Weekend Travel --- From a Mediterranean isle to unusual artists in Scotland

We return to the theme of little-known Mediterranean islands this weekend with a quick look at Ponza.

This island is a favourite hangout for Italians during the summer months, with beautiful water for swimming, resorts and expensive nightclubs.

Ponza is part of the Pontine Archipelago, a group of volcanic islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the Italian coast, west of Rome and Naples. It has been inhabited from ancient times and, like the Aeolian Islands we talked about last month, is the site of Greek legends. Some believe it to be the site of the grotto of the sorceress from Homer's Odysseus. Ponza could be Circe's island Aeaea, where she seduced Odysseus and held him captive for a year.

Over the years, the island has been held by countless invaders and potentates.

But now it's a secret vacation spot known mainly by Italians. It's main industry is tourism, followed by fishing and boat building. During the summer months, many locals rent out their apartments to visitors.

The clear water around the island is a big attraction for those who love the sea. According to Wikipedia, Jacques Cousteau filmed several documentaries in the area. Wes Anderson also chose this spot for his movie "The Life Acquatic," featuring Bill Murray.

While we're in Europe, we should check in one last time with Matt Gross, the New York Times reporter who's been visiting the continent on a shoestring budget all summer long. He started his trip on the cliffs of Dover and now, after thirteen weeks on the road visiting sixteen countries, Matt's reached the end of the line.

He concludes his trip in Edinburgh, where he experiences one last uphill climb before diving in to Fringe Festival. We can soak up the atmosphere in his video here.

Thanks to Shelley Cunningham for this Edinburgh photo that was made available for public use. Photos of the port in Ponza are courtesy of Valentina Jori.
Grazie, Valentina!

Both photographers made their shots available at www.sxc.hu
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