Zannone

The small island of Zannone could seem the less spectacular of the islands. However even this island becomes a sort of delicious dish if the three main ingredients, boat, sea and sun are mixed in the best moment and conditions. Lets begin from the boat. It should preferably be a traditional fishing -boat, solid, secure, but with a low edge to appreciate more the second element of the recipe: the sea. It is better to find the sea when the mistral blows; this happens very often in spring and summer in the Pontine islands . Third element: the sun of the first hours of the morning should be bright to be able to see all the islands of the archipelago and even Circeo on the mainland. These are the best conditions to sail around Zannone with a small boat to pass between its rocks. From the small island of Gavi at the northern end of the island of Ponza, the route brings directly to " Il Varo" the only place to land on Zannone when the sea is quiet. The Mediterranean scrub with its rosemary, heather, euphorbia, lentisk and phillyrea covers the eroded vulcanic rocks from the south-west slope to the "Grotelle". After the rock of the "Monaco" (the monk), and continuing to the "Punta Levante" begin the geological jewels of Zannone. These are very ancient metamorphic rocks, probably dated 300 million years ago, completely different, in their origin and their history from the vulcanic rocks present on the island and the rest of the archipelago. From the "Punta del Lauro" to "Capo negro", follow other interesting points: the rich vegetation of ilex, laurel, heather and Ephedroides broom, high rocky strata of lime-stone and outcropping dolomite, "Cala Marina" and the small inlet called "Cieca dei Pesci", where in the past fishermen used to assemble shoals of fish to be captured in a sort of tunny-massacre.
From "Capo Negro"to the "Faro" and further on, you can discover other sedimentary rocks, grey lime-stones with sandstone on their top, loam rocks and other vegetation. In the northen slope of Zannone in fact, remains the most appreciable evidence of the ancient vegetation of the archipelago, in other places destroyed by centuries of cutting down and more recently by fires.
The ilex, some of them very old, with arbutus, wild-olive and alaterni, form a thick an impenetrable interlacement, a high "forteto" - in this way is called the most thick and luxuriant Mediterranean scrub - destined thanks to the protection assured from "Parco nazionale del Circeo" , to became maybe a real evergreen forest. The short tour of the island, concludes itself coming back to the "Varo". Zannone has no appreciable shelter and who navigates, if the weather is not beautiful, must dock in Ponza, in the harbour or in a roadstead.

What to see at Ponza

Tour of Ponza

Tour of Palmarola

Zannone