Given its small size (just 4 square kilometers), Procida is a perfect day trip, offering natural beauty, excellent food, and stunning beaches. The island is a Mediterranean gem, deeply beloved and celebrated by poets, directors, travelers, and writers (Elsa Morante famously set her novel "Arturo's Island" on Procida); it's recently been nominated as Italy’s 2022 Cultural Capital. Ferries and hydrofoils run from several ports on the Gulf of Naples to Procida all year round. Many routes to the island of Ischia begin in Pozzuoli or Naples (from Beverello Port and Calata di Massa) and stop first at Procida and vice versa on the return trip. During the high-season summer months, there are also some indirect ferry routes from other locations in the Campania region, including Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast, from where you can also depart for a day tour to Procida.
First Stop: Marina Grande Sent'Co
On Procida, ferries dock at the Marina Grande port; the island's main port, this harbor is also called Sent'Co by the locals. Marina Grande is where most tourists land on the island and it is lovely to explore, especially if you arrive early in the morning. Spend a leisurely hour strolling along the narrow streets lined with the island’s famed pastel colored houses, pausing over a coffee with the traditional Lingua di Bue pastry at a café along Via Roma, and stopping to visit the churches of Santa Maria della Pietà and San Giovanni Battista. Afterward, you can catch a bus to destinations across the island to explore further afield (don't forget to get a map at the Pro Loco) or book a boat excursion for a guided tour by the sea.
At Marina Grande, the taxi stand and bus terminal (where 4 routes depart) are just steps away from the ferry dock. If the weather isn't too hot, you can also explore the island on foot or rent a scooter, a fun option for couples that makes it easy to take on the few hills.
Second Stop: Terra Murata
From the port, walk about 20 minutes to the highest point on the island: Terra Murata. From the historic center of Marina Grande, take Via Vittorio Emanuele and then Via Principe Umberto to Salita Castello. Don't miss the spectacular views over the Corricella village along the way and be sure to stop at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie Incoronata that you'll pass before reaching Terra Murata. The historic heart of Procida, Terra Murata is a medieval village that sits 90 meters above sea level, so its ancient inhabitants could watch the horizon and defend themselves from any coming attacks. Visit the town's 16th-century Palazzo d'Avalos, the former Bourbon prison that is currently being transformed into a museum and stroll through the historic center to the San Michele Arcangelo Abbey.
Third Stop: The Fishermen's Village of Corricella
From Terra Murata, take the long staircase down to the Corricella harbor, a tiny fishing village of colorful cottages crowded together. It is the most iconic sight on the island of Procida and one of the most "Instagrammable" spots both on the island as well as of the entire Bay of Naples and Italy in general. This is the best place to stop for lunch and there are a number of restaurants with tables set directly on the pier where you can sample exquisite local seafood specialties. If you have the chance to stay overnight here, take a walk at sunset among the fishing boats and enjoy the iconic granita at Felice Mare while admiring the postcard-perfect view.
Did you know why Corricella houses are so colorful? So local fishermen would be able to recognize their own house from the sea before docking!
Fourth Stop: Afternoon on Procida's Beaches
After spending the morning at Terra Murata and lunching at the Corricella harbor, it's time to relax a bit on the beach! There are a number of beaches and coves where you can dive into crystalline waters and sunbathe in peace and quiet. Among the most famous beaches, we recommend '''Spiaggia Chiaia, Pozzo Vecchio (known as Il Postino beach), or Chiaiolella.
Pozzo Vecchio (or Il Postino beach) is located on the western coast and is known both for its natural beauty and as the backdrop in a number of scenes from the film “The Postman” with Massimo Troisi. The beach has a horseshoe shape and dark, volcanic sand. It gets sunlight all day long.
Spiaggia Chiaia can be reached by taking the almost 200 steps down to the water’s edge from Piazza Olmo (not far from Corricella) or by taking a boat shuttle from Marina Corricella. Once at Chiaia, you can choose between the free public area of the beach or rent chairs and an umbrella from the beach club that also has a restaurant. Despite the effort to reach the beach, the view of Corricella makes it worthwhile.
Chiaiolella beach is the most crowded marina on Procida, with a tiny harbor, spacious beaches, and traditional restaurants that specialize in local and Italian seafood dishes. Here, too, the coastline gets sunlight all day long and you can also admire the two rocky outcrops called the “Faraglioni of Procida”.
Another iconic place not to be missed is the nature reserve of Vivara, a small island that sits just 3 kilometers from Procida and is connected to the larger island via the Santa Margherita bridge.