Procida island in Naples Italy is absolutely breathtaking
August 4th, 2016, Posted by travelwith2ofus
We are travelers from the Caribbean and unless you live in some remote corner of the earth where you are not connected to the outside world, then you would know that the Caribbean has some of the most beautiful islands on earth. Having said that, there are many other beautiful islands around the globe. Italy, Greece and the Philippines are just some of the countries that have beautiful islands that will take your breath away. Procida, an island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy is one of them.
It is a small island the sits between the mainland and the larger island known as Ischia. Even though the island is small, it holds a population of about 10,000. It has kept most of its Italian authenticity because, unlike Ischia and Capri the island does not have that much of a tourist feel, it gives the impression of being lived in rather than a tourist destination. It, however, receives a fair share of tourists who come to sample the culture of the island and the few attractions there are. Its picturesque landscape and somewhat scruffy charm are among the reasons it still attracts travelers. Procida would make a fine destination for a day trip where you can enjoy the view from the island and a meal by the harbour. Best option for hotel accommodation is on the island of Ischia, which is about an hour and a half drive away.
How to get to Procida
The view from the island and its charm make for good filming sites which has led to the island being featured in a few movies including a classic “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” The island has ferry services which can take you from Naples and Ischia to Procida. Travelling to Procida is quite easy since the nearest airport is in Naples. Once you get to the airport a bus ride to the waterfront “Molo Beverello” will get you to the ferries. Once at Molo Beverello take a ferry to Ischia, Procida is on the way and the ferry makes a stop there. There are fast and slow ways to get there depending on what you want and some can be found in Mergellina, a different port in Naples.
Places to visit Free
Abbazia di San Michele
The Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo forms the cultural and religious core of the village of Terra Murata. It was built in the Benedictine times back in the 11th century and was torn down and rebuilt on many occasions. The abbey is an imposing structure that portrays the cultural and religious times of old. The architecture of the abbey complex is an exhibition of the many transformations of building design that have taken place over the centuries. Some parts of the complex have lasted since the 15th century. The Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo is ranked as one of the most prestigious and richest churches in the South of Italy. In the library records is a book that has been kept since 1534.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
It is one of the hallmarks of the island. The magnificent dome can be seen from afar shimmering in the sunlight. The church is just as breathtaking from the inside. Its golden ceilings add and impressive depiction of the grandeur of this particular church. It stands at the hill where the view is the most enjoyable on the island. As you move further up the hill the 15th century village of Terra Murata overlooks the expanse of the green vegetation that forms the floor of the island.
A beautiful courtyard built in the 15th century and surrounded by terraced houses featuring the residential architecture of that period. The area can only be accessed through a series of narrow passages one of them being Via Principessa Margherita starting from Piazza dei Martiri.
Santa Margherita Nuova
The church of Santa Margherita Nuova was recently reopened after extensive renovations. This is another of the structures on the island that holds a historical significance. The church had once been a monastery that was destroyed. It took 15 years of rebuilding to restore it. The art inside the church will, however, evoke all the Italian history that might have been lost from the destruction. Sculptures and artifacts also help to piece together a little of the cultural dynamics of centuries past. While atop the cliff you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Corricella.
The village of Marina Corricella
Corricella is the oldest marina in Procida. It’s a colorful village whose cultural heritage runs from the 17th century. Known for its spontaneous housing and fishing history, the village has weathered many difficult seasons since it came to being.
The houses are built on top of each other and side by side forming a block. They are so meticulously designed that they have normal balconies, windows and external steps. Despite its long existence and being one of the oldest settlements on the island it bears no indications of medieval times.
The village is known to be a cheerful place, the name Corricella actually comes from the Greek “kora Cale” which means nice neighborhood. The colorful houses of the island offer a breathtaking view, especially when the sun is fully shining on them. The fact that they enjoy so much sunshine makes it possible to have some of the islands delicious cuisine while sitting outside even in the cold months of winter. The village also benefits from the fact that traffic is nonexistent because vehicles are prohibited, moving around is much easier and faster when you need it to be.
