After being nominated as Italian Capital of Culture 2022, the small island of Procida is now one of the most popular destinations for those planning a holiday in Campania and on the Amalfi Coast.
Is also true that, with its panoramic and paradisiacal beaches, the characteristic neighbourhoods overlooking the beautiful deep blue sea and the colourful houses typical of seaside villages, Procida will make you fall in love immediately. Also famous for being chosen as the setting of “Il Postino”, the latest film with Massimo Troisi, the island has lent its picturesque streets and its white coves to some of the most unforgettable scenes in Michael Radford’s film.
As you can easily guess, there are so many things to see in Procida and the island really deserves to be discovered.
Trip to Procida, what to see and what to do
Here below you will find a small guide on what to visit in Procida, with tips on how to best spend a day or a few days on one of the most beautiful islands in Italy.
Read on to discover the most important monuments, the unmissable beaches, and the most evocative neighbourhoods of the Italian Capital of Culture 2022.
Port of Marina Grande
Without any doubt, the first of the things to see in Procida is the port of Marina Grande (Sent’co, as the inhabitants call it): the docking place of all boats, hydrofoils and ferries that reach the island. Marina Grande is also a strategic point for the presence of several bars, restaurants and services such as ticket offices, taxis, bus stops and shops.
The beauty of the port is marked above all by the bright colours of the buildings that surround it. Along the coast there is also Via Roma, one of the most touristic and important streets of Procida. A short distance away you can see the Baroque dome of the church of Santa Maria della Pietà, one of the main places of worship on the island.
By entering in the town you can reach, exclusively on foot and through some very narrow streets, one of the most evocative and particular places in Procida.
In the most hidden heart of the island there is an ancient complex called Casale Vascello. A structure that dates back to the sixteenth century, and which enclosed a set of apartments leaning against each other, designed to defend the population from Saracen raids. The building is organized around a central courtyard, where cultural and musical events are still held periodically today, and from where it is possible to get an idea of how the houses were arranged.
One of the most important historical sites of Procida is Terra Murata, a small village dating back to the Middle Ages and built at about 90 meters above sea level, which was used as a defence against enemy attacks. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the island, of the bay of Chiaia and of the Corricella district.
In Terra Murata there is the massive Abbey dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo, patron saint of Procida, and Palazzo D’Avalos, which until the end of the 1980s housed an important penitentiary, which has now become a museum (to visit it, it is possible to book guided tours).
Always in Terra Murata there is another religious site that deserves a visit, especially because it is panoramic: the Monastery of Santa Margherita. Not far away, there is another church not to be missed among the things to see in Procida, which is Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Also, in the village of Terra Murata, it is possible to visit the reconstruction of the home of Graziella, the young protagonist of the nineteenth-century novel by Alphonse de Lamartine who, due to her tormented love, became a myth for the people of Procida. The house is furnished with furniture and objects dating back to the time when the novel was written.
Belvedere Elsa Morante
To admire one of the most beautiful views on the island and its bay, you have to reach the Pizzaco promontory, which closes the Chiaia beach from one side.
Here there is the Belvedere Elsa Morante, dedicated to the writer who set her most famous novel: The Island of Arturo, right in Procida (and thanks to which she won the prestigious Strega award).
From the belvedere you will have an extraordinary view of the beach and its bay of indescribable colors, but you can also admire the colored houses of Corricella and the ancient district of Terra Murata.
What to do in Procida if you have at least a couple of days to spend on the island? Easy, discover its most beautiful and unspoiled beaches.
Among all, the Chiaia beach, which opens onto a bay in the eastern part of Procida, is one of the most popular even if not easily accessible: in fact, it can only be reached on foot, after doing about 190 steps. Or, otherwise, it is possible to reach Chiaia beach from the sea, in a much more fun way: on board one of our boats!
The sand is dark but very soft and on the beach there are two establishments and a small restaurant where you can taste the best typical products of the area.
The village of Corricella
On the opposite coast from Marina Grande, in the southern part of the island, there here is a place that no guide on “what to see in Procida” will ever forget.
The seaside village of Corricella is simply suggestive and lively at the same time. It is the classic fishermen village animated by bars, restaurants and small craft shops where you can buy the most typical souvenirs, which anyone who comes to Procida cannot avoid to love and photograph.
Here you can stroll among the fishermen’s nets, admiring the very old colourful houses and deeply breathing the sea in the air.
If you are traveling with children, among the things to see in Procida you must not forget the beautiful Chiaiolella beach. A long and spacious beach of fine sand, with free access and easy to reach; that’s why it is particularly popular with families.
The beach is also equipped with numerous services and surrounded by places to stop for an aperitif or lunch.
Close to Chiaiolella there is “Ponte di Vivara”, a bridge that connects Procida to the islet that houses the protected nature reserve.
Once you have crossed the pedestrian bridge that starts from the promontory of Santa Margherita (from Marina della Chiaiolella), you will reach the island of Vivara, which houses an important luxuriant and varied nature reserve, well representative of the Mediterranean vegetation. The island is private and moreover, being a protected place, it is only accessible to contingent groups and at certain times. Therefore, before organizing the visit, it is advisable to consult the website of the municipality of Procida and make sure that the island is open. At the moment, the island of Vivara is closed to the public.
The typical dishes of Procida
Visiting Procida means immersing yourself in beauty, but don’t forget the taste. You are in the homeland of the famous Procida lemons, main ingredient of some of the most delicious local recipes.
So, after having discovered the many things to see in Procida, what to taste to best complete your holiday? Without any doubts, we suggest you to open the dance with an excellent seafood first course, such as spaghetti with sea urchins. Continue your meal with a portion of Procida-style rabbit, cooked with tomato and plenty of aromas, and accompanied by a very fresh lemon salad. If you prefer fish, try the shrimp with potatoes, a dish really loved by the people of Procida.
To complete your meal, delight yourself with a delicious dessert called “lingue procidane” made with puff pastry and lemon cream, a recipe that makes the island’s pastry chefs particularly proud.
Boat tour around the beauties of the island
Procida is easily reachable by ferry from Pozzuoli and Naples. But an alternative and very pleasant idea to spend a beautiful day with friends is to reach the coast of Procida on a private boat. You can then decide or to enjoy only the sea and the view from your boat or to dock at the port and stop in the most characteristic places on the island.
To spend a dream day, you could take the chance and enjoy a private tour to discover Procida and Ischia (the two islands are really close to each other) organized by Sorrento Trips, a tour operator specialized in car and scooter rental and in the organization of private and group boat tours along the coasts and the most beautiful beaches of the coast.
For more information and to get some ideas for your next trips, we also suggest you have a look at our posts on how to organize a boat trip on the Amalfi Coast and how to get to Capri in an easy and fun way.