From Andrea’s Moleskine – Off-the-Grid to Paradise (part 3)


Stars are already in the sky when the cold water of the garden pipe makes me shiver. Salt and sand quickly are carried away as I rest under the water stream looking at the night coating the landscape around me. I always loved showering in the garden, in the little corner hidden in the middle of the garden plants, coming out of it enjoying the contrast between the accumulated sun heat of the body and the refreshing chill of the water. That special tickling on the pores is like medicine and I savor every second of it, as I get dressed for the evening.

Sunset in Ponza

In accordance with the family tradition, I pour myself a Gin & Tonic, sitting on the terrace. Below me, the village has already shifted into night mode and the air resonates with evening sounds. Sometimes, the valley shape, the air composition and the breeze create their own “sound system”, conveying in waves quick sound bites of daily life activities: tables being set, families laughing together, mothers calling children for dinner, cell phones ringing somewhere with creative (or obnoxious) ringtones. The village is lit with a multitude of tiny lights and, on the water, whoever moored in the bay is busy with the onboard activities. Dinners getting ready send molecules of mouthwatering smells to my nostrils which make me realize that I may be ready for dinner.

As I walk down towards the village, I’m debating whether I should go to Acqua Pazza, on the main square where one can sit at the table while watching the action and listening to the island gossip or may be going instead to Orestorante, a little more apart, with beautiful views over the bay. Both cuisines are excellent, sea food based and with excellent wine cellars. They tend to be on the upper bracket, though and tonight I feel like I want to feel homey. Then, the only option is Silverio Alla Lanterna, a home-cuisine joint that has been in the same place forever. Menu is simple, lay-out basic, but the food is melody.

Getting ready for business at “Da Silverio – Alla Lanterna”

I’m lucky enough to find a table right on the narrow pedestrian-only village street. My choice is for spaghetti alle alici e al finocchietto selvatico (“spaghetti with anchovies and wild fennel”) and calamari ripieni piccanti (“hot filled calamari”). The conversation flows and so does the fresh local white wine. In Ponza, I pull the plug and reconnect with colors, smells, sounds and, to be sure, the tastes of a cuisine that comes from the earth. No lines, no crowds, strolls in the village, cappuccinos at the bar, dinners al fresco, boat rides around the island, sun and salt on the skin, dips at sunset in waters made out of crystal. I walk back up home. In the dark, far at sea, green and red lights are dancing. Someone’s leaving the island, sailing away under the stars.

Ponza Porto pastel colors welcoming the night

It is a good night to spend in the hamac. I climb into it and make myself comfortable. I relax. Slowly the milky way wraps me in its blanket of stars; the breeze gently hulls me. The stars fill me in glowing waves and soon I’m captured by their breathing of light. In the hamac, lulled by the gentle breeze like a floating feather, suspended in space, I quietly slide into the state of dream.

Sleeping

  • La Limonaia a Mare – With panoramic terrance on Ponza. Address: via Dragonara, tel. 0771.80.98.86 Prices: double b&b from 105 €. Credit Cards: AE, MC, Visa.
  • Villa Laetitia – Six bedrooms named after spices. Address: salita Scotti, tel. 0771.80.98.86. Prices: double B&B from 105 €. Credit Cards: AE, MC, Visa.
  • Grand Hotel Chiaia di Luna – Mediterranean style overloking the most famous Ponza beach. Address: via Panoramica, tel. 0771.80.113. Prices: double B&B from 140 €. Credit Cards: MC, Visa.
  • Hotel Feola – Familiar atmosphere, steps away from the port. Address: via Roma 4, tel. 0771.80.205. Prezzi: double half-board from 160 €. Credit Cards: no.

Eating

  • Acqua Pazza – A family of restaurateurs awarded with one Michelin star. Address: piazza Carlo Pisacane 10, tel. 0771.80.643. Hours: 13-15, 20-23 (always open). Prices: from 70 €. Credit Cards: all major.
  • Frontone Village – On the beach, bar and restaurant. Address: Spiaggia di Frontone, tel. 0771.80.361. Orari: 9-2 (always open). Prices: from 20 €. Credit Cards: no.
  • La Lanterna da Silverio – A piece of history. Address: corso Carlo Pisacane, tel. 0771.80.98.26. Hours: 12.30-14.30, 20-22.30 (always open). Prices: from 30 €. Credit Cards: no.
  • La Marina da Aniello – Sea food on the beach. Address: Cala Feola, tel. 0771.80.86.14, cell. 338.64.86.110. Hours: 13-15, 20-22.30 (always open). Prices: from 40 €. Credit Cards: MC, Visa.
  • A Casa di Assunta – In an authentic Ponzese home overlooking the port. Address: via Panoramica, contrada Capobianco, tel. 0771.82.00.86. Orari: 13-15, 20-23.30 (always open). Prices: da 35 €. Credit Cards: MC, Visa.

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