Michael Douglas and REM's Michael Stipe (right) cool off with an ice cream in a local gelateria. The Pontine Islands have become increasingly popular with the jet set in recent years
Photo: © Rex
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The two performers also took time out to check out some of the shops in Porto Ponza
Photo: © Rex

TWO MICHAELS EXPLORE ITALIAN ISLAND OF PONZA

At first glance one of Hollywood's most established stars and the shaven-headed frontman of a ground-breaking rock band might seem an unlikely pairing. Tinseltown veteran Michael Douglas and REM singer Michael Stipe were obviously getting on just fine when they were photographed together on the Italian island of Ponza, however.

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The two performers caused quite a stir in the sleepy harbour town of Ponza Porto as they checked out some of the local shops. And the renowned musician and his actor friend also took time out to indulge in a sweet treat in a local 'gelateria' or ice cream shop, much to the delight of the other holidaymakers who enjoyed an unexpected brush with stardom.

Ponza, which is regarded as one of the Mediterranean's best-kept secrets, has become increasingly popular with the jet set in recent years. It is the largest of the four Pontine Islands, which form an archipelago off the Italian coast stretching from Rome to Naples. Its blue waters and pristine beaches make it easy to understand why famous faces like Monaco's Charlotte Casiraghi have been among the visitors to grace its shores.

Among its main attractions are the beautiful Chialia di Luna beach, which is accessed through a tunnel dug out by the Romans, and the breathtaking Aannone nature reserve. The destination's history can also be explored in the Grotte di Pilato caves, where the Romans dug pools to raise fish, and the ruins of the port of Santa Maria.

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