Discover with us what to see in Ventotene, an enchanting Pontine island that will surprise you with its crystal clear sea and its captivating history.
A short distance from the Lazio coast, there is a special timeless place Ventotene is an island of volcanic origin, carved entirely out of tufa, which boasts a glorious past: an important trading stop on the Mediterranean routes as early as prehistoric times, it was called “Pandoteira,” dispenser of all things, by the Greeks because of its lush nature.
Today this pearl of the Pontine archipelago preserves its colors and charm intact, constituting an excellent tourist destination in central Italy, on par with the larger Ponza, an ideal vacation destination. Pristine crystal-clear seas, of course, but there’s more! If you’re planning a trip to Ventotene, here’s what to see and do on the island.
Holidays in Ventotene: the enchantment of the sea
Impossible not to start precisely with the clear waters that kiss the shores of Ventotene and represent its main attraction for Italian and foreign tourists. So on an island vacation, enjoy long swims in the sea, choosing as a base the beautiful Cala Nave or the rocks immediately below the lighthouse. There are other enchanting bays, but these can only be reached by sea: Cala Battaglia, Punta Pascone, Punta Eolo and the Sconciglie.
The Roman remains of Villa Giulia
The Emperor Octavian Augustus also fell in love with this sea and the entire island and decided to build a magnificent villa on the promontory of Punta Aeolus to the north. This impressive scenic complex was erected in the 2nd century BC and initially served as a summer residence for the imperial family and then as a place of gilded exile for their daughter Julia, who was deemed guilty of adultery. Today at Villa Giulia, you can walk among the remains of the courtyards, magnificent rooms, and the spa.
What to do in Ventotene: a visit to the Archaeological Museum
Ventotene is home to a premiere Archaeological Museum, which tells the story of the island through many artifacts, several of which are of underwater origin. The facility is located inside the Bourbon Castle, which houses the Town Hall. Amphorae and wreck remains are displayed here, along with interesting models and graphic renderings that reconstruct Roman cisterns and the splendors of Villa Giulia.
The prison of Santo Stefano in Ventotene
Ventotene is of great historical importance, not least because it is the site of the Santo Stefano prison, the place of imprisonment of many Risorgimento patriots and later several anti-fascists, and also of President Sandro Pertini. Built in the Bourbon period, the structure is spread over three horseshoe-plan floors and includes a chapel and a hospital. Take note, you can visit only in the morning.
What is there to see in Ventotene? The Church of Santa Candida
A lovely little church on the island is also dedicated to St. Candida, a “home” very dear to the island’s inhabitants (a few hundred in the non-tourist season). Particularly striking is the patronal festival that starts here on September 20 each year, coloring the city with paper balloons, processions and fireworks.
To Ventotene with Italo
Sea, history, and traditions to learn about: choose Ventotene as your vacation destination or as an ideal complement to a two-day itinerary in Naples. Getting to the island is easy thanks to Italo, which after taking you by high-speed rail to the city of Vesuvius offers discounted ferry tickets to Ventotene, thanks to its partnership with SNAV. The same comfortable and convenient means take you on your discovery of Procida, with its dream beaches and colors!