Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekend Trips from Rome: Pontine Islands

If the madness of Rome starts to wear on you (and in the heat of summer, it just may), do as the Romans do. Head to the sea for the weekend. About an hour from Rome is the Tyrrhenian coast near Terracina, an area much enjoyed by Rome's residents since antiquity and well-known in mythology (Circe, the sorceress in Homer's Odyssey is said to have transformed Ulysses' men into pigs here). About 15 miles off this coastline is a little-known archipelago, the Pontine Islands, named for its principal island, Ponza. These rugged volcanic islands are as beautiful as Capri, but are smaller, quieter and sometimes also less expensive. On Ponza, Anna Fendi has another Villa Laetitia with only 3 rooms and she also owns La Limonaia a Mare, a 5 room guesthouse with views of the sea. You can catch a hydrofoil to Ponza from Anzio, just south of Rome, and be sure to rent a boat when you are on Ponza (available in the harbor). The water is one of the main attractions!

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