It’s not every day that you get to look out of your window and see the ruins of a 15th century palace. Or fortress. Or house of a wealthy family. Whatever it was atop that hill across from our villa on Isola di Ponza — that crumbling structure barely clinging to whatever historical moment in time it came from — it was a magical sight. Something out of one of my fantasies. I always dreamed of exploring ruins and castles as a young boy, but I had never thought I’d bee sleeping across from them.
Let alone have a hammock to relax in on the porch of a white-washed villa set in the rocky, green-brushed volcanic hills of Ponza Island.
Our crew of the This Is Your Time blog tour, all bags in tow, plodded along the winding pathways that snake through the hills of grey and orange rock, passing the white painted villas which seemed almost to be carved straight out of the hillside. This was after a winding truck drive down the small hairpin turns which rim the coastal cliffs that were incredibly treacherous and equally adventurous, with our whole blogger crew holding on for dear life.
Which made arriving all the more rewarding and the location even more fantastical.
After a brief hike (around Ponza, you definitely need to have good legs under you) we came up the hill and through the gate to our sweet getaway, our own bright white villa above Frontone Beach overlooking the sapphire blue Tyrrhenian Sea. A gentle breeze brought up the salty sea air and cooled our brows as we all heaved our bags down happily, ready to take in this beautiful place and relax.
All of us immediately went exploring the house. Or flopping down on our faces on the comfy beds. Maurizio Musella, owner of this villa and head of TuristCasa on Ponza Island, was nice enough to let us use both connected guesthouses while we were on the island. And wow, was it awesome. It had been a long day of traveling, leaving Umbria and the first half of our tour behind, taking a train 2 hours into Formia, and a ferry to the island over 3 hours. There was space to stretch out, plush couches and beds, and the setting sun shining through the doorways.
This felt like home away from home.
What I loved most was the décor; vibrant and lively and totally fitting for an island paradise, with fish painted on the walls, maroon and royal blue ceramic tiles, and handmade plate-ware.
I think I could sit there every morning for breakfast, couldn’t you?
Though we were all “oohing and ahhhing” at our accommodation for the next 3 days, it wasn’t long after arriving and dropping our bags that the beds and couches were enticing us it was nap-time for all.
For most of the time in Ponza when at the villa, besides having some family-style dinners cooked, or a few hangouts, this was mainly our spot to relax. And we were all fine with that. Of course blog tours are hectic, so it was nice to come back each day to such a homey and fantastical villa where we could all enjoy the views and decompress — whether it be from snorkeling all day, exploring the island, or waddling back with stuffed bellies.
Here is our villa above the pink house as seen from the ruins I gazed out at every morning.
Most of our blogger crew hanging out relaxing in the sun and eating lunch whipped up by Federico or Linnea. That table was our gathering spot when we all did work or just wanted to sit around and chat.
This is my “I’m going to destroy this plate of delicious pasta” face.
When I had heard we were going to be staying in a villa on Ponza Island, I couldn’t imagine it was going to be like this. The views alone were breathtaking, with panoramic scenes of the sea in front of you. But also the hospitality of Maurizio was stellar. He was kind enough to give us lifts to and from the port when possible, and even a day excursion by boat exploring the Island (much more on that to come!). And of course I can’t forget the company, with the other members of the blog crew really making it a fun place to stay. How often can you get a group of strangers together in a house and have everything be smooth?
Unless we had to ride into town, or if we didn’t bus it back, then we followed the path down the cliff-side to the beach and small port below the villa where we could catch a boat. That’s right, we could boat taxi from our villa! Since I was so fascinated by the ruins nearby I tried to do some sleuthing, and apparently it is called Fort Bentick or Fort Gable, built for defense of the port against raiders. But there isn’t much else. Now overgrown and a wind-swept shell of its former self, but still nonetheless nifty.