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Posts Tagged ‘Island of Procida’

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By Simon Fairbairn & Erin McNeaney

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.

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I wondered how I’d never heard of this gorgeous island. 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. Procida seems to want to keep its secret to itself, although it’s popular with napoletani looking for a summer escape from the steaming, chaotic city.

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The tiny island is only 4 square kilometres and we walked everywhere—to the black sand beaches that ring the island, almost empty during the week and bustling with families on weekends; and through the winding narrow streets in the centre, the high walls hiding cube shaped houses and lush gardens. Paintwork is faded and crumbling, doors are ancient and rusted, and 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.

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Terra Murata is the highest point on the island and the oldest village—the fortress walls were built as protection from invaders in the 15th century. We wandered the medieval streets and visited the rather quirky and crumbling church the Abbazia di San Michele which has excellent views from its terrace.

Procida’s highlight is Marina Corricella, the colourful fishing village that’s built into the rock leading to the sea. The 17th century settlement is traffic-free and can only be reached by stairs in passageways through the houses. 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.