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Procida is a small island in the Gulf of Naples where it is part of the Phlegraean Islands group, along with Ischia (the largest in the group) and the very small isands of Nisida and Vivira (which is connected to Procida by a bridge at the south-west of the island). Procida is the closes of the islands to the Italian mainland.
The popular resort island of Capri is to the south of here but not part of the same island group.
The island of Procida has been inhabited for at least 15000 years, and was an important centre for both the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans. In more recent centuries the life for the islanders has been very turbulent with invasions by groups including the vandals, the goths, the Saracens and during the Napoleonic Wars. The island we see today is rather calmer, with fishing and tourism the principal activities.
Procida is less visited than its famous neighbours of Capri and Ischia, and in truth has less 'impressive spectacles' than these islands, but is still very charming with lovely views and a visit is recommended. You get the extra benefit that Procida is less inundated with tourists!
The whole island is only about four square kilometres so it is easy to explore, and there are buses from the main port which tour the island to make getting around very easy.
The initial focus of your visit will be in the harbour area of Marina Grande where your ferry drops you off. Here you can stroll along admiring the small colourful houses and see the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, the main church on the island. You can then wander up the steep streets through the town until you reach the historic fortifies area known as Terra Murata
Terre Murata includes the Abbey Church of San Michele, an 11th century monastery (although substantially transformed in the 18th century) and now with an extensive art collection and a network of catacombs. Near here there is also a viewpoint from where there are very extensive views across the sea to both Sorrento and Capri, and a substantial 16th century castle which is now in ruins but also has exceptional coastal views.
There are two other small marinas on Procida to see: Marina Chiaiolella is the sort of harbour you expect of an upmarket resort island with luxury yachts to admire, while the quiet harbour of Marina Corricella is where you can see the traditional fishing boats, although does involve a bit more walking through the old streets to get to than the other marinas. The second of these, Marina Corricella, is our favourite place to stop for a relaxing lunch, although all of the principal marinas have plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Movie enthusiasts will recognise Procida as one of the principal locations used for filming The Talented Mr Ripley.
Beaches are often quite hard to find in Campania so you will be pleased to find there are several on tiny Procida, with the biggest and best being the sandy beach at Chiaiolella, near the marina.
The other islands nearby - Ischia and Capri - are both unmissable highlights of a visit to this region, while places you should visit back on the mainland of Italy in Campania will include the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and the sunny resort of Sorrento.