ZANNONE – THE GRUMPY
It is not an easy Zannone island. It is the smallest of the Ponziane (only greater than Gavi and Santo Stefano) and is the most northerly of the archipelago, it is located in the North-East of Ponza from which it is about 6 miles.
Of almost round shape, Zannone has a single landing point located in Punta del Varo, the island is inhabited only by agents of the Forestry Department who alternate in weekly shifts. Previously there were also the lighthouse keepers located at Capo Negro at the northern end of the island, in recent times the lighthouse has been completely automated making human presence superfluous.
Due to its naturalistic features, Zannone has been part of the Circeo National Park since 1979 and it is necessary to be authorized by the Park Management to visit it.
It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans with the name Sinonia (Σηνωνία in ancient Greek). Seat of the Cistercian Monastery of Santo Spirito dating back to 1231 and abandoned in 1291 when due to pirate raids, the monks preferred to move to the mainland. Important ruins remain of the Monastery of Santo Spirito di Zannone. During the First World War, a German submarine off the coast of Zannone torpedoed the Corriere di Ponza motoveliero: 35 ponzesi lost their lives.
Zannone is a very green island for the presence of a dense forest and for its rich vegetation, typically Mediterranean, with lush flora, brooms, prickly pears, agaves and oaks, including a single example of chestnut oak.
The fauna is also very represented, with specimens of marsh hawk, peregrine falcon and gull, as well as a colony of mouffons imported from Sardinia after World War II and which today are protected species. There are also reptiles, such as the lizard, and insects such as spiders and lepidopterans.
The marine environment, then, boasts green and crystalline waters with depths covered by dense and floating gorgonias and with wonderful places for lovers of scuba diving, such as the “Secca del Varo”, located along the rocky submarine line that separates Ponza da Zannone and whose summit rises about 3 meters from the water with dark algae and Posidonia.
Going down to about 30 meters. of depth you can meet various types of fish: octopuses, groupers, colored morays, large crabs and, at the beginning of the summer when they reproduce, large groups of dancing castagnole.
DIVING IN ZANNONE WITH OCEANIA
The main point for diving in Zannone is the Secca del Mariuolo, a rocky area whose emerged part is the homonymous Scoglio del Mariuolo rising from the sea near the island near Punta Varo, starting from the rock and descending along one of its sides is a clear and coarse sediment pit with large patches of finer sand where, by sharpening the view, it is possible to see the rhombuses that are camouflaged on the backdrop. The Secca del Mariuolo consists of groupings of rocks at depths ranging from -25 to -35 and is a dive practicable by divers of all levels of experience.
Scuba diving in Zannone with Oceania is done at the dive sites listed on the dive page and can be arranged with guests.