Italy’s Best Kept Secret: The Island of Procida
The island of Procida (pronounced Pro-She-Da in Italy) is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. It’s a beautiful island, easily reachable by ferry from Naples, and is one of the lesser known islands compared to its neighboring islands Ischia and Capri.
The coastline of Procida is beautiful, smattered with clusters of brightly colored houses and buildings build upon the steep coast line. It is truly a sight to behold. Apparently, back in the day, the local fishermen all painted their houses these bright colors so that they would be able to see their houses from the coast line.
During my stay in Naples, I decided to take a day trip to Procida and explore. It was honestly one of the best days that we had on our entire trip!
How to Get There:
You can take a ferry from Naples to Procida. There are a couple carriers and there are frequent ferries—about once every hour. You can purchase a ferry ticket online or purchase it right at the dock. When I looked at prices online, they were exorbitantly more expensive than purchasing at the dock. The ferry tickets only cost about 11 Euro/person each way, but online they wanted to charge me upwards of 30 Euro per person!
I walked down to the Naples harbor the day before to scope things out and purchase ferry tickets for the next morning. I happened to be staying nearby so this wasn’t hard to do. If you don’t happen to be staying in the vicinity, I would suggest purchasing tickets the day-of and just going a bit earlier. (I say this because the dock doesn’t really have that much around it and isn’t exactly suited for tourists, so not worth an extra trip if it’s out of your way).
I purchased one-way ferry tickets. When I arrived at Procida, I then stopped by the ticket office (it’s located right where you unboard the ferry) and purchased return trip tickets. Why did I do this? Because I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to stay in Procida and wanted to get there first before deciding when to come back. Ha. Upon arriving ~ 10 AM, I realized that Procida was a delightful place and that I’d be happy to spend the day there, and so proceeded to purchase ferry tickets back for 4:00 PM. The ferry ride was about 45 mins each way.
What to Do:
Procida is a colorful island with lots of fun shops, friendly locals, and beautiful scenery. One could easily burn a few hours just walking around the winding, narrow streets exploring.
Upon arrival, I spent a little while walking around and poking about the shops. There are a lot of charming café’s near the harbor, so I stopped there for a small bite to eat and some cappuccino. I then began the walk up towards Terra Murata —the highest point on the island with beautiful views. This was fairly easy to do, as there was signage everywhere pointing me in the right direction to various points. The walk is up-hill, but it’s quite short. In fact, the distance is just a little over a half mile walk from where the ferries dock at the harbor. I also was able to pull it up on Google Maps and was able to reference that in case I got lost, bu never actually needed it because the signage kept me on track.
The highest point on the island has the most scenic views! You can see the coast line of the island and all the beautifully colored homes that line the coast. There is also a castle at the top, which I think you can go into (I did not).
After getting my fill of all the views and exploration at the top of the island, I stopped at a lovely restaurant near the top called La Piazzetta and had a leisurely and delicious lunch, with a beautiful view. The restaurant is owned and operated by a local family, and also very reasonably priced. It is definitely a gem and I highly recommend it if you are on the island. The food was delicious.
After lunch I mosied back down through the town and walked along the harbor for awhile. By this time, I was a little tired from walking around and it was only a little while before the ferry arrived. So I poked about some of the shops on the pier and got some refreshment from one of the café’s. When I was there, it was pretty hot. I didn’t bring water, but it was easy to purchase as needed.
I spent our last half hour sitting down by the pier and watched as the ferry sailed in. I boarded for the return trip, happy with the day and promising myself that I would someday return.