Ventotene (yes, the name comes from vento, meaning ‘wind’) is the serious sister of fashionable Ponza, 40 kilometers to the west. Where Ponza is so snob and vacuous to be a sort of a running joke to Italians, Ventotene is just three kilometers long and 800 meters wide, with tall cliffs overlooking the sea. In fact, it is like a minuscule world of its own, with its own rules. To make an example, the few vehicles shuttling tourists from the harbor to the one village and back are only allowed to run when a ferry arrives: for the rest of the time, it’s no motors on Ventotene.
The island is not desolate however. Apart from being a splendid swimming and diving spot, the place brims with Roman archeological remains including waterways, villas and five sunken ships whose intact cargo is now exhibited in the local museum. Which, like the villas, can only be visited by appointment. We told you that Ventotene was different, didn’t we?