Formia is a town in the province of Latina and one of the most important seaside resorts in the region of Lazio. Thanks to its location, it is the main port of departure to the islands of Ponza and Ventotene.
Discover the must-see places and sights in Formia, explore the local gastronomy, and find information on ferries to the Pontine Islands. Take a look at our tips to plan the best holidays in Italy!
Find all the info you need about Formia and its port:
The beautiful coast of the Pontine archipelago
Formia ferry port
The port of Formia dates back to ancient times, and has been the main reason for the city's urban development in the Roman Republic era.
The safety of its port earned the city the name Hormia, which means "excellent docking place". According to legend, in fact, the only ship of Ulysses that managed to escape the Lestrigoni giants, arrived safe in Formia.
Protected by 2 L-shaped piers, the port of Formia today is the main port from which ferries depart to the Pontine Islands.
Ferries from Formia port: schedules and tickets
From Formia, you can reach the beautiful islands of Ponza and Ventotene all year round. Ferry connections between Formia and the Pontine Islands are served very frequently and are operated by Laziomar ferries and hydrofoils.
As for prices, Formia - Pontine Islands ferry tickets start at €12. However, ticket costs may vary depending on the season and the type of ferry.
On Laziomar ferries, you can also travel with your pet by paying a small fee, and you can bring along your vehicle (only on conventional ferries).
Here is some useful information on ferry routes from Formia:
- The ferry route to Ponza from Formia is operated with up to 3-4 departures per day, and the crossings last 1 hour 10 minutes or 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the type of ferry.
- Formia - Ventotene ferries are active every day with almost 14 departures a week. Depending on the ferry type, crossings can take 1 or 2 hours.
Useful info: during the summer months you can also reach the Pontine Islands from the ports of Naples, Anzio, Terracina, and even from Ischia. Take a look at all available routes on our Map of ferries, and discover one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Italy!
Where is the ferry port in Formia?
The port of Formia is located northeast of the Gaeta promontory and near the historic center of the city. The train station is just a 10-minute walk from the port, as well as some city attractions (including the Great Roman Cistern and the Spanish Gate).
In the port area, you can find various amenities, such as bars, restaurants, pastry shops, nightclubs, shops, parking lots, car rental agencies, and pharmacies.
How to get to Formia port?
The port of Formia is located in the city center, so you can easily reach it on foot, by car or by taxi. Moreover, thanks to its position between Rome and Naples, it is a popular stopover for travelers arriving from different parts of Italy.
If you arrive with your vehicle via the A1 motorway, you will need to take the Cassino exit and follow the E45 state road for 46 km. Then follow Appia road until the roundabout, take the Lungomare Repubblica road, and you will find the port on the left.
The Formia train station is only 10 minutes away from the port on foot. Both taxis and free shuttles leave from there every 20 minutes.
Useful info: if you choose to arrive in Formia by train, we recommend taking advantage of Trenitalia's Portlink service. Pick "Formia Porto" as the final station to purchase the train+bus ticket. Keep in mind that the bus service is free.
Motorboats at the port of Formia
Vacation in Formia
If it’s the first time you are hearing about the Riviera of Ulysses, know that it’s definitely worth a visit! You can start from Formia, discover more places on the coast, and then catch a ferry to the wonderful Pontine Islands.
Holidays in Formia are not just about the sea; they’re also about history, art and nature. Apart from its coastline, you have the opportunity to explore archeological sites and stunning natural landscapes.
Take 1-2 days to discover the city, take a tour around the area, and then head to Ponza and Ventotene. Formia and the Pontine Islands can satisfy every traveler’s taste!
How to get to Formia
Formia is located on the western coast of Italy, approximately 130 km from Rome and 70 km from Naples. You can reach Formia from all over Italy by car, but there are also trains and buses that connect it to some cities and towns.
From Roma Termini railway station, domestic trains to Formia depart every 30 minutes and they take about 1.5 hours to reach the city. There are also daily trains from Naples that leave every hour, with the trip lasting around 50 minutes.
