Ventotene Island: birding weekend

  • Upcoming dates 8-10 April 2022
  • Duration3 days (2 nights)
  • Sites of interestBird migration museum, Ventotene lentils fields, Villa Giulia ruins
  • Pricefrom 350€
  • Number of participantsMin 5
  • Tour leader Andrea Senese

Ventotene Island is a site of fundamental importance for birdlife and migration. Thanks to its geographical position, in fact, it represents the first stop for many species that seasonally make huge travels between the African continent and Europe (and the other way around), and that “invade” with very high numbers the island.

In spring Ventotene with its cultivated fields and its typical plants of the Mediterranean environment welcomes the so-called “short-range migrants”, all those species that spend the winter months around the Mediterranean Basin and that go as far as possible on the coasts of North Africa and the “long-range migrants”, those who spend the winter south of the Sahara.

Autumn, however, it is considered by many to be the season of rarities. The island, in fact, in addition to being mainly affected by the presence of short-range migrants, is affected by the arrival of less frequent species for our country, often due to the random movement of young and “inexperienced” migratory birds.

With its volcanic origin, the mineral-rich soils of the island offer products with a unique flavor also for its human inhabitants. After a period of departure from the countryside, we are witnessing a gradual return to agriculture: in addition to those who have always cultivated the numerous gardens on the island, there have been those who have taken up ancient crops such as that of Lentils, those who have restored ancient vineyards and those who have combined old traditions with the most recent and innovative techniques, introducing synergic cultivations and permaculture.

The life of the fields and the relationship with the migratory birds has always been strongly rooted in the life of every islander. Over time, the hunt and capture of small passerines have been replaced by research projects, monitoring and interest by researchers, exciting the local community itself.

Join us for a weekend to discover the migration and the rural traditions of the island, in support of small agricultural realities, to get to know Ventotene in a period far from summer overcrowding!

  • Bird migration museum:
    Ventotene represents one of the most important islands for the study of migratory birdlife in Italy and, since 1988, has actively participated in the “Piccole Isole” ringing project for scientific purposes. Base camp for researchers and volunteers and a place of environmental education for schools and visitors, the Museum is the first of its kind in Italy and among the first in all of Europe. Located on a cliff overlooking the sea, this was born in 2006 thanks to ISPRA’s ornithologists and biologists and contains hyperrealistic resin bird models and panels that reproduce the long journeys of the birds. The activity endS with a live ringing demonstration.
  • Ventotene lentil fields:
    Among the plantations that characterize the Ventotene countryside, those of Lentils are certainly the most iconic. This bean is thought to be the first to be cultivated and consumed by man, becoming a staple food for the Greeks and Romans thanks to its high nutritional value. The result of a long and traditional sowing, harvesting and threshing work that still involves all the members of some island families, Lentil of Ventotene has unique organoleptic properties and has been included since 2002 in the list of traditional agri-food products of Lazio. In addition to being a source of sustenance for humans, the fields are an important resting place for many species of birds, offering good opportunities for birders among their rows.
  • Villa Giulia ruins: Located on the tuffaceous formations of Punta Eolo, this Augustean Imperial Villa, born as a vacation spot for the emperor but then a place of exile for five women of the Julia and Claudia dynasty, is one of the most important testimonies of colonization on the island by Ancient Rome. In addition to the historical-archaeological value, the site is of great interest from a naturalistic point of view, hosting a Limonium pontium pandataria station, an endemic halophytic plant of the island and being a strategic place for the observation of migratory species related to open environments and birds of prey.

More than 100 species of birds frequent the island during the migration. Among the few (about 30) breeding species of great interest, the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) and the Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) that give a show with their nocturnal songs (which gave rise to the myth of the mermaids) and their flight on the surface of the water. During the migration, the huge number of birds and the small size of the island create excellent opportunities for nature photographers and birdwatchers.

Along the ferry route, there are frequent observations of sea birds (both species of shearwater, Audouin’s Gull, etc.), easily photographable, and the encounter with different species of Cetaceans is not at all rare.

For diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, the Marine Protected Area of Ventotene and Santo Stefano offers some of the most beautiful dives in the Tyrrhenian Sea and, on request, it is possible to include a dive in “La Molara” shoal, located in zone A of the Reserve.

  • Day 1:
    Departure from Formia (“Laziomar” ferry). Arrival and accommodation. Lunch. Whole day of birdwatching and visit to the island’s fields and vineyards. Dinner.
  • Day 2:
    Breakfast. Nature walk and visit to the Bird Migration Museum and to the Ringing Station for scientific purposes ISPRA. Boat tour and birdwatching. Dinner.
  • Day 3:
    Breakfast. Archaeological guided tour of Villa Giulia and birdwatching. Departure for Formia (“Laziomar” ferry).

From 350 €*

* variable rate based on overnight stay (single room for single travelers, double for couples and cohabiting partners) according to Covid19 safety provisions.

Discounted rates for K’ Nature customers, students and Ardea members.

Possibility to book an accommodation in Formia for the night of Thursday and / or Sunday or to reach the group on different dates / times.

For more information contact the organizers.

What is included:

  • Ferry tickets.
  • Overnight stays.
  • Meals (2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners).
  • From/to Rome and internal transferts, including fuel, tolls and parking (depending on the rate).
  • Scientific accompaniment by zoologist for the duration of the trip, with support material for wildlife observations (binoculars, spotting scope, field guides, etc.) – supplied according to anti-Covid19 safety provisions.
  • Boat trip with tour of the island.
  • Visit to the fields and vineyards of the island.
  • Local naturalistic guide (Walk including ticket for the Bird Migration Museum and visit to the Ringing Station for scientific purposes ISPRA).
  • Archaeological guided tour of Villa Giulia ruins.
  • Travel insurance.

What’s not included:

  • Transfers to Formia.
  • 2 free lunches.
  • Tips for local guides.
  • Everything not mentioned in the previous item.

Possibility of including, for participants with scuba certification, a dive at the suggestive “La Molara” shoal, within zone A of the Marine Reserve.

  • Groups with a maximum number of 15 participants.
  • Cancel your participation in case of body temperature equal to or higher than 37 ° C.
  • Keep the minimum distance of at least 2 meters.
  • Permanentuse of reusable mask (worn well) during stops is mandatory.
  • Bring disinfectant gel with you.
  • Reservations required through our website.
  • It is recommended to bring binoculars with you. Although limited in number, optical material will be made available, sterilized before and after the activity, for individual use.
  • In birdwatching and wildlife observation activities that involve the use of the spotting scope, this will be made available avoiding approaching the lenses.
  • In case of carpooling (car passage to reach the meeting place), the number of passengers will be limited to two per row of seatsThe vehicle will be disinfected after each excursion.

Penalties in the event of cancellation: In case of withdrawal of the contract by the consumer, the penalties are equal to 100% of the entire participation fee, in addition to the non-refundable insurance premiums.

Insurance against cancellation and repatriation costs: It is possible, and indeed advisable, to take out special insurance policies at the time of booking at the organizer’s offices against the costs arising from the cancellation of the package, from accidents or illnesses, which also cover the repatriation costs and for the loss and / or damage of baggage.

Number of participants: Min 5

When the minimum group is not reached the entire amount paid will be refunded.

Participants who, for personal reasons, decide not to participate in the event anymore will not be entitled to any refund, except for those who have taken out ad hoc insurance with the agency (for more information contact the organizers).

Reservations within 8 days of the departure date.

Information regarding rates and payment methods will be communicated by email after filling in the request form.

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