Sometimes when I discover a new location I think to myself “What took me so long to get here?” I had that feeling while sailing around the Pontine Islands…

As previously mentioned, during high traffic touristy, hot summer months the locals head out of the city to get away from all that. Usually a beach heaven where sun worshippers, snorkelers & swimmers unite! For visitors, Rome requires some heavy-duty sightseeing so treat yourself to the beauty of Ponza, a stunning volcanic archipelago just off the western coast of Lazio, midway between Rome and Naples (since you are already there, might as well). These islands offer a playground of sparkling turquoise and emerald waters, secluded beaches, grottos (blue grottos!!), sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving to discover underwater treasures as sunken ships (next time)and caves (lots of those).

Adding to the underwater sights, one morning I woke up to see a small boat with paintings on board. The divers emerged form the water and it turned out that they were installing an underwater exhibit!!! Grabbed my mask and swam over, what a unique experience!!! Four meters underwater fish were swimming around the beautiful images captured by Salvo Galano during his trip in South-East Asia.

Despite the long history and the evidence of Roman and pre-Roman ruins, the islands are not a well-known tourist destination, except among the Italians who flock there in the summer months.

Sailing the islands was spectacular and a great way to visit so many spots. Between bumping into Christie Brinkley in a cave, impromptu prosecco and aperitivo in a butcher shop, jumping into the natural “swimming pools”, watching a local 12 year old spear an octopus, swimming in crystal clear waters, I say it is definitely a vacation to repeat!!