The sun is slowly rising, I’m sitting on the rock terrace, drinking vino bianco and trying to find the horizon between the blue of the sky and the sea.
I can only hear single sounds: The shutter in my camera, the engine of a small fishing boat arriving into the marina, a comfortable wicker chair creaks in protest of my moving feet. I can not hear anything else. There is a delicate scent of sea and citrus in the air. I try to absorb as much of the scenery, silence and scent as possible. This is Procida, an idyllic island.
On the island of Procida you do not have to worry about anything. You do not have to queue for attractions, look for transport, hunt for good food or run a marathon for nice views. Procida, in my opinion, is the most authentic and most charming of the islands in the Gulf of Naples. Still a little neglected but this is it’s charm. Until recently, there was not even a tourist office, and its beauty was only admired on the screen. A number of films were casted here, among them, “Talented Mr. Ripley.”
The Procida phenomenon is not a world-class monument or cultural attraction but simple charm and tranquility. Strolling through its streets, I had the impression that time has stopped and the island is definitely closer to Ellene Ferrantes description of the island Ischia from her youth than her contemporary Ischia. But in comparison to Ischia here is the place where you will certainly relax.
To get to Procida you can easily get one of the boats departing several times a day from the port of Naples. It is the perfect place for a one-day trip or a carefree weekend.
If you only have a day trip, first go to the Abra Murata Abbey, where you can admire views of the Gulf of Naples and the Procida Riviera. Then, I suggest walking to Corricella Harbor for a quiet lunch on a terrace. I can honestly say that every restaurant in this small port serves good food but my favourite place is La Lamparta. It has a terrace on the rock overlooking the harbour and the best fish and seafood I have ever eaten in Italy. All of these served on traditional Italian porcelain. The restaurant is part of the hotel, which I also recommend. Address: La Lamparta Ristorante, Via Marina Corricella 88. 80079 Procida, Tel, 00390818960609 website: Hotel Corricella and Restaurant La Lampara
After a lazy lunch you can go on a slow walk to Chiaiolella, where you can lie on a nice beach before returning to the port. You can also take a local bus. The bus ride is also an attraction. A tiny bus is traversing the narrow streets of Procida, where everyone knows each other, the driver chats with passersby, waits for lazy cats to cross the street … this is Porcida.
I have been on this island twice and will certainly return. It’s a really great place to relax and admire the good old, not yet commercial Italy which you will not see on Capri and Ischia. Go there because it’s worth it!