Peter's Post: Visiting Italy's Pontine Islands
Our expert answers your travel questions
We would like to visit the Pontine Islands off the coast of Italy when we are in Rome in August/September. Which are worth visiting, how do we get there and where should we stay? - Sally Rademeyer
There are only two islands you should consider staying on as they have good accommodation options and transport connections to the mainland. These are Ponza and Ventotene. Ponza is more popular and offers great swimming, boating and tourist facilities. It is considered a low-key version of Capri, and attracts many celebrities and rich Romans, as well as young travellers over weekends. Ventotene is smaller and its best offering - besides superb views - is peace and quiet.
Both islands have interesting histories. From them , you can do day trips to sights on some of the other islands, such as the prison on Santo Stefano and a ruined monastery and nature reserve on Zannone.
You can also check out the Grotte di Pilato, three caves where the Romans dug fishpools to raise their seafood supper. You can make the 42km journey from the mainland to Ponza by hydrofoil or ferry, which runs from Anzio. Anzio from Rome is an hour by train. The easiest way to get to Ventotene is by ferry from Terracina or Fornia, both on the coast between Rome and Naples. There is lots of accommodation on Ponza, in the port and the town of Le Forno.
If you want to live it up, book into the five-room Limonaia a Mare guesthouse, opened by fashion designer Anna Fendi. But you'll do just fine in the three-star Hotel Mari in the port.
It has a great location with good views. Prices are highest in July and August, so you would get a better rate the later you can go in September. Expect to pay around R1000-R1500 for a double room. Book the hotel on www.hotelmari.it or www.booking.com. You can book a ferry and find more info at www.infoponza.it.