Anchors up as we head to our first European island. We were aboard our ferry to Ponza Island. As the ferry pulled into the port of Ponza, it was love at first sight. The small island off the western coast of Italy is pure paradise.
When I travel, I sometimes have ideas of where and when I want to go places. Most of the time, I just wing it. Ponza was a little different.
You ask, Why Ponza? Alyson and I read an article by Wes Anderson about Ponza and swimming to Palmarola island for pasta on the beach. Swim for food? Yes please! That was it, I had to find this island.
The island was originally inhabited by the Greeks. You can see the Greek influence everywhere. The island is bursting with colors. The 5 mile long island quickly become home. We soon knew everyone, and they sure knew us. We stuck out like a sore American thumb. In a good way…I hope!
We didn’t waste anytime. We walked and hiked the entire island. We got invited to the main hotel to swim in the grottos. We took a day long boat ride around Ponza and its sister island the uninhabited Palmarola. This is where the magic happened, and we ate pasta on the beach! We got invited over to the captain’s house for a home cooked Italian meal. We quickly found out that he was basically the mayor of Ponza. And of course his name was Luigi. Once you knew Luigi, you were in. How could we ever leave?
We became the infamous Americans. And I was Ms. California. They made us feel like Ponza was our new home. Luigi let me drive his boat and I told him he must be crazy. He also offered me a job. He said he needed an English speaking captain. After many laughs about the job offer over wine, pasta and fresh fish, he was already promoting me to public relations for the boat company that had been in his family for 50 years. I finally said, small problem, I don’t speak ANY Italian. And just like everything in Italy, he said, no problem!
It was everything I wanted a small Italian island to be! Food was delicious, people were warm and inviting, and the scenery- perfetto!!
On our way to the ferry, everyone we met during the week was there to send us off. We made promises to return. Ponza has made the best impression on me and I will never forget it.
Ciao Ponza, until next time!
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