You can only move inside the village using stairways and snaking passages hidden amongst the houses. It is one of the reasons it has remained a silent haven of peace shielded from influences from the areas around it such as Casale Vascello or Terra Murata. Along the Marina there are a few scattered restaurants that serve tasteful local cuisine and high quality seafood. Apart from delicious local meals you will also find a lot of crafts, arts and fashion boutiques. The settlement has obvious tourist appeal due to the way everything is set up from the painted houses and boats to the eateries and bars scattered on the waterfront. Despite the obvious and effortless attractiveness the town has kept its authenticity as is the case with most of Procida.
During warmer months a special dinner on the Marina with soft lighting is a must for visitors. The dinner is made even more unique by the fact that you have it a stone throw away from the sea.
Beaches in Procida
Procida is endowed with several beaches whose quality varies. You can get to the beach as soon as you arrive on the island as the nearest beach is just a couple of minutes away from the ferry. There is also another beach to be found on the far side of the marina used for yachting. Although they are quite popular in the area these beaches are not as impressive as others that are found on the island.
Chiaiolella beach is at the far end of the island where one can go using buses L1 and L2. The harbor has been created into a large marina where there are a lot of leisure activities and food. The harbor comes to life during summer weekends when Italian families disembark from their yachts and enjoy a meal at the sandy beaches.
The coastline here is the longest on the island and the most-loved by tourists. The main reason it is so popular is because the waters are shallow and ideal for swimming during the warmer seasons of the year.
Chiaia beach is on the west of Ischia and is the ideal place to take the kids while on a trip to Procida. It is a long stretch of golden sand that would be perfect for a day of fun and games, or if you prefer, just spreading your blanket out in the sand and enjoying the day with your family. The water is calm, shallow and clear.
The splendid beach can be reached from sea or through a staircase 186 steps long running from one of the most famous squares in the city center, Piazza Olmo. Piaza Olmo is a thriving shopping center which can be reached by bus lines L1, L2, C1. Once you are in Piazza Olmo you can easily reach all the other attractions in the city.
Il Postino Beach
It is a small beach of the "Old Well" and shaped like a horseshoe. It is famously known for providing shooting locations for the film “Il Postino” which was an instant hit in Italy and soon after a worldwide hit. The island has some lively festivals during the summer and is also a great place for the kids.
The beach is located in the north-eastern end of the island of Procida next to Marina Grande. It can be accessed through two routes, one is through steps at the back of the beach, which leads to the Terra Murata area and the other from Marina Grande. From the beach the towns of Miseno, Bacoli and Monte di Procida, which are on the mainland, can be seen across the narrow straight. There is also a beach bar suitably named "La Lingua" where you can purchase snacks, drinks and mini meals.
It is the largest beach on the island of Procida. This together with the crystal clear and shallow waters make this beach a favorite for visitors. At Ciraccio beach you can easily find something to snack on as it is lined with restaurants, bars and beach clubs that serve a variety of seafood.
Moving around Procida
It is among the smallest islands on the bay of Naples and an underrated tourist site because most of Procida does not look touristy in the conventional sense. Moving around the city is quite easy because everything is close by. You can walk or use a taxi, which is not very expensive. There is also the option to rent a bike from a local shop and ride around the city exploring the sites. However, the best way to enjoy the city's scenic view is taking a three hour boat ride around the island. Visitors can catch a boat ride from Marine Grande, which is the main port. You can really experience all the island has to offer with a boat ride through the picturesque landscape.
Food. drink. Nightlife
The island has a variety of seafood delicacies with each restaurant showcasing its own style. La Lampara is famed for its delicious seafood dishes. The menu serves the freshest catch of the day and the prices of the food are reasonable. Here, you can taste simple seafood dishes like grilled swordfish or soup with mussels. A taste of the dishes will typically cost you 27$ a plate. Ristorante Scarabeo is one café that has built an enviable reputation as the place for authentic Italian cuisine. The restaurant serves classics like, homemade aubergine and fritelle di basilica at cheap prices that start at 31$.
The hotels and restaurants on the island serve Limoncello, an original wine of the Procida island. A glass of this wine can be served with food or alone if you like.
Procida is known to be a quite place where there is not much to do during the night. On the contrary, the island has a lively night life and you can enjoy the many bars along the shoreline and other venues in the city center. There are lively festivals that come to the island during the summer months. The jazz festival is especially known to bring the best of Italian trumpet jazz to the island incorporating it with some international acts to make the night even more memorable.
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Have you ever visited Procida? Let us know what you thought about the island.
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