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Ponza, Italy Cruises

Ponza is often referred to as Porto by the locals, simply because that’s where the port is located. The town itself is the main town of the island and is where most of the action takes place, so when you disembark you’ll never more than a short walk away from most attractions.

The largest of the Italian Pontine Islands, Ponza is just far enough away from the mainland to make it an impractical destination for mass tourism. This minor impracticality allows the island to keep a hold of its best Italian characteristics, including its stunning natural beauty and the laid-back attitudes of the locals. Ponza’s coastline stretches on for 22km, providing sun-worshippers with plenty of room to soak up some rays before hitting the trendy bars and clubs come sunset.

Sightseeing in Ponza

Ponza town is the busiest part of the island with the most things to see and do. Come summer, it’s heaving with parties, festivals and events which take place during the daytime and on an evening. Although attractions are few and far between – something which adds to the charm of the place – there are still plenty of things to see and do, including:

Giardino Botanico Ponziano: Ponza’s botanical gardens were established in the 1980s by Dr Biagio Vitiello who wanted to protect the natural heritage of the archipelago. The gardens are home to a variety of rare woody plants which are native to the Pontine Islands, as well as a vast collection of ferns and orchids, with many beautiful and colourful examples on display. There are illustrated brochures available for visitors to use or alternatively, you can sign up for a guided tour.

Grotte di Pilato: rent a private boat and skipper to explore the wondrous Pilato caves. Excavated in Roman times so women could bathe without burning their skin, these caves are incredibly beautiful and are a must-see. Don’t forget to take your camera for the chance to snap pictures of the dancing waves being reflected on the surface of the cave’s ceiling. Your experienced skipper will be able to tell you all about the history of the caves and answer any questions you may have.

Monte Guardia: the highest point in Ponza, this mountain offers unparalleled panoramic views which stretch across the island. Whether you’re an enthusiastic hiker or amateur rambler, you’ll enjoy the walk to the peak which will take you past the island’s numerous terraces where the locals grow grapes for wine, as well as cactus pears and figs for eating.

Shopping in Ponza

Since Ponza is the main town on the island, this is where you’ll find most of the shopping opportunities. You can buy all sorts of things here, from handmade jewellery, trinkets and souvenirs to traditional ceramics, snorkelling gear and clothes. You’ll find most of the shops and boutiques along the port, with a handful of other stores located in the back streets.

After you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, take it easy by enjoying an ice cream or a refreshing drink at one of the many cafes or bars in the town.

Eating Out in Ponza

If you like freshly caught fish and seafood, you’ll be in heaven in Ponza. The port is lined by restaurants which specialise in these delicacies, with freshly caught that very morning being the standard.

The flavour combinations are simple, but work incredibly well, with dishes such as steamed clams, seared tuna, fried calamari and grilled whole white fish being very popular. Most eateries offer an extensive wine list with plenty of local bottles available to compliment your meal.

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