Procida Italy: The Secret Island in the Bay of Naples

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Procida Italy is one of the country’s best kept secrets. On this tiny island you’ll find pastel-coloured fishing villages, black sand beaches, and a maze of narrow winding streets.

Procida is the smallest island in the Bay of Naples, and despite its location just a 40 minute hydrofoil ride from Naples, it receives nowhere near as many foreign visitors as the neighbouring islands of Capri and Ischia.

That may be about to change, though, as Procida Island is Italy’s Capital of Culture 2022.

In this post, I share what to do in Procida, where to stay and eat, how to get there, a map of the top attractions, and other Procida tips.

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The Best Things to Do in Procida Island

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Enjoy the View of Marina Corricella

Marina Corricella, Procida island

If you only have time to do one thing in Procida, head to colourful Marina Corricella, a 17th century harbour and the island’s oldest fishing village.

I fell for Procida as soon as I saw the view from the Terra Murata. A tangle of houses painted in pink, yellow, blue, and green tumbled towards Marina Corricella, the sun setting behind it and lighting up the sky in a blaze of orange and pink.

Small fishing boats were dotted in the water—the fishermen use the lavishly bright buildings to find their way home.

It’s one of the most scenic places we’ve visited in Italy.

Marina Corricella sunset, Procida island
Marina Corricella on Procida Island at sunset

For the best view, look for the viewpoint Panoramica sulla Corricella on Google Maps. It’s a short uphill walk from the harbour in the Terra Murata.

There’s also a good view of Chiaia Beach and Marina Corricella beyond from the viewpoint Belvedere Elsa Morante.

Make sure to explore the village too. It’s traffic-free and can only be reached by stairs in passageways through the houses.

Path to Marina Corricella, Procida island
Marina Corricella, Procida island

Along the waterfront there are piles of fishing nets and patio restaurants where you can enjoy a meal with a view of the Terra Murata and bobbing fishing boats.

Fishing nets at Marina Corricella, Procida island
Marina Corricella, Procida island

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Wander the Island

Tiny Procida Island is only 4 square kilometres and we walked everywhere—to the black sand beaches that ring the island and through the winding narrow streets in the centre.

High walls hide cube-shaped houses and lush gardens. Paintwork is faded and crumbling, doors are ancient and rusted.

The streets are enlivened with pink bougainvillea and tiny white jasmine, their scent accompanying us on our strolls.

Lemon groves are squeezed into every available space.

Procida island travel guide
Procida island washing
Procida island door

Procida feels like paradise, but it has its issues.

It’s densely populated and the narrow roads are too small for the traffic—teenagers whizzing around on vespas, old men driving mini three wheeled trucks called Ape (bee) that buzz like their namesake, or tiny, ridiculously cute Fiat Cinquecentos.

It’s not quite Naples, but it’s not a rural idyll either. It’s an island where locals live and work, regardless of the whims of tourists.

Traffic on Procida island

When the streets are quiet—early in the morning or on lazy Sunday afternoons—it’s a wonderful place to wander.

Every morning at 6am I’d run in a different direction—to the quiet peninsula Solchiaro, in search of the lighthouse on the north coast (I never did find it), and always back up the road to the Terra Murata for that view.

My discoveries—a new viewpoint, a hidden path along the coast, a narrow street adorned with vibrant flags—energised my runs and increased my love for the island.

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Walk up to Terra Murata

Terra Murata is the oldest village and highest point on the island sitting atop a craggy rock.

The walled town overlooks Marina Corricella. The fortress walls were built as protection from invaders in the 15th century.

It’s well worth heading up there to wander the medieval streets and enjoy the sea views.

Terra Murata, Procida travel guide
Abbazia di San Michele, Procida

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Visit Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo

The main sight in the Terra Murata is the crumbling church Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo.

It originated as a Benedictine abbey in the 11th century before the monks were forced to abandon it several hundred years later after frequent attacks by Saracen pirates.

It became a church in 1500 and was enriched with works of art.

You can also visit the catacombs beneath the church and see a rather quirky shell nativity scene.

Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo on Procida Island, Italy
Shell nativity scene in Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo on Procida Island

The abbey is located at the highest point of the island and has excellent sea views from the terrace.

Entrance is by donation and guided tours are available.

View from Abbazia di San Michele, Procida
The terrace of Abbazia San Michele
View from Abbazia di San Michele, Procida
The view from the Abbey

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Relax on a Procida Beach

Ciraccio beach, Procida island
Ciraccio Beach on Procida at sunset

There are many beaches to explore on the island. They are all black sand and the water is usually calm and clear—ideal for swimming.

In July and August the beaches are busy, but when we visited in September, they were empty on weekdays.

Many of the beaches have beach clubs where you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas in summer (and enjoy a drink at the bar). There are free areas too.

Here are the best Procida beaches:

  • Chiaiolella – This popular beach is great for afternoon sun, sunsets, and beach bars. It’s also known as Ciracciello.
  • Ciraccio – This long sandy beach is connected to Chiaiolella but is much quieter. We stayed near here and it’s a lovely spot.
  • Pozzo Vecchio – A small bay that’s famous because the Il Postino film was shot here.
  • Chiaia – On the eastern side of the island, this is the nearest beach to Marina Corricella. It’s long, narrow, backed by cliffs, and reached by a steep staircase. It’s best in the morning as it gets shady later on.
  • La Lingua – This small pebble beach is close to the port.
Chiaia Beach on Procida Island, Italy at sunrise
Chiaia Beach from Belvedere Elsa Morante at sunrise

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Sail or Kayak

Procida is beautiful viewed from the water. We left Procida on a yacht as part of a sailing trip to the Amalfi Coast.