The bus companies ATP and Cotral operate on the connections between Formia and other towns and cities in Lazio.
The closest airport to Formia is Rome Fiumicino. From there, you can head to Roma Termini station and continue by train to Formia.
Magical sunset at Formia’s seafront
What to do in Formia
If you plan to visit the Pontine Islands, Formia is your ideal port of departure. As ferry routes to Ponza and Ventotene from there are active all year round, you should take advantage of the frequent crossings and spend a few days in the city as well.
Start from its historic center, visit the main monuments and reach the Appian Way to admire more treasures from the Roman era. Then stroll along the seafront and head to a sefood restaurant to try the local dishes.
From Formia, you can also easily reach more great locations on the Ulysses Riviera, such as Gaeta and Sperlonga, where you can relax on dreamy beaches and discover ancient villages!
If you are an adventure enthusiast, we recommend trying water sports (such as windsurfing) and trekking on mountain trails with amazing sea views, which are among the most popular activities to do in Formia.
Beaches in Formia
Formia has been a seaside tourist resort since Roman times, and today travelers choose this destination above all for the beauty of its coastline. The city beaches are few, but nearby you can find many more enchanting ones, some equipped with amenities and others more wild.
Here are 5 beaches in Formia and the surrounding area that are definitely worth a visit:
- Vindicio: very close to the historic center of Formia, this beach is among the busiest. It has very fine sand and is exposed to currents, this is why it is called "the home of windsurfers". You can find both spots free of amenities and areas with beach establishments to spend a whole day by the sea.
- Sassolini: located in a beautiful bay inside the Park of Gianola, it is 9 km from Formia. This natural paradise is famous for its picture-perfect pebbles and emerald green waters. Apart from the free area, there is also a private beach with parking space for guests of the establishment. You can access the beach via a staircase that starts from the bar.
- Gianola: This long strip of golden sand is located in the Lungomare Santo Janni area. Its beach is protected by cliffs and breakwaters and is characterized by several semicircles. The beach also offers some bathing establishments and the entire area is served with hotels, bars and clubs of various kinds.
- Serapo: this is the most famous beach in Gaeta, but it is only a 13-minute drive from Formia. Located near the city center and the village, it is very popular thanks to its beautiful waters and golden sand. From the beach, you can admire the famous ship of Serapo, a large rock connected with the legend of Ulysses and Circe.
- 300 Steps (or Arenauta): among the most beautiful beaches in Lazio, it is a 1.5-km-long stretch of sand surrounded by rocky spurs and Mediterranean scrub. It is one of the most pristine stretches on the coast and is located 10 km from Formia. The southernmost part of the beach is very popular with naturists.
The marvelous 300 Steps beach near Formia
Sightseeing in Formia
The city of Formia is divided into 3 districts (Mola, Castellone and Maranola) and has numerous medieval monuments, Roman remains and religious buildings.
Among the city’s must-see attractions are:
- The Tower of Mola, the only remains of a fortress built around 1,200 CE
- The Spanish Gate (Porta degli Spagnoli), built next to the Mola Castle during the Aragonese period
- The Great Roman Cistern, dating back to the 1st century BCE
- The church of Sant'Erasmo, the patron saint of the city
- The hermitage of San Michele Arcangelo, located on the slopes of Monte Altino
- The Tower of Castellone, standing out in the district of the same name
- The Tomb of Cicero, a monumental mausoleum located at the entrance to Formia, on the Appian Way
- The National Archaeological Museum of Formia, located on the ground floor of the Municipal Palace
- The church of St. Mary of the Martyrs, in the historic center of Maranola
- The caves of Sant'Erasmo, a cryptoporticus overlooking the sea and dating back to Roman times
What to see around Formia
If you spend a few days in Formia before or after your holiday in Ponza and Ventotene, take the opportunity to also visit:
- The Regional Park of Gianola and Mount Scauri, one of the most beautiful natural areas in the Gulf of Gaeta
- Gaeta, known as "the city of 100 churches", which also rich in beautiful beaches
- The village of Terracina, a perfect mix of sea, history, art, and culture
- Sperlonga, with whitewashed houses and a unique atmosphere
- Itri, an enchanting medieval village located on the slopes of the Aurunci Mountains
The medieval village of Itri on the slopes of the Aurunci Mountains
Nightlife in Formia
Formia is generally a quiet city, perfect for relaxing moments and cultural exploration. However, it offers several entertainment opportunities, especially in summer.
