Italy has some of the most beautiful islands to visit. If this country is on your travel list for your next vacation, include the Island of Procida on your itinerary. Though not as famous as the other two islands in the Bay of Naples, Procida has everything for a seasoned traveler.
Traveling to the island of Procida is worth every second and penny spent. There are many things to do and sceneries to treat your eyes with. Its rich cultural heritage and spectacular views are the major highlights.
As a traveler, you should know some facts before setting a date to visit the island of Procida. This article presents detailed information on what the island offers. It includes the best places to visit, how to move around, and where to stay. Read on to find out more!
Where is Procida Located?
The island of Procida is located in the Bay of Naples, on the southern coast of Italy. It is among the three islands found here and is the smallest. Capri is the most famous among tourists, while Ischia is known for its many natural hot springs. Regardless, the island of Procida is still worth it.
You are unlikely to find a crowd on the island of Procida because it is less famous than many other tourist destinations in Italy. You can spend days here without getting bored. And if you need to change the environment, you can board a ferry to the nearby island of Ischia.
History of the Island of Procida
Procida is an island in the Bay of Naples which has a rich cultural heritage. It carries the history of invasions by civilizations over many past centuries.
The island has endured countless attacks from Vandals, Goths, and even Saracens. Evidence of these activities is available on the island and is what has given it the image it has today.
Once you get to Procida Island, you will readily see the ancient architectural structures and ruins. These depict the cultures and traditions of the Mycebean, Greek, and Roman people who settled on the island.
Procida island was established as a shipbuilding yard and merchant trading center. These activities are still being carried out on the island in one way or the other.
Procida Island is mostly frequented by Neapolitans, who mainly use it as an escape from the summer heat that ravages mainland Italy. As mentioned, the island is less known to tourists. Most tourists go to Capri and the Amalfi Coast, leaving Procida island to the Italians.
Procida Island is the smallest and least spoiled by the booming tourism industry on the Italian coast. It largely remains unexplored and offers an insight into what the traditional life in Southern Italy was like.
People mainly go to the island of Procida by boat. When you finally dock at the coastline, you will be greeted with charming scenes of local life. If you visit Procida in the morning, you will find fishermen busy pushing their boats out to the sea to begin their daily work.
Scanning the coastline reveals colorful buildings closely packed together with narrow streets. They come in different bright colors, including orange, yellow and green. These colorful hovels are a sign you are officially on the island of Procida!
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Best Things to Do in Procida Island Italy
As mentioned, the island of Procida is the least visited by tourists. But that does not mean visiting Procida is not worth your time. On the contrary, the island has many fun things that will keep you busy for over a week if you have time to fully explore it.
Here are a few that should appear on every traveler’s itinerary!
Sightseeing the Marina Grande
This may be the first spot to start your day trip on the island of Procida. This port handles almost all arrivals from Naples. If you are on a ferry, you will likely arrive at the port of Procida island.
The port of Procida island gives you the best introduction to what the island is all about and what you are likely to see. You will readily see colorful homes along the coastline and a beehive of activities at the seafront.
The port at Marina Grande is filled with cafes, restaurants, and artisan shops. The eateries are the powerhouses for fishermen and people who earn their living at the port. Stop by for some seafood or some refreshment before you start your day trip.
Based on the commercial activities at Marina Grande, you can expect to spend considerable time here. Marina Grande might not be as charming as Marina di Corricella (we’ll get onto that later).
However, it has perfect spots by the waterfront for relaxing and watching the day go by. It has a long sandy beach where those visiting Procida can catch a cool breeze from the sea.
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Visiting Marina di Corricella
If you have limited time and cannot spend more than a day on this island, create time to at least go to Marina di Corricella. It is the main attraction that appears on the trip itinerary.
Marina di Corricella has panoramic views over a large stretch of the north coast. It starts from the road up to the castle. Watching the boards docking at the harbor and the 17th Century fishermen’s buildings is a one-in-a-time experience.
You simply cannot miss the yellow Santa Maria Delle Grazie Incoronanta Church when you go to Marina di Corricella.
Once your ferry docks at the port, hike up the hill. Cross over to the other side of the island and walk again towards the infamous medieval citadel to the viewpoint to treat yourself with arguably the best view of Europe.
You should also never miss walking through the narrow streets between the colorful buildings to the waterfront.
It is the only way you will appreciate the beauty of the architectural masterpieces on the island of Procida. The structures at Marina di Corricella are seemingly cascaded on each other as they descend down the cliff.
Also, coming down to the harbor gives you an up-close view of the colorful boats, daubed with unique designs and graphics on each boat.
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Visiting Terra Murata
Terra Murata is second on the list of best places on Procida island. Terra Murata is the epitome of history on this island and along the Amalfi coast. It is sometimes known as the walled town. Here you can set your eyes on two canons that date back to 1799, during the Neapolitan Republic.
