Anne's Blog

Ventotene: Agenda for a Few Days in Paradiso

Date: September 2, 2014 - categories: - Leave your thoughts

When you head to that small slice of paradiso, aka, the island of Ventotene (south of Rome, near the island of Ponza), you’ll want to make a list before you leave on “not-to-miss experiences.” Your list should include: – swim every day as much as you can in the turquoise waters off the jutting lavic rocks below the lighthouse – take a guided tour of the Roman ruins of the Villa Giulia (where Augustus exiled his only daughter in the 1st c. AD) – join a guided tour through the labyrinthine Roman cisterns (turned into a prison in the 18th c) – take a boat over to the small island of Santo Stefano for a fascinating guided tour of the former prison there, unique in its structure, unique in its implementation of innovative prison reforms – visit the Forno Aiello enough times to try all the pastries, all the types of focaccia (especially the escarole one) – and not only – browse the bookstore just opposite the 18th-c municipio (“city hall”) and enjoy the scene of all the island-visitors reading (evenings are the best time to see the scene) – have enough time to try favorite eating spots more than once! – sip espresso every morning in Piazza Castello (main square) at the outdoor tables of Bar/Ristorante Da Verde under a canopy of vines – and if you wish, line up to get the newspaper around 11 a.m at the newsstand next door (the ferry comes in about that time, bringing the papers) – plan a morning three-hour giro dell’isola (“trip around the island”) on a small boat with others (not more than ten usually in a boat), with three stops to swim in the translucent water of hidden coves (reachable only by boat). If you can, book Gianmarco as his passione for his island’s Roman (and not only) history is contagious. Here are a few photos from our memorable giro dell’isola:

Boat pulls out for the giro

Boat pulls out for the giro


Two young sisters ready to dive in after Mom


What water!

Enticing coves surround the island

Enticing coves surround the island

Everyone off to see the splendors

Everyone off to see the splendors

Gianmarco talks about the Roman port warehouses as we pass them

Gianmarco talks about the Roman port warehouses as we pass them

Leap of joy into Ventotene seas

Leap of joy into Ventotene seas

Mediterranean splendor of Ventotene seas

Mediterranean splendor of Ventotene seas

Off to head around the island

Pino’s all ready for our three-hour boat ride with swims in island coves

Read more about the island of Ventotene

See – and read about – Forno Aiello

Read about Ventotene culinary pleasures

Read about a culinary family of Ventotene

Read why this is a “literary island”

Read about Ventotene’s many enticements

See the kaleidoscopic colors of Ventotene

Read about – and see! – pizza goodness (and not only) on Ventotene

Read about Ventotene’s bakery

Read about the European summit on the island of Ventotene, Aug. 22, 2016

Read why a return to Venotene is like “coming home”

Read about good eating at the “scooter truck”

Read about “palate poetry” on Ventotene

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