Procida in one day
Have a small one-day tour of Procida, from the historical Terra Murata till the harbour of Marina Chiaiolella, passing by the colorful fisherman’s village of Corricella, between the nature and local architecture, the authentic flavors of the island and atmosphere of old times. The island of Procida, just a few miles from the mainland, is easily reached in less than an hour from the harbours of Naples or Pozzuoli. Its small size, less 4 square km, makes it possible to explore the island in one day; therefore, you can visit almost everything, just know where to go and how to reach various sights. With the ferry or hydrofoil you will reach the port of Marina Grande, the liveliest part of the island, where you can find restaurants, bars, boutiques, handicraft and souvenir shop, as well as scooter, bicycle, minivan and different boat rentals.
Terra Murata, the former Bourbon prison and the Abbey of San Michele.
After passing through Via Roma and reaching the seventeenth-century Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, turn to Via Vittorio Emanuele and then continue left to via Principe Umberto, which leads to the entrance of Terra Murata. It is possible to reach it on foot, which will take about 20 minutes, by taking a small bus (C2) that stops in front of the Church or taking a taxi, a good choice if you want to see Procida in one single day.
After crossing the ancient door you enter another dimension, almost like in another era. The first stop is at the former Bourbon prison, the silent witness of the history of this small village. Not working since 1988, it has been recently reopened to the public, a visit where you can book on the website of the Municipality of Procida: www.comune.procida.na.it.
The guided tour lasts about an hour and costs 10 € to visit the courtyard, the barracks of the guards, the building of single cells, the pavilion of the guards, the veterans building, the medical center and the part of the old land agricultural land cultivated by the prisoners.
Walking inside the walls of the former prison, we gradually enter into into the oldest part of the island, located high up, with a perfect view over the Gulf of Naples. Here, among the typical architecture, large courtyards overlooked by small houses with external giraffe neck looking staircases, between clothes hanging out in the sun and the visible sea, you can see the Abbey of San Michele (XI sec.), a jewel, located in the narrow streets of the village.
In addition to the church, with its coffered in wood and gold ceiling (XVII century) and a painted San Michele defeating Satan (1699) in the center, you can visit the museum complex, situated three floors below the abbey. While going down the stairs, you can admire the incredible view of the sea from the small windows.
La Corricella: the fishing village.
From Terra Murata you can continue your one day tour of Procida by descending the street on foot, to admire the amazing view. Just behind the door, on the left, a small road leads to the Church of Santa Margherita Nuova, splendid with its almost metaphysical forms, framed from one side by the ridge from which you can observe Terra Murata and and from other – the island, with a view from Corricella till the promontory that closes the beach of Chiaia.
From the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie turn left and, after going down the stairs, you will arrive to a small colorful world of Marina Corricella, where you can see the fishermen weaving their nets, children playing outside while the women are taking the clothes out to dry under this sun-kissed magical area.
A puzzle of houses of different colors are reflected in the transparent waters of the small marina – a perfect set that was chosen for shooting advertisements for famous brands (for example, the latest by Dolce and Gabbana) and for world-famous films, such as The Postman (1994, Michael Radford), starring Massimo Troisi and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.
Here you can try a typical Procidan lemon granita and a “paranza”, a dish consisting of a small freshly-caught fish, in one of the characteristic little restaurants, where you can taste the authentic island cuisine and then go back to the main port for the last leg of the journey.
Chiaiolella and Vivara: between nature and sea.
After you go back down to the port, where next to the ticket office you will see the bus terminal L1 or L2 that lead directly to the opposite side of the island: Marina Chiaiolella. This is another lively area of the island, an unmissable stop for those wishing to visit Procida in one day or maybe even taking a weekend to relax on the beach of Ciraccio and Ciracciello, from where you can admire Ischia and the islet of Vivara. Moreover, here you can have lunch in one of the restaurants, situated along the seaside or in front of the beautiful small dock for tasting local flavors, or you can enjoy a fascinating kayak ride to discover the mysterious island of Vivara.
Part of the volcano crater, which was once part of Procida, it is connected to the island by an old bridge and is considered a protected nature reserve recently opened to the public for guided tours.
In order to book a visit to Vivara with a guide authorized by the RNS, follow this link: www.comune.procida.it and specify the data of each visit and make an online payment on the same page or make a bank transfer within 48 hours from the day of the visit to the Municipality of Procida IBAN IT26 W07601 03400 0000 18690 990.
The route is quite enjoyable: you can even see traces of prehistoric peoples that have lived there.
If the weather permits, for those who want absolute relaxation and wish to close the one-day tour of Procida, you can choose to spend a few hours lying on a comfortable sun bed or in the shade of a parasol farther from the warm beach, but with the possibility to enjoy the light sea breeze and to admire the view from one of the island’s solarium, while enjoying a fresh cocktail and lounge music by the swimming pool.