and island off the coast from Naples
Procida is one of four Flegree Islands in the Gulf of Naples. The largest is Ischia, then Procida, Nisida is connected to the coast near Parco Virgiliano in Naples and the smallest of them – Vivara, which is currently artificially linked to Procida.
Although the islands are located relatively close, they are different. In an article for National Geographic, the author made good comparison: “Capri is a king’s daugther of dazzling beauty, elegant, rich, proud and flirtatious. Ischia is like a princess – stylish, tasteful in monuments, and Procida is like a Cinderella – modest, unpretentious and at the same time beautiful in her simplicity.”
Procida does not have many attractions for tourists. It is unspoiled by mass tourism.
The island was featured in a movie I really like, The Talented Mr. Ripley. When watching that film, if you were wondering where those dreamy places were, well Procida was one of them.
There are three ports on Procida.
The biggest and most important of these is Marina Grande, also called Sancio Cattolico. You will arrive in this port as all ferries and larger ships land here. After landing on the land eyes come a row of old, colorful and unfortunately neglected houses. Facades of different shades of yellow, pink and blue stretch throughout the port. There you will find several bars, shops and restaurants. Local cuisine specializes in seafood, which, given the fishing traditions of the locals, is natural. Over the Marina Grande is the castle where a jail was held until the second half of the 80’s.
On our trip we nabbed one of the drivers of the small open air "taxi's" and it was not that expensive but our driver drove us around the island and gave us a pretty good tour. Yes could could have walked the route, but it was more fun and relaxing in our little car.
Marina Coricella, on the other sideofthe island is the more picturesque part of Procida. Houses are, for example, were in much better shape than those in Marina Grande. Coricella dates from the 17th Century. It is a colourful fishing village that should not be missed. You move about the village using stairways and winding passages.
Abbazia di San Michele - The Abbey is the centre of the village of Terra Murata. It was built in the Benedictine times, back in the 11th century and was down down and rebuilt a number of times.
Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo - this is noted to be one of the most prestigious and richest churches in Southern Italy. The library holds a book that it has had since 1534.
Santa Maria delle Grazie - Located on a hill, the dome can seen from many areas of the island. The church is beautiful. Check out the golden ceilings.
Casale Vascello - this is a beautiful courtyard, from the 15th century. It is surrounded by terraced houses. You access the area through a series of narrow passages, one of them being Via Principessa Marcherita when you leave the Piazza dei Martini.
Santa Margherita Nuova - it is now open again. It took some 15 years to rebuild it. It was not open when we where there.
Terra Murata, the highest point on the island is also the oldest town. The fortress walls were built in the 15th Century to stop invaders. We wandered the medieval streets and visited the rather quirky and crumbling church the Abbazia di San Michele which has excellent views from its terrace.
There are five beaches and three that are often noted include.
Chiaiolella is across from Ischia. Endless views and this beach is preferred by young travellers. It is the longest of the island’s beaches and offers great sunset.Have an ‘aperitivo’ at one of the open air restaurants or bars located along the sea.
Chiaia is on the other side of the island. It is a bit more difficult to reach due to its long set of stairs. The water is shallow and the bay is protected against the wind and waves. The beach is ideal for families with small children and because of its sheltered position.
Pozzo Vecchio is small and cozy. It is a small bay in the shape of a horseshoe and was a location shoot for the movie: The Postman.