THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN PROCIDA, Capital of culture 2022
Procida, where is it located?
Also known as the Island of Arturo or Elsa Morante, it is located in the Gulf of Naples and, together with Ischia, Vivara (with which it is connected by a bridge) and Nisida, is part of the Flegrean Islands and together with Capri, which is about 30 kilometers, make up the Campanian (or Neapolitan) Archipelago.
Procida still has the charm of the seaside village, where especially in Corricella it is possible to admire the colorful houses that are reflected on the sea and which have been the backdrop to numerous films, from Il postino with Massimo Troisi or The talent of Mr Ripley with Matt Damon.
The inhabited center is divided into nine districts: Terra Murata (the oldest village dominated by the former prison), Corricella, which has the appearance of the typical fishing village, Sent’cò with the port of Marina Grande, San Leonardo, Santissima Annunziata, Sant’Antuono, Sant’Antonio and Chiaiolella, Semmarezio.
What to see in Procida, the recommended places
Once the historical and cultural center of the island today it is one of the first destinations chosen by tourists, ideal for taking panoramic photos, it is literally overlooking the sea at (about 90 meters from the level), and can only be reached via a steep climb from which it is possible to admire a breathtaking view over the whole gulf of Naples. What makes this place special are not only the medieval fortifications and the scenic views, but also the two long-range cannons dating back to the Neapolitan Republic of 1799.
Once you get to the top, you cannot forget to visit the Palazzo d’Avalos (from 1563). In 1830 the building was transformed into a real prison citadel, which was then closed in 1988. Another splendid attraction is certainly the Abbey of San Michele (16th century) where numerous works of art are kept, including a painting depicting Saint Michael defeating Satan.
When it comes to Procida it is difficult not to say Corricella, it is an ancient fishing village and still today it is easy to meet local people who work near the fishing nets.
Loved by writers, poets and artists, he was chosen by Massimo Troisi for the unforgettable film Il postino, there is also a small square in his name.
The small village is characterized by its colorful houses clearly visible from afar, legend has it that the pastel colors of the houses (pink, yellow, white, blue, orange) were used by local fishermen to recognize their homes from the sea.
The Corricella can only be reached by sea or by stairs, no cars, motorcycles or bicycles. Two are the most used routes to reach the village, the first route (recommended for those coming down from Terra Murata) located near Piazza dei Martiri follows a steep descent called San Rocco, near the stairs you can orient yourself with a small ice cream shop, tobacconist or bar .
The main port of the island of Procida, you are immediately captured by the charm of the colorful houses and a typical Mediterranean architecture already from the ferry.
The first of the historic buildings of the port is the Palazzo Merlato, a 12th century building that was the summer residence of the king for some time.
Among the most historic and intriguing buildings is Palazzo Catena, a seventeenth-century building where the terraces and arches surmounted by curved battlements are still visible.
On the other hand, along the lively Via Roma up to the Sancio Cattolico square, you can see two religious symbols very dear to Procidan seafarers: the wooden crucifix of 1845 and the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, whose characteristic baroque bell tower certainly does not go unnoticed.
The islet of Vivara
The islet of Vivara formed about 55,000 years ago looks like a small wild place, untouched by the typical structure of the island. From a place loved by artisans and hunters, now a favorite with environmentalists and archaeologists. Its highest point is 109 meters and is connected by a bridge.
Since 2002 the island has become a state nature reserve, today the island of Vivara is among the few (if not the only) naturalistic habitat still intact in the Gulf of Naples, still today it offers spectacular backdrops and very rich in marine plants, they are also a attraction for all lovers of snorkeling and scuba diving.
Things to do in Procida
Visit Graziella’s house
La Graziella is the beautiful and simple young woman from Procida with all the Mediterranean charm. Her legend of her comes from the novel by Alphonse de Lamartine and in August in the Festival of the Sea that takes place every year, she is elected the most beautiful graziella (a small beauty contest).
On the second floor of the Palace of Culture (Former conservatory of the orphans) in Terra Murata, it is possible to visit the historical reconstruction of Graziella’s house, created by the cultural association “La casa di Graziella with the Municipality of Procida
All the furnishings of the house are dated between 1800 and 1900 but nothing belonged to Graziella. This museum aims to safeguard and pass on the history of Procida to posterity, through the myth of Graziella who lived and died for love.
At the end of the visit, go out onto the terrace with a unique view of the island, the Gulf of Naples, Ischia and Capri, it alone is worth the entrance.
Procida has many beaches to visit, but it also has many points on the coast accessible only by sea.
The Procida boat tour starts from the small port of Chiaiolella or Marina Corricella, during the excursion it is possible to see the islet of Vivara, the bay of Chiaiozza, close to a swimming pool carved into the rock, the Scoglio del Cannone, Scoglio Sant’Anna, Scoglio dello Schiavone and the cave of the “Bue Marino” in Punta Monaci (starting point of the natural arch of the picturesque port of Corricella where according to an ancient legend the Bue Marino loved to rest). This is just a hint of the boat tour that you can do accompanied by an aperitif at sunset, book the boat tour and visit the coasts of the island.
The excursion to the seabed of Procida turns out to be a very educational experience for children, but not only. 24 different habitats have been highlighted according to a study by the Parthenope faculty of Naples. The most spectacular is the coral habitat, which has nothing to envy to the most famous coral reefs of tropical seas, find out all the details and book your dive on the seabed
Rent an e-bike and get around Procida in 1 day
Also known as the island of Elsa Morante, it is about 3.7 km² and renting an electric bike to visit Procida and the main places, perhaps with stops for a swim or an aperitif is absolutely recommended. The narrow streets of Procida are ideal for circulation on two wheels, allowing you to reach the furthest ends such as Marina Grande and Marina Chiaiolella in about 20 minutes, reaching places for a wilder public such as Solchiaro or Il Faro
Relax on the beaches of Procida
Pozzo Vecchio or Postino beach
Among the best known beaches of Procida there is certainly the Pozzo Vecchio beach, which became famous for the film by Massimo Troisi’s Il Postino. Going down the road that runs alongside the cemetery, characterized by a series of small buildings and domes that recall the typical island architecture, you reach the small and welcoming horseshoe-shaped bay, largely free beach. Here the sand is dark, of volcanic origin
Once lying in the sun, which on this beach never seems to set, the hours pass slowly in long baths immersed in a natural landscape.
Chiaiolella is one of the longest beaches on the island with dark sand and clear water and is ideal for relaxing and ideal for those with children. There are both free beach areas and establishments. From the beach it is possible to see the famous Faraglioni of Procida and from here you can admire a spectacular sunset. A must visit!
Nearby there are several seaside restaurants where you can enjoy excellent Procidan cuisine or enjoy an aperitif with friends.
A wide beach surrounded by tuff cliffs, accessible by a staircase of 186 steps, but do not be discouraged, the beach has dark colored sand and crystal clear water where you can see many fish from the shore, the seabed is very shallow. that you have to walk before the water gets high enough to swim, in this respect makes it ideal for children. From this beach you can admire Marina di Corricella and Terra Murata the most visited places in Procida.
There is only one convenient beach with restaurant and beach service, we recommend booking in advance.
Comfortable and pleasant the free shuttle service by sea that leaves from Corricella always offered by the establishment.