The islands of Gavi, Zannone, Palmarola, Ventotene, Santo Stefano and Ponza, make up the Pontine archipelago. The discovery of Neolithic artefacts and Bronze Age tools prove that this volcanic archipelago has been inhabited for thousands of years. In Roman times, people were encouraged to move to the Pontine Islands, and people migrated from Ponza to Ventotene during the reign of Caesar Augustus. Rome used the two islands as a holiday retreat and a place to exile political dissidents. Agrippina the Younger, the mother to the future Roman emperor, Nero, was exiled to the Pontine Islands by her brother, Caligula in 39 AD. Then her uncle Claudius lifted the exile when he got into power. Two thousand years later, Mussolini used the islands for the same reason.
In the Middle Ages, the Pontine Islands were more or less abandoned due to constant raids from the Saracens and pirates. During the 18th century, the Kingdom of Naples incorporated the islands, and after unification, they became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
Sicily has to be one of the most family-friendly destinations. Italians tend to welcome children with open arms and will not hesitate to accommodate your needs at restaurants with high chairs and children's menus. You'll also see many other families out for the evening stroll or passeggiata and children falling asleep in buggies late into the evening.
The Pelagie Islands, the most southern islands in Italy, are reached from Sicily. For those looking to go the extra mile, they have a lot to offer families with kids; there is plenty to see and do. Lampedusa is the largest of the three Pelagic Islands (the others are Linosa and Lampione), and it lies about 200km south of Sicily. Technically closer to Tunisia than Italy Lampedusa has made headlines in recent years as Italy's main port of entry for refugees from Africa and the Middle East, with tens of thousands of migrants arriving mostly from Libya and Tunisia. Despite this uncomfortable political reality, the island is surrounded by stunning aquamarine waters and a marine reserve protects the island's southern shores. The permanent population stands at around 6300 and this more than trebles in the summertime. In winter transport connections are cut back and almost every hotel and restaurant shuts down.
The Aeolian Islands are a truly stunning holiday location; you have Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi, each island with its own character. There is so much for everyone in this archipelago, crystal waters for swimmers, a breeze for sailors, coves and hidden beaches for kayakers and plenty of flora and fauna for divers. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there is plenty of trekking on active volcanoes and Malvasia wine tasting for foodies. These islands are mother nature at her best, fertile, hissing, streaming rumbling and sometimes erupting! You just have to decide which island to visit.
There are loads of ferries to Sardina, from mainland Italy, France and Spain and today, NetFerry explores the island’s ports. We recommend a trip to this unforgettably beautiful island that lies the middle of the Meddeterenean sea, to explore its varied landscape that ranges from lush forests to crystal clear coastlines.
Today Netferry is in Scotland, to experience a traditional Scottish wedding! If you think wearing a kilt is enough, you're wrong! A Scottish wedding is full of specifically Scottish traditions, that continue to live on for both the happy couple and their guests, today Netferry explores these customs.
Sicily is a fascinating island. It has a complicated history, which is evident in Sicilian culture and architecture. Today, we all agree that we live in a globalised world, but Sicily has always been a global island and a hub where East meets West, and Europe meets the global south. Sicily's list of invaders contains the usual suspects, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Spaniards and the Normans. But the three main influences come from the Sicani from North Africa, the Siculi from Latium (Italy) and the Elymni from Greece.
In the 6th century BC, the Greeks conquered the island. In the 8th century BC, the Carthaginians arrived from North Africa, forming a cultural divide on the island and the two major cities, Palermo in the northwest and Catania in the EastEast, battled for dominance. However, the Arabs were the first to establish proper trade, farming and mining in Sicily, they developed the island and made it an attractive prize for European opportunists. The Normans, who formed in France from a group of Viking settlers, took the chance to invade in 1061 and they made Palermo the centre of their growing empire. It subsequently became one of Europe's grandest cities.
Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the two most popular Canary Islands, and tourists flock here for the sunshine and warm temperatures all year round. Both islands have unique volcanic rock formations, plenty of sandy beaches, great local food and entertainment, so there's a lòot to explore. Today Netferry compares the two islands to inform you before your next trip to the Canary Islands.
Formally a penal colony, The Tremiti Islands are an undiscovered gem off the coast of Puglia. The five islands are called San Domino, San Nicola, Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa are part of the larger Gargano National Park. The mainland ports with ferries to the islands are Vasto, Ortona, Vieste, Manfredonia, Rodi Garganico, Capoiale and Termoli. Cars are not allowed on the islands, so you will need to park your car at one of the ports above. If you are travelling by train, Termoli is ideal, as there is a bus just outside the station that goes straight to the ferry port. Another, less eco-friendly, way of getting to the islands is by helicopter from Foggia, it costs around 50 €. It takes about 20 minutes, a company called Alidaunia runs the service twice daily.
Despite the fact that the islands were used to hold prisoners in the 18th century and later as a place that Mussolini sent homosexuals, today the ferry from Termoli is a delight. It heads towards two little islands, before edging into a pretty little inlet. To the left, you have San Domino's Aleppo pines on top of limestone cliffs. To the right, the Abbazia di Santa Maria a Mare abbey, built by Benedictine monks in the 11th-century dominates the view of San Nicola while little fishing boats dot in the waters in between.