As a travel journalist, I’ve seen some bellissime isole here in Italy, however, this is by far my favourite Italian island. It’s dramatically beautiful, full of friendly locals, a mix of tranquil paradise, rustic eateries and a buzzing scene of young Romans ready to flirt in the piazza and dance the night away. Jump on the train from Termini and head down to either Formia or Anzio to catch a ferry or hydrofoil across to this secret spot adored by Romans.
- Have coffee and croissants at Bar Tartaruga in the north village of the island called Le Forna. With a view of the lagoons, white cliffs and the local church, this is the classic town café where you’ll meet 90-year-old fishermen and pretty young things about to hit the turquoise water of the piscine naturali just down the road.
- Have lunch out in the open at Gerardo’s in the idyllic setting overlooking the beach of Frontone. You’ll have to catch a little boat across from the port and then walk up a steep path to where his restaurant sits on the hill – but the views, the food and the hospitality of Gerardo and his family are astounding.
- Do an aperitivo at Melograno. Just nestled behind the port, this place starts early with a DJ and offers a buffet of food with your drink card and a great way to kick off the evening dancing around a swimming pool with everyone sipping mojitos in bikinis.
- Eat at Igino at Cala Fonte with a view over the ocean. This rustic family-run restaurant is known for its antipasti and does a delicious seafood pasta. It’s built into the side of the rock overlooking the ocean – it doesn’t get more romantic than this.
- Be seen in the little piazza outside Bar Tripoli around midnight – everyone ends up there before deciding where to go dancing.
To rent small apartments for reasonable prices with stunning views: www.turistcasa.it