You’ve heard of Capri and maybe Ischia, but what about Procida? It’s the smallest of the three Italian islands, but there’s plenty to see and explore on a day trip from Naples.
To really soak up the atmosphere though, and discover the colour and charm of Procida, consider staying on the island for a night or two. After the day-trippers have headed home, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of this idyllic island on another level.
Here’s everything you need to know about Procida – Italy’s Capital of Culture in 2022.
Procida – one of the prettiest islands in Italy
Procida tends to get overlooked in favour of more famous islands in Italy, like Capri or Sardinia. It’s certainly a lot smaller – just a few square kilometres in size, with a population of 10,000. It’s not particularly famous for its beaches or history, compared to other Italian destinations. But if you decide to go just a little bit off the beaten path and choose Procida for your next Italian holiday, you’ll realise that there’s plenty of beauty and culture to discover, as well as a laidback, authentic atmosphere.
Take a short stroll around the island and you’ll find medieval streets, artisans’ workshops, Baroque churches and brightly coloured fishing villages. Also, you could take some time to relax on the beaches with crystal clear water or to admire sweeping panoramic views.
And, best of all, you can enjoy all of this without the crowds. While Procida is slowly becoming more popular, it’s still mostly frequented by Italian tourists. Visitors from nearby Naples, come to the island to escape the city in the summer months for example.
As far as international tourism goes, Procida is still something of a secret. However, that could soon change, as Procida has been named the Italian Capital of Culture in 2022, because of its rich local culture, beautiful coastline, and ongoing heritage projects. The honour of being labelled “Capital of Culture” is usually reserved for larger towns or cities, so it’s an important symbolic victory for Procida. Apparently, when the victory was announced, the island exploded in celebration!
What to see and do in Procida
Forget about ticking off a list of “must-sees” – This island is all about laidback exploration rather than frantic sightseeing. Here are just a few ideas for some ways to make the most of your time on the island:
- Explore the villages. Marina di Corricella is the picturesque fishing village next to the port. There’s also the quiet and peaceful medieval village of Terra Murata, located on the island’s highest point.
- Admire the views. The edge of Terre Murata is one of the most scenic spots on Procida, offering breathtaking views of the island.
- Relax on the beach. There’s a variety of sand and pebble beaches on the island. Many have umbrellas and sun beds for hire if you want to spend the day swimming and soaking up the sun. Spiaggia Chiaiolella is one of the best places to be when the sun sets.
Typical local things to put on your “must-see” list:
- Sample the local cuisine. Specialities include spaghetti con le canocchie alla procidana (pasta with lobster, tomatoes, garlic, chili and parsley), seppie ripiene (stuffed cuttlefish), palamita con erbette (fish similar to tuna with herbs). Lemon also features prominently on the menu. There’s no shortage of excellent restaurants in Procida, including Caracalè in Marina di Corricella. For a unique experience go to La Pergola, where you can dine in the middle of a lemon grove.
- Experience local traditions. Easter is an excellent time to visit Procida, as you can watch the evocative Procession of the Mysteries of Good Friday. During this day young men in traditional dress walk across the island while carrying religious statues, to the sound of a trumpet and drums.
You can experience a little bit of Procida even before you arrive. To get in the mood while you plan your trip, watch The Postman (Il Postino) or The Talented Mr Ripley. The island scenery features prominently in both films.
How to get to Procida
2022 is the year to visit Procida, as the atmosphere on the island is likely to be lively and celebratory without excessive tourists or crowds. The best time to visit would be outside of peak season (any month except for July and August).
Procida is easy to reach by ferry (1 hour) or hydrofoil (40 minutes) from Naples. From Ischia, the journey is about 15-25 minutes. There’s no direct link between Capri and Procida.
These short journey times mean that Procida is the perfect day trip from Naples or Ischia. You could also make Procida part of a more in-depth exploration of the region. For example, you could make Naples your base for several nights, and go on day trips to the islands of Ischia and Procida. On top of this, you could visit nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum, before continuing to Capri and the Amalfi Coast.
For more travel ideas and inspiration, and help planning your itinerary, contact the Roads to Rome Private Tours team!
Read more: This tiny island was named Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022 (CN Traveler)
Written by Alexandra Turney