Procida Italy is one of the most underrated travel destinations in Italy and arguably, the entire Mediterranean. This little island is the smallest of the three Poets islands in the Bay of Naples.
Procida is often overshadowed in favour of its more popular and well-known neighbours: Capri and Ischia. The island, with its pastel-coloured harbors, its quaint cobbled streets and its secluded coves, is a perfect getaway from Naples.
- 1 A little history of Procida Italy
- 2 Procida, Italy
- 3 Procida Italy: A two day itinerary
- 4 Day One: Uncover the history of Procida island
- 5 Procida Itinerary Day Two
- 6 Where to eat on Procida Island
- 7 Getting to Procida
- 8 Getting around Procida
- 9 Where to Stay in Procida
A little history of Procida Italy
Procida has been invaded and conquered by numerous civilisations over the centuries. Each of these have left their mark on the island and have contributed to make it what it is today.
A mishmash of architectural styles and ruins from various cultures can be found scattered around the island. The first settlements here with Mycenean, Ancient Greek, and Roman.
For hundreds of years, Procida was the victim of countless attacks from Goths, Vandals, and Saracens. Historically, the island was important for merchant trading and shipbuilding. To an extent, it still is today.
Most visitors to Procida are Neapolitans. They visit during the summer months to escape the heat and humidity of the Italian sun. While the tourists flock to Capri and the Amalfi Coast, Italians venture here.
Procida is the smallest of the three Italian Poets isles. It remains mostly unspoiled by tourism and provides a wonderful glimpse into traditional life in Southern Italy.
As your boat pulls into the harbour early in the morning, you can see charming scenes of local life. Butchers fuss outside authentic salumerias organising their produce, fishermen push their boats out to sea, and pastel-coloured stores showcase perfectly presented floral displays.
In the narrow streets of old Procida, Italian nonnas can be seen hanging their laundry over their balconies. They sit outside their homes preparing handmade gnocchi as they chew the fat with their neighbours. This is real, unapologetic Italy.
Procida Italy: A two day itinerary
The best way to get around Procida island is on foot. The island is so small that you could walk its entirety in just two days, and there is plenty to see and do in that time.
Uncover the history of Procida island
Start Your Morning the Italian Way
Try and get one of the earliest ferries from Naples to Procida to allow yourself maximum time on the island. Upon arrival in Procida, spend some time navigating your way through the labyrinth-style network of narrow streets and passageways.
Admire the storefronts and patisseries that are so quintessentially Southern Italian. Duck into one of the charming patisseries or coffee shops along the way.
Here you can indulge in your prima colazione (breakfast) in a fairytale setting. If you want to try something local, order yourself a sfogliatelle.
This is a Neapolitan breakfast pastry filled with sweet ricotta and tones of citrus. Wash it all down with a delightfully frothy cappuccino and drop your bags at your Procida hotel before continuing to explore the island.
Scale the ancient walls of the Terra Murata
One of the main attractions of Procida island is the 15th-century walled city of the Terra Murata. This sits atop a craggy rock and is just a short walk away from Procida town.
The views from up here are among the best on the island. This viewpoint offers sweeping vistas across the sea, and of colourful Coricella bay below.
People still live within the walled town of the Terra Murata. Numerous delightful houses can be found encapsulated within its fortifications.
When you reach the Terra Murata, look out for the two rusting cannons that are still perched on the defensive walls. These date back to the Neapolitan Republic of 1799
Visit the walled city’s free attractions
There are several interesting buildings to see within the Terra Murata. Best of all, they are all free to enter!
The Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo, the Palazzo d’Avalos, and the Monastery of Santa Margherita Nuova should all be added to your radar. The Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo dates back to the 11th century and is considered as being one of the most important churches in Southern Italy.
It was originally created in Benedictine times. However, it has been expanded and modified over the centuries, thus creating a unique architectural style.
The interiors of the church are just as spectacular as the exterior. They are painted with simple yet beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the bible.
Some of the paintings here are obscure and interesting. For instance, a scene depicting St Michael fighting Satan.
The Monastery of Santa Margherita Nuova sits at the walled city’s highest point. It was founded by Dominican monks in the 16th century.
Perched on a cliff, high above the sea, it is surrounded by jaw-dropping natural beauty. Cultural events and exhibitions are often hosted here. This is arguably one of the best photography spots on the island.
Finally, dont miss the 1563 Palazzo d’Avalos. Today, this building is a museum housing various artifacts recovered in the region.
