Where to eat and stay in Ponza. The Gambero Rosso guide to the island’s restaurants and hotels

May 11 2023, 09:19 | by Valentina Marino
The “pearl of the Pontine islands” has been a favourite destination for Romans and Neapolitans on the first sunny days of the season, when Ponza is still not at all crowded and one can enjoy breathtaking views and food that can satisfy the most different palates.

Two and a half hours tops by ferry or hydrofoil - from Anzio, Formia, San Felice Circeo, Terracina - and you are in Ponza, the "pearl of the Pontine Islands," a preferred destination for Romans and Neapolitans for long weekends. The coastline stretches 41 kilometres of sandy and rocky coves, underground tunnels dating back to the Roman era, natural pools, deep sea diving sites, rocky cliffs: a paradise for seaside tourism as well as for culture-minded travellers, a land of confinement in the 1920s, as well as an island with luxuriant and almost untouched nature despite the massive summer crowds. Move now if you want the island all to yourself. There is no better time than this to enjoy it in silence, exploring it on board a scooter or an e-bike. And to sit quietly at the many fine tables that celebrate the island's generous and colourful cuisine, amid gardens, surf and turf, with an abundance of excellent products, from oily fish to lentils from Ventotene, and cross-pollinations with nearby Campania.

Where to eat in Ponza

Acqua Pazza

Restaurant. Almost thirty-five years of honourable service without ever stopping. The home of the Pesce family, with Gino and Patrizia at the helm, offers spectacular views and dishes where ingredients are exclusively local, in the name of sustainability. For the 2023 season, further surprises are announced: a more sophisticated menu, especially on the vegetable front, mixology with ad hoc drink pairings, and remodelled decor. Without prejudice to the well-stocked cellar, guardian of hundreds and hundreds of labels.

Acqua Pazza - via Dietro la Chiesa, 3 - 0771 80643 - acquapazza.com

A Casa di Assunta

Trattoria. Located in a historic house in Ponza, where Assunta Scarpati, daughter of fishermen, prepares fresh and genuine seafood dishes, with beyond fresh ingredients. Postcard views, ad hoc local wines, empathetic and easy-going service.

A Casa di Assunta - via Panoramica - 0771 820086/338 8041766 - @a_casa_di_assunta


Restaurant. Historic restaurant with a panoramic terrace overlooking the port where island tradition and season rule, without denying a pinch of thoughtful reinterpretation. Dishes range from roasted octopus with mayonnaise, green beans and potatoes, to amberjack cooked in olive oil and served on pizzaiola sauce. Appropriate wines and well-trained staff.

Eea - via Umberto I - 0771 80100 - mondoeea.it

Da Enzo al Frontone

Trattoria. Also known as "Solo a Vela", the place is in a magical position - the cove by the same name - and guests can only get there with the dinghy the restaurant sends out for them. The atmosphere alone is worth the trip, both during the day and in the evening, understanding  that the food is also very good. Only fresh catch of the day, cooked and transformed the least possible, with a menu that varies daily.

Da Enzo al Frontone - Cala Frontone - 339 2060408

La Marina

Trattoria. Cala Feola is another slice of magic. But you have to earn it: after climbing down 300 steps, the reward is a memorable meal on the rocks, full of raw fish, spaghetti with seafood, assorted fish fry. The must is the parmigiana of nopales cactus, since February 2020 entered into the traditional Italian agri-food products.

La Marina - loc. Cala Feola - 0771 808614 - @lamarinaponza


Bistro. Authentic and modern dishes in a red and blue room. Curated by the ebullient Oreste Romagnolo, restaurateur/entrepreneur symbol of the island, here is the spin off of OreRock, a simple, colourful, easy-going place, the perfect landing for a fun and no-obligation lunch break with delicious dishes such as fish croquettes with tomato sauce and lemon peel, and the island's typical lentil soup.

Oresteria - c.so C. Pisacane, 51 - 347 3011376 - oresteria.it


Restaurant. Reservations mandatory, since the headquarters of the aforementioned Oreste is literally packed during the summer. Blue like the sea, this is a full-blown fine dining destination with a creative proposal that harmoniously combines seafood and vegetables, without forgetting the typical recipes and meat options. White wines and bubbles to wash it all down, plus a few cocktails.

Orerock - via Spiaggia Santa Maria - 348 6993820 - @ore_rock

Punta Incenso

Trattoria. Once called "Bar Cucina da Santina." After various generational changes of hands, the small room from which it all began, today it's the kingdom of Anna Vitiello and family, who feeds her guests with homemade recipes centred on the catch of the day.

Punta Incenso - via Punta Incenso - 0771 808517 - @ristorante_punta_incenso1950

Gourmet break

Antiche Cantine Migliaccio

Winery. Three hectares of vineyards, 35 quintals of grapes per hectare and 10,000 bottles produced. A "heroic" winery that has been in operation for almost half a century and has revived viticulture on the island, focussing on native grapes: biancolella, forastera, guarnaccia, aglianico and piedirosso.

Antiche Cantine Migliaccio - via Pizzicato - 339 2822252 - antichecantinemigliaccio.it

Bar dei Pesci

Gourmet snacks. Inviting croissants in multiple versions, classic and modern desserts (such as the reinterpretation of tiramisu), a savoury assortment that works for snacks and quick lunches. Grilled prawns, a slice of focaccia, a quick beef or fish tartare, a savoury croissant, including inviting aperitif nibbles. In the company of wines and cocktails de rigeur.

Bar dei Pesci - p.zza Carlo Pisacane, 9 - 371 3490602 - @bar_dei_pesci


Gelateria. Among the most popular for cooling off after a swim or after dinner, this gelato parlour offers classic flavours prepared with fine ingredients, fresh fruit in the firat place (from strawberries to wild berries, depending on the season). Also try their dark chocolate and mint, as well as brioches and granitas and crepes stuffed with gelato. On-board delivery service available.

Blumarine - p.zza Carlo Pisacane, 44 - 0771 809751 - @sgranocchioneponza

Where to stay in Ponza


Holiday rental. An eco-sustainable structure, with solar panels, terraces covered with reeds from the property's land, lawns and plants watered with rainwater collected during winter. The property is composed of four tastefully furnished and well-equipped independent apartments, located one kilometre from Cala Feola and 900 metres from Cala Luna. There is also an outdoor pool, a garden and a barbecue.

Casavictoria - c.da Sandolo - 338 8080977 - casavictoria.it

Chiaia di Luna

Hotel. Refined Mediterranean-style rooms and suites 10 minutes from the historic centre and close to the Grotte di Pilato. The hotel restaurant offers island cuisine and an enchanting view overlooking the beach by the same name and the island of Palmarola, while at the pool bar, open all day, guests can relax and enjoy a bite, a light lunch, an aperitif.

Chiaia di Luna - fraz. Chiaia di Luna - via Panoramica snc - 0771 80113 - hotelchiaiadiluna.com

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