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Santo Stefano and Ventotene, Italy: Intense Colours and Exceptional Hospitality

Ventotene (Italy) is a quarter of the size of Ponza and is better suited for a tranquil repose or a weekend spent snorkelling or diving in its emerald coves. The island, in fact, has become renowned in Italy for its scuba-diving excursions thanks to its untouched marine reserves. The island has a small village with houses around the port and is car-free, spartan and humble compared with Ponza.

Ventotene (Italy) can be visited entirely by foot thanks to its limited size, offering a profuse view of the beach and the sea all around. In spite of its size, there are a lot of places to visit: the residence in which Giulia, Emperor Augustus’ daughter, lived in exile; the Roman harbour and a museum that collects the historical ruins of the Island.

Once landed on the island of Ventotene, you will be welcomed by something amazing: wild nature as well as historical treasures in a small piece of land.

You will be faced with an incredible view of the old port of Ventotene, which is carved entirely in tufa stone. It is the first unique surprise you will experience on this wonderful island.

After a morning stroll through its narrow streets, in the afternoon you can relax and sunbathing in one of its beaches. Cala Nave, which is easily reached on foot from the town centre, it is a cove with dark volcanic sand.

However, it can be very crowded because it is near the centre and has many amenities, but it is ideal for swimming with its crystalline sea. If you love the sunset, go to Al Faro, a rocky beach famous for its stunning sunset.

If you love to explore more, it is also possible to get a boat and have a circumnavigation of the Island from Punta Eolo to Punta Arco or reach the near S. Stefano Island, where are the famous Bourbon’s Prisons.

Today S. Stefano, the tiniest island of the Pontines, is uninhabited, but until 1965 thousands of criminals, mafiosi and anarchists were jailed and tortured here.

Stepping inside one of the rusty cells sends shivers down the spine. You need to be fit, though, to walk uphill along a donkey trail with prickly pears, but it’s worth it. From the top, the view stretches all the way to Mount Vesuvius!

Don’t miss in Ventotene (Italy): Taste Vincenzo’s local products (you’re sure to spot his cart adjacent to the port) and have a fish dinner in the romantic garden of Il Giardino di Ventotene.

How to get there

The route Ponza-Ventotene is active all year long and is managed by the ferry companies Snav and NLG. The ferry company Snav offers 5 weekly sailings of 50 minutes and NLG offers 1 sailing per week of 45 minutes.

Ventotene Island Hotels – Where to Stay

villa iulia

Best luxury hotel: Hotel Villa Iulia 3*

Breathtaking location

Located in Ventotene, Hotel Villa Iulia is set on a cliff overlooking the sandy beach of Caia Nave and facing Santo Stefano Island. All rooms have either a balcony or terrace with a sea view. Guests can walk to Piazza Castello in a minute, while the harbour where the ferries leave from is 400 m away. An Italian breakfast of fresh fruits, croissants, yogurt, and coffee is served each morning in the breakfast room.

Rooms from € 160/night

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isola bella

Best mid-range hotel: Hotel Isola Bella 3*

Excellent breakfast

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the family-run Hotel Isolabella is on the peaceful island of Ventotene, 650 m from Ventotene Pier. Rooms are simply decorated and feature artwork and colourful bed linen. Isolabella’s restaurant serves traditional Italian cuisine on its sea-view terrace.

Rooms from € 120/night

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borgo

Best budget hotel: Hotel Borgo Cacciatori 2*

Spectacular view

Featuring a restaurant and an outdoor summer pool, the family-run Borgo Cacciatori is on the island of Ventotene. Guests can relax in the garden and on the furnished terrace offering sea views. The restaurant serves local cuisine. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to Ventotene Harbour, with ferries to Formia or the neighbouring islands of Ponza and Ischia.

Rooms from € 100/night

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