Pontine Islands, Italy
Ventotene belongs to the beautiful Pontine Islands archipelago. It’s the only inhabited island of the archipelago, along with Ponza, and despite its small size, Ventoene boasts a rich history, art and natural beauty.
On Ferryhopper, you can find detailed information about Ventotene, its top beaches, must-visit attractions, gastronomic delights and the ferries to get there. Browse all available ferry routes in real time and book your ferry tickets to the Pontine Islands hassle-free!
A picturesque alley in Ventotene overlooking the sea
Holidays in Ventotene
Dreams of relaxing holidays by the sea, away from the hustle and bustle, come true in Ventotene!
The island’s atmosphere is more discreet than that of Ponza, but there are still plenty of things to do and see here. Ventotene is famous for its underwater beauty and depths, but it's also an important cultural hub.
Take a break from daily life and explore the wild and untouched wonders of Ventotene. In 1 or 2 days, the secrets of Ventotene will offer you a memorable holiday experience!
How to get to Ventotene
The island of Ventotene can only be reached by sea. What better way to reach a scenic Italian island, right?
Depending on the season, you can hop on a ferry to Ventotene from some neighboring ports, such as Forma or Naples. In the summer, you can also travel to Ventotene from the nearby islands of Ischia and Ponza.
For additional information on ferries to Ventotene, check out our relevant section below!
A beautiful sunset with views of the Pontine archipelago
What to do in Ventotene
In Ventotene, lovers of nature, sea and relaxation are in for a treat! Sunbathing on the small beaches near the port and exploring the coast’s hidden coves by boat are among the top activities in Ventotene! As the island is a protected marine area, its seabed is perfect for those who love diving.
Walk around the historic center, admire the Roman port and the buildings of Piazza Castello and hike along the many paths of the island. This way, you can also reach some unique historic sites, such as Villa Giulia in Punta Eolo.
And, of course, Ventotene’s cuisine is a gastronomic miracle in its own right! The island’s restaurants offer fresh fish, legumes and vegetables that appeal to all kinds of foodies.
Beaches in Ventotene
In Ventotene, you can visit the 2 beautiful beaches of Cala Nave and Cala Rossano.
Cala Nave is the largest beach, with a free area and an equipped one. It is a stunning cove with dark sand, surrounded by large tuff rocks. Getting there is easy from the panoramic stairs behind Piazza Castello. Continuing towards the end of Cala Nave introduces you to the lighthouse rocks, which is a great and quieter spot!
Cala Rossano, on the other hand, is much smaller and is located at the foot of the staircase leading to the remains of Villa Giulia. Only one part of the beach is considered a swimming spot, as the other part of the beach is dedicated to mooring boats.
Here, you can rent umbrellas and deck chairs, and cherish the area’s tranquility. Its location is rather convenient, as it is close to the town.
Tip: the rest of the beaches in Ventotene can only be reached by sea. Consider getting on a taxi boat for more convenience. Among the most beautiful coves, we recommend Parata Grande, Cala Battaglia and Spiaggia delle Piscine.
Cala Nave and its famous tuff rocks
Sightseeing and activities in Ventotene
Despite its size, Ventotene is home to numerous buildings and attractions of historical and cultural importance. The team of Ferryhopper presents the top attractions in Ventotene:
- The Roman port, the center of Ventotene
- The former Bourbon prison of Santo Stefano, which was functioning until 1965
- The Archaeological Museum of Ventotene, found inside the Town Hall
- The Roman cisterns, close to Piazza Castello
- The Museum of Migration and Ornithological Observatory, one of few operating in Europe
- The church of Santa Candida, dedicated to the patron saint of the island
- The wreck of Santa Lucia, a popular destination of historical significance and a great diving spot
- Villa Giulia, an ancient imperial residence
The remains of the archaeological site of Villa Giulia in Ventotene
Nightlife in Ventotene
Ventotene is a peaceful place that is all about reconnecting with nature and recharging your batteries.
However, near the port and in the historic center, there are some bars and places for aperitifs. Alternatively, you can enjoy a nice dinner near the lighthouse and make your evenings sweeter with ice cream at the bar of Il Giardino.
You can also visit the cozy hotspot of Art Cafè to enjoy a fun evening with live music.
Food in Ventotene
The cuisine of Ventotene benefits from its rich natural surroundings, offering fresh local products. While fish and seafood are famous all over the island, the symbol of Ventotene is lentils. Some restaurants even offer them as a welcome dish!