The bars and pubs are mainly concentrated in the seafront area and between via Tosti and via Vitruvio. During winter, young people usually go out in the historic center and Piazza Vittoria, while in summer the fun moves to the port area.
For nightclubs, however, there are more options outside Formia, such as in the nearby Gaeta or Sperlonga.
Food in Formia
The gastronomy of Formia is based on ancient and traditional recipes. Thanks to proximity to the sea, but also to the mountains, the area is rich in quality products that are used in delicious dishes.
Here are some delights to try while in Formia:
- Spaghetti alla formiana (with seafood)
- Panzerotti (small fried calzones stuffed with mozzarella and tomato)
- Marzolino cheese
- Paranza (fried small fish and seafood)
- Tiesto formiano (baked pasta dish, with vegetable and cheese)
- Pigna pasquale (frosted braid-shaped cake)
- Crostata di visciole (sour cherry tart)
A delicious, fresh sour cherry tart
Tips for Formia
Check out 3 tips for your trip to Formia by Ferryhopper:
- If you love trekking, you should know that in Formia you can find one of the most beautiful trails in Lazio, that of Monte Redentore. Reach the top and the Statua del Cristo Redentore (Statue of Christ the Redeemer), admire the wild nature and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views!
- We strongly recommend visiting Formia in the summer months, when the city comes alive with many cultural, musical and gastronomic events.
- Don't miss the opportunity to visit the famous Roman Cistern of Formia through an underground route with a guided tour. The entrance ticket costs only €3!
Useful information about Formia
Formia is a city that is easy and interesting to explore, offering numerous services, activities, sea, and culture. You can discover it in one day and then take the ferry to Ponza and Ventotene, or spend several days there to see more of its monuments, beaches and nature reserves.
If you decide to stay in Formia for at least one night, you can find B&Bs, hotels, cheap apartments, and even farmhouses. We recommend seeking accommodation near the center and the seafront to be close to most sights and services, and experience the authentic city atmosphere.
If you arrive in Formia by car and wish to visit Ponza and Ventotene during the day, you can leave your vehicle in one of the private parking lots near the port. Some of them provide a car collection and return service directly at the boarding stations.
To find out more about the history of Formia and opening hours for the monuments, you can visit the tourist info point located in via Vitruvio.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Formia
Here are some numbers that could prove useful during your stay in Formia:
- Formia Town Hall: +3907717781
- Formia Port Authority: +39077121552
- Tourist Info Point: +3907717781
- Carabinieri (military police): +390771790600
- Police: +39077172481
- Formia Hospital: +3907717791
- Emergency medical service: +390771779337
- Taxi services: +393297015075, +393200408123
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Formia
Formia is a city that is easy to explore on foot, as the main attractions are located around the center. However, you can also use the local means of transportation.
If you prefer to get around Formia by taxi, there are several services you can call. You can also find taxis in the Formia train station square and in via Banchina Azzurra at the port.
In the port area, there are some rental services for cars, motorbikes and bicycles.
The vibrant city and port of Formia
Book your ferry tickets to Formia online
At the moment, it is not possible to book ferry tickets from Formia to the Pontine Islands on Ferryhopper, but we are constantly adding more ferry routes in our search engine.
In the meantime, you can take a look at all available connections to Ponza and Ventotene from other Italian ports and organize your next ferry trip with us:
Formia ferry timetable
View the complete ferry schedule from and to Formia for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.