The small and beautiful island of Procida
In the Bay of Naples, a stone’s throw from the Sorrento peninsula, there are three islands: Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Procida is the smallest and least known of the three, but it has much to offer.
History of Procida
Procida was first populated in the 10th century BC by the Greeks, who named it Phocida. The island has a rich history, having been occupied and ruled by Romans, Arabs, Normans, French, Angevins, and Bourbons over the centuries. This long-standing tradition of foreign rule has left behind an array of historical sites for visitors to explore.
During its heyday in the 16th century, Procida became known as ‘the pearl of the Mediterranean’ and attracted many visitors from around Europe. It is still considered an important cultural center now due to its connection with numerous writers such as Goethe, Alexandre Dumas, and Pierre Loti.
What to see on Procida
Procida boasts charming and enchanting fishing villages, which is why it was chosen as the setting for several films including “Il Postino” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley“. Let’s look in detail at the things you absolutely must see on a day trip to Procida:
Arriving by ferry, Marina Grande is the first thing on Procida you will see. It is, as you may have guessed, the island’s main port. Once ashore, you will be greeted by a row of multicolored houses, dominated by the crenelated profile of Palazzo Montefusco. To the left of Marina Grande is Via Roma, the commercial and tourist heart of Procida, where you will find shops, boutiques, craft workshops, and historic buildings, such as the beautiful Chiesa della Pietà and its Baroque bell tower.
Palazzo d’Avalos and Terra Murata
Two of the island’s most important attractions are Palazzo d’Avalos and Terra Murata. The former is a 16th-century residence, now the seat of Procida’s Town Hall, and the latter is an ancient fortified citadel that houses several historic monuments, including churches, convents, and fortifications. These two sites have stood still in time, and perfectly illustrate both Procida’s past as an important political center in the Mediterranean Sea and its defensive structures against foreign intruders. What’s more, they are located in the center of the island, almost 90 meters above sea level, so from here you can enjoy fantastic views of the sea and the Italian coastline.
Marina della Corricella
Marina Corricella is Procida’s oldest fishing village and is where director Massimo Troisi shot his film “Il Postino“. The best thing you can do in Marina Corricella is a stroll through the streets, admiring the colorful fishermen’s houses with their typical arched balconies showing a clear Arab influence.
Beaches of Procida
As an island, Procida has no shortage of enchanting bays and beaches. The sand is generally dark and pebbly, given the volcanic origin of the island and the proximity of Vesuvius. The sea is deep blue, and local vegetation and colorful cottages often frame the view. On Procida’s beaches, you can definitely spend relaxing moments. Here’s where to go:
- Marina Grande beach – This is a wide and convenient beach, as it is close to the port and the city center. Here you will find the beauty of the sea together with the convenience of restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Chiaiolella – This is one of Procida’s most famous beaches, where you can admire a breathtaking view of the Vivara islet and Ischia. The seabed is shallow and surrounded by typical vegetation. There is no lack of commercial activities nearby.
- Chiaia – The beauty of this beach comes from a combination of elements: a rocky ridge on the top of which are a few low buildings of typical local architecture, a small harbor, some colourful little houses, and the Terra Murata hill. What makes the beach even more special is the path to reach it: you have to descend an alley of 186 steps!
- Ciraccio -This is the longest beach on the island. It is also very popular because there are several campsites nearby. Its main characteristic is that it is sunny all day long. Two tuff stacks separate it from Chiaiolella beach.
- Spiaggia della Lingua – Small but really picturesque. It is located next to the Marina Grande marina and consists of dark pebbles of volcanic origin. Its depths are deeper than those at Marina Grande beach. The best way to reach it is through the panoramic staircase that starts from Bartolomeo Pagano street. It is one of the best places to watch the sunset.
- Postino beach – As the name suggests, some scenes from the movie of the same name were filmed here. It is a very nice little beach near a small colorful village. There is even a small bathing establishment equipped with umbrellas and a bar.
- Silurenza Beach– This beach is also located near Marina Grande. It is easy to reach and offers many amenities, such as bars, restaurants, and a bathing establishment. Although it is very busy, it remains a quiet and relaxing place.
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