Once upon a time, it was a palace. Then, in 1830 it was converted into a prison which continued to operate until as recently as the late 1980s!
Stop for lunch in Corricalla Bay
The charming Corricalla Bay is a highlight of visiting Procida island. It is a perfect place to stop for lunch and can be found just a short walk away from the Terra Murata.
This is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas of the island. Many of the houses here date back to the medieval era.
The name “Corricalla Bay” has Greek origins. It stems from the Greek “Kora Cale” meaning “nice area”.
Today, Corricalla Bay is very much an active fishing village. Ramshackle fishing boats, fishermen preparing their tackle, and traditional, seafront trattorias greet you as you approach the bay.
This is the best place on Procida island to sample seafood delicacies. The dishes are prepared fresh using fish caught earlier that same day.
The stores scattered around this area stock arts, handicrafts, and apparel products created by local designers. Opting to dine here presents plenty of people-watching opportunities.
Corricalla Bay sits right beside the Santa Maria Delle Grazie. This is the iconic domed church that has become the symbol of Procida island.
Marvel at the Casale Vascello
Procida boasts one more fortified town – the Casale Vascello. This district can be found at the foot of the Terra Murata and adjacent to Corricalla Bay.
Casale Vascello is accessible from Via Principessa Margherita and is centered around a large courtyard. Performances from local musicians are often hosted here during the summer months.
Being a Mediterranean island, the coasts of Procida are filled with beaches. Anything that is marked as “Spiaggia” is a beach. However, not all Procida beaches are created equal.
One of the best beaches in Procida awaits at the end of Via Cesare Battisti. Here you will find the “Spiaggia del Postino” (Postino beach).
Postino beach is approximately 20 minutes away from the Centro Storico area on foot. Getting there is relatively easy, particularly if you make use of an offline map.
First, follow Via Cesare Battisti to the very end. You will see a fork in the road and an old cemetery overlooking the sea
A worn dirt trail leads you behind the cemetery and towards the sea. The trail looks quite questionable. However, as it leads you down to the coast, it opens out into one of the most breathtaking beaches in Procida.
Postino beach is the perfect place to relax, swim,or snorkel. The scenery here is naturally breathtaking.
The beach sits against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, boasting fine white sands, and translucent azure waters. Unless you specifically know where you are going, you wouldn’t stumble across Postino beach by accident.
The beach is tucked out of the way and its entry point is not clear. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Spiaggia Positano is seldom crowded and makes a nice alternative to the more “touristic” beaches.
A surf shack-style bar operates here during the summer months. It plays reggae music and serves a variety of light snacks and drinks.
While away the evening in the Centro Storico
The “Centro Storico” is the historic centre of Procida. It is essentially the island capital and can be found by the port.
Venture here for an aperitif and a spot of dinner as the evening approaches.
Procida Itinerary Day Two
Day two of this Procida Italy itinerary is more about relaxation and enjoying the island’s gorgeous coastal areas. Have a leisurely breakfast and morning coffee in the Centro Storico. Then, hop on the bus to Chiaiolella beach.
Chiaoiolella is not as secluded as Il Postino beach. It offers all of the amenities that you could possibly need for an enjoyable day by the sea.
Here, you have incredible views out to Isola Vivara and Ischia. You can rent sunbeds, towels, and watersports equipment for just a few euros.
Visit the Isola di Vivara
The Isola di Vivara is a little islet that can be found just off the southwestern coast of Procida. It is connected to Procida via a pedestrianised bridge.
The scenery here is unlike anything you will find elsewhere in Italy and is almost otherworldy. It is wild, rugged, uninhabited, and filled with Mediterranean fauna, rare plants, and migratory birds,
You could easily dedicate a day to exploring Isola di Vivara, and exploring its various walking paths, particularly if you love hiking and the great outdoors. Millions of years ago, this islet was once part of a volcano.
This is the reason for its obscure, crescent shape today. After spending the morning at Chiaoiolella, buy some food from local patisseries, and then enjoy a picnic on the grassy banks of Isola di Vivara.
Where to eat on Procida Island
You will be spoiled for choice with all of the wonderful places to eat on Procida Island. There is no such thing as a bad Procida restaurant. That said, if you are looking for the best of the best, the below restaurants are some of the highest-rated in Procida.
