I never got to tell you guys about my trip to Ventotene. Well I had found a student travel site with great prices and structured by girls, so everything looked amazing and well planned. Therefore, I decided to give it a try and pick their weekend trip to Ventotene Island. I had to try something simple to see if their other pricier options are worth it.
Therefore it was a 2 hour train trip to Formia and another 2 hour boat trip to the island. We were a Saturday group and there was already a Friday group on the island. My group had 7 chicks all from Jersey (Italy is full of Jersey girls...the "Jersey Shore" arrives) and 1 guy, an Australian. The girls were all on a 1 month summer abroad program and the guy was older. Overall, the girls were a bit of a bore and the guy laughed at all their boring jokes. I thought he wanted to hook with them (again because he laughed at their yawn jokes) but he was just lame-o himself. Anyways, as we were arriving to the island - just like my tone so far, my thoughts on the trip so far were going downhill. Something told me, it was going to suck. (pic 1: the "long" coast beach)
At the island, we had to walk about 1.5 miles (the island is very very small) o sea casi llego al otro lado de la isla! Our little apartments were far from town and for a 0.5 mile, the apartment owner jammed packed us into his 1989 minivan - terrible! At the apartment, we had 45 mins to get ready and head out for a walking tour of the island. My roommates quickly left the apartment and I had to figure out how to get to the meeting point...but I made it! (pic 2: st. stefano island and other volcanic rocks)
Walking tour...lame-o! The "tour guide" had no idea what to talk about. She would say "sooooo this is the beach" (no sh*t sherlock!) , "that over there...is another island we will see tomorrow" (yeah i know, i read the program and you told me like 5 times already), "a hot guy works here, I come here to check him out!" (sounds like you come here too much), "ummmm" (take your time, i'm here till tomorrow), "what is that called? (seriously! you're a tour guide!)" .... ok thanks, there goes my walking tour.
After the walking tour (20 mins later), they tell us to chill out and "get to know" the island or have lunch. we all had lunch, food was good - the only good thing about the trip was the food (wait till u hear about dinner!) - after lunch, i went over to the beach. (pic 3: hot restaurant owner on the left)
I guess the tour company didn't care to take into account that the island is invaded by JELLYFISH! asi que no me puede meter al agua! i love the beach and i was forbidden to go! everyone on the beach was obviously tanning and all the little kids had nets to catch jellyfish; so I had a little girl clean the area and I jumped in for a milli second and got out!
After 30 mins, we had a boat tour of the island. We hopped on and again the tour guide had no idea what to tell us. All you have to do is 'wiki' it! i told her this after i asked if we could scuba dive at the shipwreck - she had no idea what i was talking about. so just FYI:
Wiki: It is the remains of an ancient volcano, and is part of the Pontine Islands. In Roman times it was known as Pandataria and Pandateria. Best known as the island to which the emperor Augustus banished his daughter Julia the Elder in 2 BC, as reaction to her excessive adultery, where she was to spend five years. (Other girls were also exiled here). During WW2, the island also served as home to a 114 man German garrison that defended a key radar station. On the night of September 8, 1943, an American PT Boat silently slipped into Ventotene's harbor and offloaded 46 American Paratroopers. Terrified, the German commander demolished his own positions and weapons, and then surrendered to the weaker American force before realizing his mistake. Ventotene was liberated without a shot being fired at 3 AM September 9, 1943. In July 2009, archaeologists announced the discovery of a "graveyard" of five ancient Roman ships in the deep waters off Ventotene.
(pic 4: spot the jellyfish! - pic 5: Julia the Elder's home)
The boat stopped for a while out at sea and again I jumped into the water for a milli sec so I wouldn't be stung like the others
At night, we had an amazing 4-5 course meal (without dessert grrrrrrrr! enjoy the pics!) and the restaurant quickly turned into "nightclub"- - the night started great but one girl had to ruin it and close down the club by passing out in the bathroom and everyone thinking she had been slipped a pill but she was only drunk after wine, jager, and 2 screwdrivers. - this is when i think "ayy americanos! learn how to drink!" - this ordeal lasted for more than an hour. at the end of the night it was just me, the aussie, and the 2 tour guides and we continued to party it up ..... at a club that brought me back to San Juan del Sur; it was like I was at Crazy Crab - con los ultimos indios borrachos. LMAO! (pic 6: gnocchi and mussels dinner)
Next day: I had to be at the port at 11am to leave my bags at check out and get on a boat to see the Roman Jacuzzis but I missed it! damn gringa roommates did not wake me up! I ran to the port and as I was going to get on the boat, they told me to leave my bag in check and when i turned around SE FUERON LAS HP! can u believe!?! i was so mad!!!!! - after waiting more than an hour, I had to catch another boat to catch up with them to discover the St. Stefano Island. (pic 7:sunset with girl group, i'm so happy :P)
Wiki: It is dominated by an old prison built by the Bourbons, completed in 1797 and in use until 1965. It has 99 cells 4.50m by 4.20m around a central watch-tower. Built for 600 inmates, it had 800 in 1817 (and 400 on Ventotene). People imprisoned included the anarchist Gaetano Bresci who killed King Umberto I in 1900.
Once I got to the island, I had to walk through the weeds and climb a crapload of stairs! When I got to the top - the group was coming down! NOOOOOO! I only got a few pics of the prison and missed the nameless graveyard (the prisoners imprisoned & buried were never identified). (pic 8: stefano prison)
And this was my trip to Ventotene. Medio lame-o I know. Ni modo, ahora ya se - no viajar con este grupo.