The main building in Terra Murata is d’Avalos. It has extreme historical significance on the island. The building was constructed in 1563 and later served as a prison until the late 1980s. All people visiting Procida can now use guided tours to get into d’Avalos.
You can also climb to the highest elevation on Terra Murata, where you will find a 16th Century house of the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo. This historical building was converted into a church in 1500 and was decorated with beautiful works of art well worth seeing.
This church, found at the highest point on Procida, also has the best sea views. The terrace of Abbazia San Michele is also an attraction on its own.
Depending on the season when you visit Procida, you can find Terra Murata Residents preparing festival celebrations for the local fishermen. It is the best time to come here if you want to see the colorful decorations on the streets.
Terra Murata is quiet and less populated, a typical characteristic of Procida island. You might end up by yourself or with just a few other sightseers.
Heading to Casale Vascello
Casale Vascello is close to Terra Murata. This centuries-old complex has a charm of its own, which you access through two narrow alleyways. These were constructed as a defense system to thwart possible attacks from invaders.
Once on the Casale Vascello, you won’t help but treat your eyes to the epic scenes created by the colorful houses. Their balconies, staircases, and arches give it a unique charm comparable to what you are welcomed with at Procida’s Marina Grande. Unbelievably, people still live inside these buildings.
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Touring the Beaches of Procida
This small island is known for its long sandy beaches. Your trip to this tiny island isn’t complete if you never go to any of these beaches:
Spiaggia Chiaia Beach
This is a long narrow black sand beach found on the western side of Marina di Corricella. It is a lovely spot that gives you an unobstructed view of the Terra Murata citadel, Capri, and Vesuvius. The beach has two cafes with sunbeds and umbrellas, although you have to pay for them.
Spiaggia Chiaiolella Beach
The Spiaggia Chiaiolella beach on Procida island is also known as Ciracciello. It is located on the southwestern edge of Procida, close to the bridge across Vivara. The beach is known for its all-day sun, warm shallow waters, and epic sunset views.
Spiaggia Ciraccio Beach
Spiaggia Ciraccio and Spiaggia Chiaiolella are the two most exclusive and the best Procida beaches. The two are separated by large rock cliffs. However, Spiaggia Ciraccio has fewer beach bars and cafes than the Spiaggia Chiaiolella.
Spiaggia Cala del Pozzo Vecchio or IL Postino Beach
This particular beach stands out among other Procida beaches because of the publicity it enjoys from the film Il Postino (The Postman). It is more secluded than most beaches on this list, featuring only one bar. Its main highlight is a free beach area that’s open to the public.
Spiaggia di Punta Ottimo Beach
You might not find many folks at this beach when you visit Procida island because of its relative inaccessibility. As a result, it is usually quiet with a few tourists and has no facilities.
Spiaggia Lingua Beach
Spiaggia Lingua is located on the eastern tip of the island. It is livelier because it is more accessible by ferry. Unlike most Procida beaches, this has more pebbles. Spiaggia Lingua is a free beach with facilities. The best time to come here is early morning to watch the sun rise over Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Spiaggia Silurenza Beach
This is the nearest beach to get to from the ferry port at Marina Grande. Its accessibility makes it overcrowded sometimes, but it has many facilities to serve all visitors.
Sailing the Waters of Procida
You can find the opportunity to sail on the waters of this small beautiful island on a day trip to the Amalfi coast. Alternatively, rent a small motor board or kayak around the island. The view from the island is amazing!
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Climbing to Belvedere Piazza dei Martiri
Belvedere Piazza Dei Martiri is another great viewpoint on the island overlooking Marina di Corricella. This area is also known for its bright yellow cathedral. It also gives you a clear view of Santuario Santa Maria di Delle Grazie Incoronata.
Visiting the Isola di Vivara
Isola di Vivara is an islet located off the southwestern coast of the island. It is connected to the main island of Procida by a footbridge, creating a surreal feature.
The islet remains unexplored, just a home of natural Mediterranean fauna and migratory birds. Most visitors who come here are rewarded by sights of rare plant species.
The Isola di Vivara requires a whole day trip if you want to explore everything it offers. It has footpaths and hiking trails. If done hiking, you can enjoy a picnic on the grassy banks of this islet.
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Hopping to Ischia
If you feel you have explored all the attractions in Procida, you can cross over to Ischia. Procida is not the only island in the Gulf of Naples. Ischia is a neighboring island you can access by ferry.
The two islands are only 7 km apart, which you will cross by ferry. This ferry ride is a popular attraction because of the panoramic views of the islands from the sea.
Depending on your schedule, you may dedicate a whole day or two to visiting Ischia Island. It is nearly impossible to explore both islands in one day because of the hiking involved. You will be exhausted even before you visit some of the best attractions!
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Getting to the Island of Procida
Visitors who come to this island have a few options of how to get there. You can decide to go to Procida by yourself or consider a day tour offered by different operators.
