Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Exile Island

Yesterday I had dinner with a good friend from the hospitality industry who told me about a trip he took to Italy last year. On this trip he visited with some of his Italian friends a little island called Ventotene.

This little island has a population of 708 people and is located off the coast of the Lazio province on the Thyrrenian Sea. It is "infamous" because here is where Emperor Augustus banished his daughter, Julia the Elder, for adultery in 2 BC and in 29 BC Emperor Tiberius {he came after Augustus} banished his grandniece, Agripina the Elder.

You can get to the island by ferry from Formia and Anzio, with special summer services from the island of Ischia. There are few hotels in the island and there are practically no cars there which makes people walk around the small buildings that date from the time of the French Bourbons {they exiled many people here back in the 18th century}.

Amongst the attractions of the island you can find roman ruins of villas and ancient water systems are the water has to be brought to the island by boat. Just a few kilometers {or miles} from Ventoterre is Santo Stefano, an island that served as a prison until the end of World War II.

Today the island is the perfect hide away from the craziness of the big cities like Rome because it is isolated enough but also close enough to "exile" yourself for a few days.

Have a great day!