Procida is a tiny island in the Bay of Naples on the south-eastern coast of Italy. It is just a small islet very close to the island of Ischia but is stunning in beauty and natural attractions. The island has a medieval walled village on a hill, colorful houses, medieval alleyways, and 2 harbors.
Procida is in the news because the island has been voted as Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022. The announcement was met with delight by the residents of the island. There were street parties. Residents went up to the church to ring the bells. The announcement will give Procida 1 million euros, which will help complete 44 projects on environmental sustainability, urban rejuvenation, and art.
Procida is Stunning
Under two square miles in size, Procida has not attracted as many tourists as the other stunning Italian islands – Sardinia, Capri, Sicily, Elba, and even the neighboring Ischia. Tourists flock to Capri for the island’s glossy boutiques and VIP lifestyle. They go to Ischia for the island’s hot baths. Sardinia and Sicily for their beaches. But they have forgotten Procida, though it is the most authentic of all Italian islands. It is well-preserved. The island has a sleepy, laid-back vibe. There are no crowds.
Procida is the first island to receive the prestigious Capital of Culture award. It is the smallest inhabited island in the Bay of Naples.
- Procida is a tiny island between Naples and Ischia
- The island has 10,500 inhabitants
- It is only 2 square miles in size
- It is steeped in mythology
- You can cover the historical parts of the island in only 15 minutes
- Terra Murata is the highest point on the island and also the oldest village
- Visit Marina Coricella, a colorful fishing village
- Enjoy seafood in Procida
- Procida has many good hotels and B&Bs
The Talented Mr. Ripley and Il Postino were shot here. Procida has a few attractions, beaches, and historic sites. The architecture is more on Greek lines. The fishermen’s homes are in various shades of bright colors – yellow, pink, purple, green, and blue. The narrow alleys will remind you of medieval villages. They make the Marina Corricella village very colorful and vibrant. The harbor area has many wooden boats. It is buzzing with activity as the fishing community brings home its daily catch.
As you go uphill, you will see an ancient fortress, which was once a prison. You will get stunning views of the Gulf of Naples from here. Along the road, you will find panoramic villas with their lemon orchards and fig trees. There are narrow alleys everywhere. You will see farmers selling fresh produce on the street corners.
If you are in Naples, you should consider a day trip to Procida. You can even stay on the island for a couple of days. Also, read our guide to Calivigny Island, a Caribbean paradise in Grenada.
How to Reach
Procida is just 14 miles off the coast of Naples. You can take a hydrofoil or ferry to reach the island from the piers – Molo Beverello and Porta di Massa, as well as from Pozzuoli. You can reach the island in only 40-60 minutes. You can also travel via Ischia, which is a 15-minute ferry ride from Naples.
If you are arriving by flight, the nearest airport is the Naples International Airport. Take an airport bus to one of the piers and then a boat ride. Tourists can also take the train to Naples, and proceed from there by bus or taxi to a pier.
Procida Is Rich in Mythology
According to mythology, the island was the home of Partenope, a beautiful mermaid. Partenope also founded Naples. She lived in a deep-sea cave with her sisters and ruled over the Gulf of Naples. While the Greek hero Odysseus was returning home after burning Troy, they heard the mermaids singing their song for the lost, sad warriors.
Odysseus was cunning. He tied himself to the mast of the ship and plugged his ears so that he did not become a victim of the mermaid’s magical spell, which used to drown sailors. So Partenope could not seduce Odysseus and killed herself. Her beautiful body washed up on the shores of the mainland, which gave birth to Naples.
Top 10 Reasons for Visiting Procida
- The island has beautiful beaches
- The beautiful Marina Grande – the main tourist port of the island
- Via Roma – Full of cafes and beautiful restaurants
- Churches – The 18th-century Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà and the lemon-yellow Santa Maria delle Grazie
- Marina Corricella – The oldest fishing village
- The fortified medieval stronghold of Terra Murata
- The 16th-century Palazzo D’Avalos palace
- The Isola di Vivara protected nature reserve
- Colorful houses
- Authentic, slow-paced life
Terra Murata is a medieval village. Enjoy breathtaking views from the highest point on the island. See the two canons that date back to 1799. Also visit Palazzo d’Avalos, which later became the royal palace. It was converted to a citadel prison. You can also visit the Abbey of San Michele as well. It is a cultural and religious center for pilgrimage and is ranked among the most prestigious churches in South Italy.
A fortified town at the base of Terra Murata. It is centered around a large courtyard, where musicians perform in the evenings.
Marina di Corricella
The oldest marina in Procida is a colorful village with a heritage that goes back to the 17th century. Hear the fishing stories from the locals. Appreciate the distinct architecture, with houses built on top of one another. It is one of the oldest villages on the island. Enjoy the colorful houses in pastel shades reminiscent of Greek architecture. Find delicious local meals at the roadside cafes and restaurants. Shopping is also high on the list for tourists.
A natural reserve in Procida. This is a small oasis, with protected wildlife. The small, crescent-shaped island captivates tourists with its rare natural beauty. A small 100-meter footbridge will connect you to Vivara from Procida. See rabbits frolicking around apart from a few archaeological remains. You will also see a lot of birdlife on the island.
Anything marked as ‘Spiaggia’ is a beach in Procida.
Procida has 6 beaches. Famous for its Volcanic crater, Vivara was once connected to Procida by a cliff. Chiaiolella Beach is at the far end of the island. You will find many leisure activities and food options here. The backdrop of a cliff and shallow water make this a popular destination.
Chiaia Beach is on the western side, overlooking Ischia. It’s a great place for the kids to play in the water. You can reach the beach through a staircase of 186 steps from Piazza Olmo. There are many shops here.
Postino Beach shaped like a horse-shoe is great for film shoots. Most tourists head to the beach, because of its picturesque landscape. Only 20 minutes from Centro Storico, it is a good place for a relaxing swim. You can also watch the sunset from the beach. Lingua is on the northeastern end of the island, next to Marina Grande. You can visit the towns of Miseno and Bacoli easily from the Lingua beach.
Ciraccio Beach has the island’s longest coastline. The crystal clear and shallow water on Ciraccio is a delight. Try the seafood at the restaurants that line the beach. There are many cafes, shacks, and restaurants.
Procida is a great place for a 2-day stay. However, if you are looking for a place to relax and unwind, stay on for a week.