On our next visit, we’d love to rent a small motor boat or do a kayak tour around the island.

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How Long to Visit Procida

You could see the “sights” of Procida on a day trip, but I think it deserves a longer visit to enjoy morning strolls, lazy lunches, afternoons at the beach, and evening aperitivo.

To see how the colours of Marina Corricella change at different times of day, to find new sunset spots, to sip espresso alongside locals.

To slow down and appreciate this beautiful island.

Two nights is the minimum stay I’d recommend on Procida, but allow a few extra nights if you want a more relaxing holiday.

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Where to Stay in Procida

There aren’t any huge hotels on the island of Procida. Instead you’ll find B&Bs, boutique hotels, and holiday rentals. Expect more charm than luxury.

Marina Grande is where the ferries arrive. If you are only staying for one night, this would be the most convenient location.

For longer stays, I recommend staying towards the centre of the island. You can’t really go wrong as the whole island is beautiful and easily explored.

Hotels in Procida

Here are some good hotel options:

  • Hotel La Corricella – A small hotel with one of the best views on the island overlooking Marina La Corricella. The breakfast is highly rated and they also offer dinner.
  • Albergo La Vigna – This stylish hotel in an old watchtower has a peaceful setting on a hill surrounded by vineyards. It has more facilities than most hotels on the island including a pool and spa.
  • San Michele – Chic rooms with balconies in Marina La Corricella.

B&Bs in Procida

  • Vento di Mare – If you are only staying in Procida for one night, this B&B overlooks the port. The bright rooms have balconies and sea views.
  • Sonnino B&B – Affordable rooms close to Pozzo Vecchio, a black sand beach featured in Il Postino film.

Search for more hotels and B&Bs in Procida here.

Holiday Rentals in Procida

There are plenty of holiday rentals in Procida. These are ideal for longer stays, if you want to self cater, or for families and groups.

Search for apartments and houses in Procida on Vrbo.

We spent a week at Margarita’s House, a lovely two bedroom apartment above a friendly family’s home. It is in the centre of the island, a five minute walk to Ciraccio beach. The biggest downside is a lack of proper living room (no couch).

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Procida Restaurants

La Pergola restaurant, Procida
Lunch under the lemons at La Pergola

Unsurprisingly fish dominates menus on Procida, so it wasn’t great for vegetarians like us. Some menus don’t list any vegetarian options, but it’s always possible for them to adapt something, so just ask.

La Pergola

This lovely restaurant is in a lemon grove in the centre of the island—you eat under a pergola with lemons dangling above you.

The menu is made up of seafood and rabbit, but when we asked for vegetarian options, they brought us a large antipasti plate of vegetables, fritters, and bruschetta, and artichoke and ricotta ravioli in a fresh tomato sauce.

It’s a bit pricey but worth it for the quality food and tranquil location.

La Piazzetta

The service was slow on a busy Saturday, but the pizzas and torta caprese al limone (lemon cake) were delicious and inexpensive.

The location on a piazza above Marina Corricella is wonderful. You have a view of the church and the sea, and there’s great people watching of all the locals hanging out in the piazza.

For a real budget meal, do what the locals do and get your pizza to take away.

Bar Graziella

Marina Corricella is a picturesque location for a meal, but the restaurants are the most touristy on the island.

We liked simple Graziella—the pesto pasta was delicious, portions large, and prices reasonable.

Bar Dal Cavaliere

A good spot in Marina Grande to try the local lingua di Procida, flaky pastries stuffed with lemon (or chocolate if you’re Simon).

It’s close to the ferry so convenient for a last breakfast.

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How to Get to Procida Island Italy

Most people arrive in Procida from Naples.

Hydrofoils (aliscafi) are the quickest way to get from Naples to Procida Island. The SNAV hydrofoil take about 40 mins from Molo Beverello in Naples and costs around €20.

Ferries (traghetti) take one hour from Porta di Massa in Naples. The Caremar ferry costs about €16 each way.

We bought tickets at the port (arrive in good time).

You can also reach Procida from Ischia on the hydrofoil (15 minutes) or ferry (30 minutes).

There are enough ferries and hydrofoils that it’s possible to visit Procida as a day trip from Naples or Ischia.

To get from Capri to Procida, you need to change hydrofoils (or ferries) in Ischia.

From Sorrento to Procida, Alilauro runs a ferry via Ischia three times a week in summer. Otherwise, you’d have to change in Naples or Ischia. An easier option is to visit for the day on this small group boat trip that includes stops in Procida and Ischia.

Although the ferries can accommodate cars, non-residents are not allowed to bring cars to Procida from April to October.

You don’t need a car in Procida anyway, and driving in the very narrow streets would be stressful.

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How to Get Around Procida

We walked everywhere in Procida. To walk from one end of the island takes about 40 minutes.

There are also a few bus lines that take you all over the island. They run approximately every 30 minutes. Buy tickets in advance from bars and small shops.

You can also rent scooters and electric bikes from General Rental at the port.

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Procida Films and Books

Parts of Il Postino and The Talented Mr Ripley were filmed on Procida.

Girl by Sea by Penelope Green is the memoir of an Australian who lived on Procida. It’s a fun way to learn more about the island and follow in her footsteps (we had a campari spritz at Bar Capriccio) during your stay.

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Procida Italy Map

Marina Corricella, Procida island

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Is Procida Worth Visiting?

Yes, Procida is well worth visiting—whether it’s a day trip from Naples or a longer stay.

I’m amazed that after a dozen visits to Italy we still manage to find places like Procida—stunningly beautiful, utterly charming, and still off the beaten track.

As it’s just a short hop from Naples, there’s no reason not to add Procida to your Italy itinerary.

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