Here are some of the best delicacies in Ventotene:
- Lentil soup
- Cianfotta (mix of potatoes, broad beans, artichokes and onions)
- Spaghettoni (with clams and asparagus)
- Paccheri with redfish
- La murena in scapece (marinated eel)
- Octopus with escarole and lentils
- Stuffed calamari
- Bakery products (such as bread and taralli, similar to pretzels)
- Almond cake
Tip: Antico Forno Aiello is the best place for top-tier almond cake!
The traditional almond cake of Ventotene
Trips to nearby islands from Ventotene
From Ventotene, you can resume your journey in the archipelago and visit the island of Ponza! Additionally, there are direct connections to Ischia, the largest island in the Gulf of Naples. Both ferry routes are seasonally operated by SNAV. Specifically:
- The ferries from Ventotene to Ponza are available 5 times a week and make the crossing in around 50 minutes.
- The route from Ventotene to Ischia is active 2-3 times a week (usually from Friday to Sunday) and lasts around 50 minutes.
Tips for your trip to Ventotene
Here are 3 travel tips for visiting Ventotene:
- In Ventotene, there are more than 30 diving spots suitable for all experience levels.
- Visiting the prison of Santo Stefano is possible only on certain days of the week (in groups of up to 25 people).
- At the end of September, the Feast of Santa Candida, the patron saint of Ventotene, is celebrated! This long-anticipated event ends with a hot air balloon race, made of tissue paper and launched into the open sea.
Useful information about Ventotene
Ventotene offers a limited number of accommodation options, due to its small size. In most cases, you must book well in advance. Consider also looking for holiday homes and private apartments.
You can also stay in Ponza and visit Ventotene by ferry, which is a great way to experience the wonders of both islands hassle-free!
The visitor amenities on the island are also limited, for the most part: there is a pharmacy in Piazza Alcide De Gasperi, an emergency department and a medical guard (available even at night).
While Ventotene does not have a cinema, the annual cinematographic initiative of FeelMare is a must! Towards October, an electric Ape Car with a big screen arrives in Ventotene and offers beautiful cultural moments!
Important phone numbers for your stay in Ventotene
Here are some phone numbers that may come in handy during your island getaway:
- Coast guard: +3977185291
- Municipal police: +3977185014
- Municipality of Ventotene: +3977185193
- Medical guard: +39771779337
- Polyclinic: +39771779381
- Post office: +3977185282
- Pharmacy: +3977185380
- Ventotene Diving Academy: +3977185094
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Ventotene
Ventotene is quite small in size and you can move around mostly on foot. Stroll peacefully, wander through beautiful alleys and squares, and walk to beautiful beaches.
For something a little bit more adventurous, explore the various hiking trails of the island and discover hidden gems, archaeological remains and stunning viewpoints.
Alternatively, there are numerous biking opportunities, as well as exciting boat tours along the coast of Ventotene.
As for motor vehicles, their circulation is restricted for non-residents during certain months. However, some hotels offer private taxis to/from the port.
A hammock overlooking the town of Ventotene
Ports in Ventotene
The port of Ventotene is divided into 2 areas: the new port of Cala Rossano and the ancient Roman port. While the new port is used for ferries and hydrofoils, the Roman port serves smaller vessels.
The entire port area offers various services: bars, restaurants, shops, diving centers and rental services (boats and bikes).
Given the size of the island, you can easily reach the port of Ventotene on foot or by bike.
Ventotene ferry: schedules and tickets
Apart from the direct connections between the islands of Ventotene, Ponza and Ischia, you can get there by ferry from Naples and Formia. Specifically:
- Naples - Ventotene: catching a ferry from Naples to Ventotene is possible seasonally (from June until late August). The route is available with around 5 weekly trips that last around 2 hours, operated by the hydrofoils of SNAV.
- Formia - Ventotene: the ferry route from Formia to Ventotene is active throughout the year with around 14 weekly departures. All crossings are operated by Laziomar and last around 1-2 hours, depending on the type of vessel (conventional or high-speed).
Tip: while you can bring along your car on the conventional ferries from Formia to Ventotene, the circulation of vehicles on the island is restricted for non-residents.
A part of the port of Ventotene next to the lighthouse
Where to book ferry tickets to Ventotene online
Book ferry tickets to Ventotene in the Pontine Islands archipelago on Ferryhopper at no extra cost! Browse and compare all ferry connections on our interactive Map of ferries and plan the Italian trip of your dreams!