Procida: a swimming garden in the gulf of Naples

The charming island of Procida lies like an undiscovered garden next to its vibrant sister islands Ischia and Capri. Flourishing gardens and fragrant lemon and orange groves bewitch visitors with their lush beauty. Procida is the smallest and oldest island in the Bay of Naples and is, like Ischia, of volcanic origin.

Procida by night (© Francesca - Portanapoli.com)

Procida by night (© Francesca – Portanapoli.com)

Arriving at the harbour Marina Grande of Procida island you’ll have the wonderful view of fishers’ houses in pastell colours, being reflected by the deep blue water. From here you can walk or take a threewheeled microtaxi up the steep road to the S. Maria delle Grazie church. Here you can enjoy the view on the picturesque fishing port Corricella.
Corricella was a vulcano crater, around which a characteristic, colourful town developed.

The Abbey church San Michele Arcangelo is the highest point on the island and lies closeby

It is worth a visit because of its library “Biblioteca dell’abbazia”. Further down in the noble palace, surrounded by palms and Bougainvillea, is the oldest nautical college of Italy (Istituto nautico Francesco Caracciolo).

Along the southwest coast of the island lie beautiful beaches, the yacht harbour Chiaiolella and the small island Vivara that is connected with Procida by a walkbridge. Since 1974 it is a nature reserve, accommodating rare birds and plants.

Procida is well known for its Good Friday procession

Its origin can be dated back to 1627. In accordance with the spanish tradition of misteri, religious representations of Christ’s suffering are carried through the streets. Good Friday night a wooden statue of the dead Christ is carried to the highest point of the island on the backs his faithful followers. The following morning a mourning procession, accompanied by trumpets, starts, during which crosses and relics are carried through the streets.

Until today Procida has been spared from mass tourism, which can’t be ascribed to the former jail, towering above the island. This ex-jail was also the fortress of Giovanni da Procida. It is, however the inhabitants who want to restrict tourism, which is why only a few small hotels and private accommodation are to be found. The most restaurants are in the main town at the harbour. A few well-known films have already been shot in Procida, f.ex. “Il Postino” with Massimo Troisi.