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Ventotene, an island of Tyrrhenian Sea but certainly not one of many. Protected by the patroness, Santa Candida, celebrated on 20 September, the festival is held every year in August "Ventotene Film ", this island is also an area that 12 months out of 12 preserves marine wonders thanks to the reserve created ad hoc. Beach life, life below sea level and leisure life: nothing is missing, especially the desire to visit it. At least with the thought: let's go!
Ventotene: where it is
Ventontene, the island is located offshore, between Lazio and Campania, has clear volcanic origins and geographically belongs to the Pontine archipelago, together with the nearby smaller island of Santo Stefano, about 2 kilometers to the east. Geologically, however, our island is associated with Ischia, Procida and Vivara, all together form the group of flegree.
Ventotene measures about 1.9 km and has an elongated shape, belongs to the municipality of the same name which with its 1.54 square km is the smallest municipality in central Italy in size and the southernmost in Lazio for its position.
The climate we can enjoy by visiting the marine reserve and the earthly beauties is very mild, with never harsh winters and scarce daily temperature variations while the summers are hot but breezy.
Ventotene: the island
This beautiful island has a fascinating history, already with many primates, and which dates back to the era of the Greeks when it was called Pandataria or Pandaria. Later it passed to the Romans, it was a colony of the Empire and some members of the imperial family were confined to Ventotene, such as the only daughter of Augustus, Giulia (39a.c.-14d.c.) from which the sumptuous "Villa Giulia ”in Punta Eolo of which today we can only imagine the beauty, since only a few ruins remain.
Among the more recent confined people we even find theformer President of the Republic Sandro Pertini and many other important names. In 1795, a prison was built on the island of Santo Stefano, which was active until 1965, while our marine reserve island has also become famous for its manifesto "For a free and united Europe" later known as the Ventotene Manifesto: it is a document drawn up by some opponents of the fascist regime confined there who, in the middle of the Second World War, asked for the union of European countries.
A few years later, in 1943, an English aircraft sank the ferry "Saint Lucia" north west of Punta Eolo, about 60 people died and today the wreck is still "visible" by divers in a dive with a historical and tragic but very interesting taste.
Ventotene: video on the marine reserve
The wreck is certainly not the only particularity that makes it worthwhile to reach Ventotene and dedicate at least a couple of days to visit the protected marine natural area of Islands of Ventotene and Santo Stefano. I leave to this eloquent video the story in images of what awaits us as soon as we land.
The most interesting beaches are those related to diving, for us who are now virtually visiting the marine reserve. This without denying the beauty of the many beaches that, once on the islands, we can reach for swimming in the water and the sun, to dive into a book under an umbrella, in complete relaxation.
The best "trips" for divers start from the west coast, that of the Marine Protected Area, are not too crowded and are accessible to all divers. Punta Pascone it is a very suggestive destination for underwater photography, the maximum depth to be addressed is 15 meters, we reserve a seabed of black lava sand, populated by weever and rhombuses.
There Secca dell’Archetto, about 300 meters from the coast of the island, it is located in the open sea and surprises with a suggestive underwater tunnel inhabited by sponges, red mullet and sea anemones up to 50 meters deep. Punta dell’Arco, maximum 40 meters deep, is a dive with two caves to visit without forgetting even one of the tunnels full of red damselfish. Among the dives we do not forget the one already mentioned, for thel Wreck of the Santa Lucia, leaning against a sandy bottom, up to about 50 meters deep.
Ventotene: how to get there
To reach theVentotene island boarding is at port of Formia, about an hour or so by train from both Rome and Naples. In both cases you can also use the car and park in Formia in free or paid areas. Then, by sea: Laziomar offers a service ferry and hydrofoil, for the first, if you want to embark the vehicle it is better to book well in advance. Then there is the Snav shipping company which operates the service only in the summer season hydrofoil from Naples to Ventotene.
By inquiring for each individual case and period, we can also find hotels that provide a "transport service" for their customers. To know, before deciding whether to take a car or train and to take it car on the island, that once disembarked, circulation is only allowed one hour after the arrival of ferries and hydrofoils, to preserve the tranquility of the island.
Many hotels offer interesting places for relaxation and fun, allowing for a top stay, to visit the marine reserve of the island and feel good even after surfacing. L'Agave and Ginestra Hotels it has a wonderful and very marine aspect, offers an equally wonderful view, seasoned by the courtesy of the staff, L'Hotel Isolabella it is above the new port, very comfortable but equally quiet, elegant and with many extra services to ensure comfort and relaxation. Me too'Hotel lo Smeraldo offers a stay that combines quiet with courtesy, very dignified and clean, excellent for those who want to be in peace and gaze at the sea.
An alternative to the classic hotel is that of bed & breakfast and there are, a Ventotene. The Great Farm Parade is in the best position to admire great sunsets and enjoy the silence of the island, theBelvedere Hotel is to be defined as a true corner of paradise, simple and comfortable, then there is theHotel Villa Iulia, more central, with a well equipped structure and one Breath-taking view.
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