Where: Via Marina Chiaiolella, 32, 80079 Procida NA
Da Mariano is a quintessential homely Italian trattoria. It is arguably one of the best restaurants on the island and is beloved by travellers and locals alike.
Dishes are simple, yet sumptuous, with generous portions and reasonable prices. The extensive menu offers something for everyone – whether you are looking for fresh seafood dishes, homemade pasta, or vegetarian choices.
Specialties include spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), Caprese salads, and the chewy, mouthwatering gnocchi alla Sorrentina. When you are decidedly stuffed, dont skip dessert.
Da Mariano is known for its la Procidana cake This is a caprese-style dessert that is made with white chocolate and the juice and rind of local lemons.
Where: Via Marina di Corricella, 88, 80079 Procida NA, Italy
La Lampara is a wonderful choice if you are seeking lunch with a view. The restaurant’s location above Corricella Bay means that you can enjoy incomparable birdeye views of the marina as you tuck into your food.
The menu here focuses on seafood dishes. Consider starting with a marinated seafood antipasti. Then, treat yourself to lobster ravioli paired with local wine.
Where: Via Marina di Corricella, 62, 80079 Procida NA, Italy
Charming Caracalè is located in the heart of Corricella bay on Procida island. Its name takes its inspiration from the quaint fishing village in which it sits.
Caracalè is Greek for “beautiful place” and is a fitting title. The dishes here are traditional Italian and Mediterranean recipes with an innovative, modern twist.
Getting to Procida
There are a couple of different ways to reach Procida. You can either travel to the island independently or on a day tour like this one.
Organising your trip to Procida by yourself may seem like the most budget-friendly option. But in reality, day tours are both affordable and take a lot of the stress out of your trip planning.
Suggested Procida tours
Taking the boat to Procida
Boats run daily between Naples and Procida, and Sorrento and Procida. Departures take place at regular intervals. Ferry times vary by season.
You can check the latest schedule that aligns with your Procida travel dates here. The journey to the island takes 40 minutes.
The two main ferry operators that run to the island are SNAV and Caremar. Return tickets cost approximately €25 euros regardless of the carrier.
Frustratingly, there are about half a dozen different ticket offices scattered around the port of Naples. Each ticket office sells tickets for different carriers. So, you may have to go back and forth between them to find the provider that sells the ticket for the specific time you want to travel.
It is prudent to arrive at the Port of Naples early or purchase your ticket a few days before your departure so you don’t waste time with this chaos. The first boat from Naples to Procida is at around 6 am. The last one back to Naples departs at 8 pm.
Getting around Procida
The island of Procida is small enough that it’s possible to walk the majority of it. That said, there are several other options to help you get from A to B faster.
Rent a bicycle
Renting a bicycle is a popular way to explore Procida island. Rentals here are reasonably price.
The average price for a bicycle rental is around 10 euros for one hour, 15 euros for four hours, and 25 euros for the day. This is quite a pleasant way to get around.
Getting around Procida by public transport
Public transport wise, the most convenient way to get around Procida is by using the little “EAVBUS” island buses that run in a circuit to all of the main Procida beaches and attractions.
Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver. You can also buy them in advance from bars and tabacchis.
A one-way ticket costs less than one euro. If you are staying in Procida Italy for a few days, it is worth buying a stack of tickets in advance.
Getting around Procida by cab
There are always plenty of cabs around Procida port. This is obviously the pricier way to get around but it may also be the most convenient for you.
Some of the cab drivers will also offer you a negotiable rate for a tour of the island. You can also ask your hotel to organise a cab for you, as they will be able to help you secure a competitive price.
Where to Stay in Procida
Procida remains relatively off-the-beaten-path and does not boast an awful lot of hotels. Consider basing yourself close to Corricalla Bay or in the Centro Storico.
This places you close to most of Procida island’s points of interest. Not to mention, it means that you will have plenty of dining and nightlife options right on your doorstep.
Some well-rated hotels that you may wish to consider are detailed below. If you are travelling during July and August, it is preferable to reserve a room in advance.
The sights and sounds of Procida island can be seen in a day or two. That said, you could easily enjoy as much as a week on the island’s beaches. If you are on a tight schedule, you can also do a day tour of Procida from Naples such as this one.
Have any questions about travelling to Procida or planning an Italy trip in general?
I used to live in Naples while teaching English in Italy. I am happy to assist you in any way I can.
Feel free to drop me a comment below or send me an email. Safe travels, Melissa xo