This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a longer vacation to Italy than usual. In fact, the entire trip lasted almost 2 months, 2 months of extensive and at times, travel throughout Italy. Some of the places I visited included Milano, Brescia, Bologna, Lecco, Reggio Emilia, Verona, Rome, Bari, Naples, The Amalfi Coast, parts of the Tuscan countryside, Sicily, and the island of Ponza, off the coast somewhere between Naples and Rome.
Ponza, while popular with Italians, is not frequented by many foreigners. Although the town itself is quite attractive, the main attractions are the coasts and great food. Similar in many respects to Capri, the two stark differences are the lack of non Italian tourists and the savings compared to other islands. Most of the Italians on Ponza are from Rome and Naples as Ponza is about as easily accessible from either city. In fact, the “Ponzesi” speak with an accent and dialect that is somewhere between the two. Of the 5-6 restaurants we tried we never had a bad meal. The fish dishes and pastas were fantastic and if you order the house wine, you will not run up a large bill. The only comment regarding the restaurants that immediately comes to mind is that you should try not to stray from the menu and you should ask for a bill that outlines what you got. On several occasions, the waiters attempted to just jot down a number on a piece of paper.
The beaches on Ponza are gorgeous although one of the highlights was taking a speed boat to the nearby, semi-deserted island of Palmarola. There are very few houses on Palmarola and a couple of them are owned by the Fendi’s, who also rent out rooms dug out from the rocks.
If you are looking for sunshine, pristine waters, great food and affordable prices, Ponza may be a great alternative to Capri or some of the other Italian resort islands.