About this listing
This is a unique opportunity to stay in an ancient cave on the island of Ponza, Italy.
Enzo's Grotto D'Inferno sits on the ridge above the bay known as Cala D'Aqua, in the area of Le Forna.
For visitors wishing to stay for our minimum 3 days from Friday through to Sunday night, there will be an extra charge per night. This charge can be collected on your arrival or be applied prior to booking confirmation here at Airbnb.
Ponza is characterised by these so-called hypogenous buildings that are part excavated into the rock and part decorated in stone on the outside. Enzo's Grotto D'Inferno is one of the original grottos, the walls of which were carved out by the hand of ancient man many hundreds of years ago.
Now refurbished for more modern-day living, the bedroom ceiling still retains its original high conical ceiling that is designed to help lower the humidity and allow in light.
Enzo's Grotto D'Inferno is for the more adventurous and physically fit, since to reach it you will have to scale over 130 steps, (some say 160) most of which were carved out of the rock many years ago. A few more steps will get you to the ridge from where you can admire the view of both sides of the island and overlook the port. On a clear day you can see for what appears to be an immeasurable distance.
Enzo's Grotto D'Inferno is part of a larger home within a private terrace. It offers a selection of private terraces from where you can relax and take in the Mediterranean sunshine and view.
Breakfast will be a typical Italian breakfast served on the veranda.
The bedroom is large with a double bed and ample storage space. It is also where you can admire the architectural handwork of the ancients, since it is dominated by a high conical ceiling (as seen in one of our photographs).
The bathroom is large with an 'over-sized' shower area a portion of which was originally carved into the rocks. This room also has a high ceiling.
The living room and kitchen
This is the entrance to the original grotto and like many other similar homes on Ponza, the facade has been finished in stone.
Enzo's Grotto D'Inferno is part of a larger home with one other grotto. There is the main terrace from where you can see the bay below and the sea and mainland beyond. There are also other private terraces at you disposal from where you can enjoy relaxing in the heat of the Mediterranean sun.
PETS: Small pets are allowed with prior notice, a cleaning fee of 30 euro is required, paid upon arrival.
GETTING AROUND ON THE ISLAND
Once you have reached the island you can hire all sorts of different types of transport from small cars to scooters, boats and dingies, or use the excellent and often entertaining public transport. A bus from the port will cost you 1.20 euros regardless of how far you intend to go, and is 2.40 euros return trip. The buses run regularly every 30 minutes.... and of course you can always walk. There are some beautiful paths, and plenty to explore on foot.
If you take a taxi, all cost around 20 euros. We highly recommend Alex, his name sits proudly on the taxi and he knows exactly where we are.
GETTING TO PONZA:
To get the very best out of your stay on Ponza, we recommend not bringing your car onto the island especially when it can involve longer travelling times due to having to use the car ferry and parking can often be very difficult.
FAST BOAT (aliscafo) FOR TRAVELLERS ON FOOT:
Many people can't wait to get here and choose the hydrofoil or 'aliscafo' which takes about 1 hour for the crossing.
From Rome you can either drive or take the train from Rome Termini to Anzio. If you take the train, one leaves from Rome every hour starting at 5.07 AM. If you go by car, parking will cost you about 10 euros per day. Which ever route you choose to reach Anzio, please organize yourselves to arrive at least 1 hour before boarding. Seating is limited and there are often queues to buy tickets, especially during the months of July and August, and over the weekends.
By train, get off at the station after Anzio Colonia (the 11th stop), which takes about 1 hour. From the station at Anzio, the port is just a 10 minute walk away and you will find directions to PORTO from the station.
The aliscafo (fast boat) leaves the port regularly from the port to Ponza and you can purchase the tickets either at the port or online. For those of you who don't speak Italian well, ask us for help or buy your ticket at the port. It is then an hour and 10 minute boat ride.
ROME TO FORMIA IF TRAVELLING BY CAR
WITH A CAR:
If you do decide to take your car, the only way onto Ponza is by ferry from Formia. It is a very comfortable and relaxing 2 hour and 30 minute crossing. There are 2 ferries per day, one at 9 am the other at 5 pm.
You can buy your tickets on line. We are unable to give you the link here (those are the Airbnb rules) but you can find us at Enzo's place where you will find the information you need. Alternatively, arrive at the port and buy your tickets there but arrive at least 1 hour ahead of time to avoid missing your boat. There are only 2 a day!
If you take the car from Rome, you will take highway A1 to Naples, follow the Green signs (Naples). You will collect a ticket at the toll and drive for about 1 hour until you reach the exit for Cassino.
Pay the toll which is abour 10 euros, then take the first road off of the roundabout (right), to Formia/Gaeta. Follow it to the very end (30 minutes) and it forks to the right onto the coast road. Please pay attention to the speed traps and cameras along this road. They are clearly marked. You are also advised to ignore the way that the Italians drive, they are extremely aggressive drivers. Drive carefully and within the law.
Once on the coast road, follow the sign Rome-Formia-Gaeta- take that road. If the traffic is not too bad, you are about 15 minutes away from the port depending at the time of day.
Traffic circle 1: 2nd exit (straight ahead)
Traffic circle 2: 2nd exit Rome/Gaeta. You will begin to see the sea and the port to your left.
Traffic circle 3: 4th exit will take you along the opposite side of the road you just came down. Follow this road for a short distance and turn right into the Port entrance and follow the signs for the ferry.
YOU MUST ARRIVE 45 MINUTES BEFORE THE FERRY LEAVES FROM FORMIA.
Please join us on the social networks and on line at Enzo's Place.
For the comfort of everyone sharing our Ponza Paradise, smoking is not permitted inside. You are welcome to smoke outside.
Please respect other guests and keep the noise to a minimum, especially at night.
Children are welcomed when accompanied by a guardian.
No pets are allowed unless by prior arrangement.
Accommodations are for those who have booked. Additional guests are prohibited unless by prior arrangement with us.
Breakfast will be a typical Italian breakfast served on the veranda.
You are asked to keep the apartment as you have received it, in good and clean order.
Deep into the back of the cave your bedroom awaits with it's unique high conical ceiling to the light.
About the Host, Enzo
My Name is Enzo Ardovini. I was born near Rome and moved to New York at the age of 15. I am married to Susie Evan-Ardovini whose company The Big Dream Factory makes artisan pasta in Florida.
We live between Italy and America and joined Airbnb in order to share our love and experience of Italy with you. We want you to experience the 'real' heart and soul of Italy and in so doing, hope you will always carry a little piece of our Paradise with you.