Off the southern Lazio coast, this group of volcanic islands serves as an Italian Hamptons. Between mid-June and the end of August,
Ponza and Ventotene – the only two inhabited islands – buzz with holidaymakers and weekenders who descend in droves to eat shellfish at terrace restaurants, swim in emerald coves and cruise around the islands’ craggy, cave-pitted coastlines. Outside of summer, the islands are very quiet, and, although expensive, a joy to explore.
Action centres on Ponza town, which rises above the harbour in a medley of white blocks and pastel hues, offering the usual array of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a small sandy beach.