Choosing to travel to Procida on your own seems pocket-friendly. However, the stress and logistics may make it expensive in the end. That is why we recommend taking a day tour. There are many operators here, but you can check out the following:
The island does not have an airport. So, the only way to reach here is by boat or ferry from Naples and Sorrento. Boats depart at regular intervals and are the most commonly used means of transport. You can also choose a ferry, but the times vary with the season.
Procida is serviced by two ferry companies: SNAV and Caremar. It usually takes about an hour to reach the island by ferry. The stress of purchasing the ticket is reduced if you travel by boat. The first one from Naples leaves for the island at 6 am, and the last ferry to depart from Procida leaves at 8 pm.
You can also connect your trip from Ischia, a more famous island in the Gulf of Naples. Ferries and hydrofoils service this route from Ischia to Procida. Hydrofoils take just 15 minutes, while the ferry takes 25 minutes.
The ferry is the best option for a return journey in the evening. It’s cheaper, and you will be treated to picturesque views as the sun sets over the island.
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How to Get Around the Procida Island
You have different means to use to move around the island. You can rent a bicycle, use public transport, or a cab. Your choice depends on your budget and preference. Let’s briefly provide more light on these options.
Renting a Bicycle
Many visitors to Procida prefer renting bicycles because they are convenient and affordable. The rates are per hour, but they are cheaper even if you rent a bike for a whole day. It is the most pleasant way to navigate your way through the island.
Using Public Transport
You can use public buses to go around this small island. It is the most appropriate choice if your main focus is touring Procida’s beautiful beaches and attractions. A good road network connects the most famous places for tourists.
The bus tickets can be bought from the driver or bars and tabacchis if you want to plan in advance. You may need to buy a bunch of bust tickets at once if you plan to spend more days on the island for convenience.
Going Around by Cab
You can use a cab to explore this island, quite a number of them at the port. This is the most expensive option but gives you the ultimate convenience. You can negotiate the cab rates with some drivers ready to give you a grand tour of the island.
Alternatively, some hotels help organize cabs for their guests. It is a better option because they get it at the most competitive price and escape exploitation.
Renting a Car
while driving around the narrow streets of Procida can be tricky, for some there is no substitute for having the freedom, independence, and privacy of your own set of wheels. There is only one car rental agency on the island, but you can also find rentals at Naples Airport.
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Where to Stay on Procida Island, Italy
You can visit Procida on a day trip from Ischia, Sorrento, or Naples. Alternatively, you can always decide to spend your night on the island for an extended stay – which I highly recommend. Fortunately, Procida offers a wide range of hotels, apartments, and campsites.
For campers, Procida Camp & Resort is the place to be. You can erect your tents here or stay in the on-site luxury safari tent if you don’t have your tent.
You can explore many of the hotels on this island at Booking.com to find what suits your budget. The following are the recommendations according to guests’ ratings:
Albergo ‘La Vigna’
Albergo ‘La Vigna’ is one of the top Procida hotels to consider for the excellent services offered by the staff. The hotel is surrounded by vineyards and offers the most serene environment for guests. It is close to a beach and a few steps from the historical center.
The rooms are bright, spacious, air-conditioned, and feature minibar and modern furnishings. Guests are served breakfast and are free to relax on the garden or terrace. There are also great on-site facilities and amenities to ensure the comfort of all guests.
Hotel Riviera is a cost-effective option for guests on a tight budget. The hotel is less than a kilometer from Chiaia beach and offers reliable accommodation services. It has an on-site bar, a free private parking area, a shared lounge, and a garden.
The hotel rooms are fitted with a desk, TV, bathroom, wardrobe, and are air-conditioned. A continental breakfast is served to all guests, who can enjoy free wireless internet throughout the property.
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La Suite Boutique Hotel
La Suite Boutique Hotel is a hotel in Procida for big pockets. The property has an on-site spa, a big garden, and a swimming pool. It is centrally located close to many beaches on the island, including the II Postino, where famous film scenes were shot.
La Suite Boutique Hotel has luxurious rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings, a balcony, a patio, or a private garden. Each room has a satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. Guests are also served buffet-style breakfast, which they can enjoy while relaxing on the garden terraces.
Hotel La Corricella
Hotel La Corricella is a mid-range hotel in Procida Island located just a few distances from Marina Grande ferry port. All rooms here have access to a shared sun terrace overlooking the marina. You can catch the best views right from the hotel.
The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms fitted with TVs and mini-fridges. Guests are served a sweet Italian-style breakfast, which they can take in their rooms or on the terrace as they enjoy the intimate atmosphere.
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Hotel Savoia is another relatively affordable hotel on the island. The property is located a few steps from the beach and offers free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned rooms. There is also a large garden with a swimming pool for guests. The hotel offers guests a panoramic view of the island.