Ponza is the largest of the Ponziane Islands (whose archipelago also includes the islands of Gavi, Zannone, Palmarola, Ventotene and Santo Stefano) and is located in front of the Gulf of Gaeta (in the Tyrrhenian Sea), 21 nautical miles south of San Felice Circeo. Its beaches are jagged and mostly rocky, made of kaolin and tuff, demonstrating (along with the volcanic but still recognizable volcanic craters) of the volcanic origin of the island. The presence of underwater caves and reefs invites thousands of underwater divers, as well as swimmers who prefer the famous Chiaia di Luna beach (southwest), surrounded by a cliff overlooking the sea. Famous are also Lucia Rosa's Cliffs and Faraglioni, which are named after the protagonist of a tragedy that had actually occurred in the nineteenth century. Lucia Rosa was a nineteen-year-old woman in love with a miserable peasant but prevented from marrying him for the opposition of the family: the girl, in desperation, committed suicide by throwing himself out of the high cliff, which was renamed in her name by the inhabitants local. In 312 BC The Romanians came to Ponza mostly for confinement, but also for vacation. There are still ruins of Roman villas, the most famous of which is located on the hill of the Madonna and dates back to the first century AD, as well as an aqueduct, tanks (including the Pilate Caves) and a water collection tank Rain, the so-called Bath. In the Middle Ages he remained a thriving religious center (in 537 he died in the neighboring Palmarola Pope Silverio, who is still patron of the Municipality of Ponza , Celebrated on June 20) and commercial, thanks to the work of the Benedictine monks, who erected the abbey of Santa Maria. But the work of the friars was almost overturned when, from the 9th century, Ponza was subjected to fierce raids by Saracen pirates. Only in 1202 the island returned to the ancient importance thanks to the Bolla with which Pope Innocent III relied on the Cistercian friars the abbey of Santa Maria, which in 1233 was "built" in the Basilica of Sant'Anastasia at the Palatine outside the walls From Rome. In 1300 the waters of Ponza were the scene of the naval battle with which Ruggero di Lauria, Duke of Calabria, defeated Admiral Corrado Doria, at the pay of the King of Sicily Federico III of Aragon. In 1322 the island moved to the dependencies of the Abbey of Fossanova (with the pope's bubble Onorio III). A new battle took place in 1435 at the time of the siege of Gaeta that year, when the Admiral Genoese Biagio Assereto, for the Angioinian family, defeated the fleet of Alfonso I the Kings of Aragon, who began to nourish well Of conquering the island. But in 1454 Ponza was occupied by the Aragonese, who drove the Cistercian monks from the island; these, refugee to Formia, founded the church of Santa Maria di Ponza.