 10 minutes from the port, reach Cala Frontone by sea by taxi boat (€ 5,00 return) or by bus, and then continue on foot following the signs along the road - Get directions
- contact the Cala Frontone Cultural Association at 339/8491446
7 - Chiaia di Luna
It is the most beautiful and famous on the island. A uncontaminated place where nature retains its beauty, from here also the view is breathtaking, the crystal clear water and the spectacular colors given by the volcanic rock formations.
In ancient times a tunnel dug into the rock was used by the Romans to get to this place. Today the Chiaia di Luna is reachable by sea but access is not allowed, the beach is in fact closed to the public as well as the Roman tunnel due to the high risk of landslides in the area, with boats you can stop 200 meters from the cove and enjoy the view at a safe distance.
- by sea from the port by renting a boat (from € 80,00 per day) or with organized excursions, lasting 5 hours, which always depart from the port at 11:30 and 12:00 - Get directions
- always accessible
8 - The coves of the island
The island of Ponza is one of the most popular destinations for sea lovers, its entire coast offers bays and beaches almost all free and characterized by waters ranging from green to turquoise, breathtaking scenery, white rocks and Mediterranean vegetation.
With the organized tours that depart from the port (lasting 5 hours, € 35,00 approximately) you will have the opportunity to visit them and stop for a dip in peace. Otherwise, to move more freely, you can rent a boat or take a taxi boat. Among the most beautiful beaches there is Bagno Vecchio bay, also called La Parata, is a wonderful one white pebble and gravel beach where you can snorkel.
Then there is the suggestive Cala Feola, the only sandy beach of the island, is located exactly near the Natural Pools. This area is protected by the hills of Capo Bosco and by the Montagna della Corte. You will also come across the romantic Cala del Core, on the rock the magma has formed a heart that seems to bleed. It is a free, stony and very quiet beach. In Cala Felce, where the plants reach the sea, you will see a very characteristic bay, the sulphurous rocks paint a good part of it yellow.
- organized excursions depart from the port to discover the most beautiful coves of the island, it is also possible to rent gozzo boats (from € 80,00 per day) or take advantage of taxi boats (€ 5,00 return)
- always accessible
9 - Natural swimming pools
Also known as the "Fontone", the natural pools are made up of volcanic rock and natural erosion lasting millennia. Thanks to this sort of natural shelter, the fishermen have created sheltered ravines for the storage of their boats. There are two natural pools: the first is completely surrounded by rocks (closed), the second overlooks the crystal clear sea. At the Natural Pools there is one Bathhouse where you can rent umbrellas, sunbeds, canoes and pedal boats. This location is a truly unmissable spectacle of nature.
- from the port you can reach Le Forna by bus in about 15 minutes, where the path to the swimming pools begins with 300 steps carved into the rock. Alternatively there is the taxi boat from the port - Get directions
- always accessible
10 - Roman Cistern of Dragonara
Un rainwater collection system to visit absolutely along its vaulted underground corridors illuminated by soft lights. The cistern is dug into the tuff and it is made up of parallel corridors that cross the perpendicular naves almost to form a chessboard, and of a series of open wells on the vaults that allowed the direct withdrawal of the water which, together with the thick layer of cocciopesto, guaranteed perfect waterproofing. Thanks to this excellent construction system, the structure has remained practically intact until today.
- from the port on foot in 7 minutes via Via Banchina Nuova - Get directions
- in April, May and September 2 daily visits at 11am and 00pm. From June to August at 17am, 00pm, 11pm and 00pm. By booking at least 12 hours in advance, it is possible to visit it at different times
- Full € 3,50, € 2,00 for students up to 16 years of age and free for children under 10. With the € 5,00 ticket you can also visit the Corridor Cistern
What to see in Ponza in one day: recommended itinerary
Set off to discover the island, with a visit to the Church of Saints Silverio and Domitilla, followed by the Botanical Garden where you can admire the typical flora of the place. For lunch, stop by Eea Restaurant to taste the typical Mediterranean dishes.
Move to the port. To fully enjoy the beauties of the island you can rent a gozzo for a tour starting from € 80,00 per day (or use the taxi boat € 5,00 round trip from one beach to another or book an organized boat excursion, from € 50,00). Leave at discovery of the most beautiful coves and caves of the island.
One of the first stops on organized tours, or moving east from the port by boat, are the Caves of Pilate. Then, continuing to navigate the island of Ponza clockwise, you will come across the bay of Old bathroom, in the beautiful beach of Chiaia di Luna, and do not miss the natural pools and the nearby Cala Feola, the only sandy beach in Ponza.
In the evening, dine at Orestorante, a typical restaurant with dishes based on fresh fish to be enjoyed on terraces overlooking the sea.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Church of Santi Silverio e Domitilla (11: 00-19: 00)
- Botanical Garden (visit by appointment)
- Lunch at "Eea Restaurant" - Get directions
- Caves of Pilate
- Baia di Bagno Vecchio
- Chiaia di Luna
- Natural pools
- Cala Feola
- Dinner at "Orestorante" - Get directions
Where to eat in Ponza: the best restaurants
- The fisherman: fish restaurant located in the Natural Pools area, reachable by a walk along the beach. Average price per person: € 40,00 Address and contacts: Strada Provinciale la Forna (Get directions) / tel: 0771 808752
- Orestorante: menu with fish specialties in a romantic atmosphere with terraces overlooking the sea. Average price per person: € 45,00 Address and contacts: Via Dietro la Chiesa (Get directions) / tel: 0771 80338
- Eea restaurant: Mediterranean dishes served in a sea view room with terrace, large windows and marble floor. Average price per person: € 50,00 Address and contacts: Corso Umberto I (Get directions) / tel: 0771 80100
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Ponza
Ponza's nightlife really comes to life in the summer. It is obviously a seaside resort with a crystal clear sea and with guaranteed fun and therefore it is easy to find clubs, discos and lounge bars to spend the evening after having been tourists during the day. They are concentrated in particular along the quay overlooking the sea.
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Winspeare: open until late overlooking the sea of Ponza, it is one of the oldest places and a destination every year for lovers of live music and good taste / Address: Via Banchina di Fazio (Get directions)
- Mamafe: reference point of nightlife, in the fantastic setting of their garden with white sofas and exposed stone you can enjoy cocktails and aperitifs under the stars with DJ-sets and live music / Address: Via Campo Inglese (Get directions)
- Or Sarracino: it is located in the heart of the Bourbon port, about 3 meters from the sea, once it was a fishermen depot, organizes evenings with live music all summer / Address: Via Banchina di Fazio, 15 (Get directions)
Plan your stay in Ponza: info and useful tips
- reachable only by sea, the ports of departure are Formia and Terracina, in summer also Anzio and Circeo. The route with the Vetor hydrofoils starts from € 20,00 each way
- Getting around: with the local buses of Schiaffini, with the main stops at the port, in Le Forna and Cala Feola. You can walk through the alleys, instead you will need boats and taxi boats to visit the caves and coves
- Where to park: in the summer months it is forbidden to drive by car for non-residents, in winter there may be severe restrictions
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 40,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: island of Palamarola (8 km)