Allegedly named after Pontius Pilate (although this is now disputed) Ponza was first colonized by the Etruscans. In Roman times it was used as a place to deport, and usually put to death, those who fell foul of Rome's authorities. In the Middle Ages it could not be protected against raids by Saracens and pirates and was abandoned. It was re-occupied in the 18th Century. The island is a popular tourist spot for Italian holidaymakers in the summer, although some of the popular beaches have been closed because of falling rocks that have in the past killed sunbathers.
In the Italian Fascist era Ponza served as a penal colony. Ironically, Mussolini was himself held on Ponza for a few weeks after his arrest in 1943.
Ponza is a popular location for filmmakers. Perhaps the most famous was Federico Fellini who filmed Satyricon in 1969.
From Rome, Ponza can be reached by train or car to Formia followed by a two-hour ferry . There are frequent trains from Rome's Termini station. There are also ferries from Anzio www.LazioMar.it From Naples there are also ferries and hydrofoils, but only in the summer .
- There is a bus that runs every 10-30 minutes. It departs from Via Banchina Nuova, 15.
- Porto di Ponza. A beautiful port, hard to miss since this will most likely be your point of arrival.
- Archaeological remains. Ponza has numerous Etruscan, Roman and other remains. Most famous is probably the Roman Gallery which is a Roman tunnel that connects the town of Ponza to the beach of Chiaia di Luna. Another Roman Tunnel that connects Giancos to Santa Maria collapsed a few years ago, following nearby construction work that used explosives, but has now been restored.
- Chiaia di Luna Beach. However, the beach is closed due to the danger of falling rocks that have killed some tourists in the past.
- Cala Feola
- Cala Fonte
- Ristorante Punta Incenso, da Anna
The cliffs can be dangerous. Stay away from the edge.