Arturo’s island is the title of a famous novel by Elsa Morante about Procida, a small island close to Naples.
Procida is the less popular of the Campania islands: Capri with its famous “Piazzetta” and its streets full of rich shops, Ischia with its thermal baths and its expensive spa, and then Procida, the smallest one, still wild and close to nature.
A volcanic island, Procida looks like a small piece of Naples, detached by this and fallen in the sea. Also, its history is very similar to the Neapolitan one: initially colonized by the Greeks and then by the Romans, it has continued to be occupied by many different kingdoms. It underwent the feudal rule of Federico II, became the spoil of Carlo V and was plundered by Saraceni pirates.
How to go to Procida
It is very easy to get to Procida, you can take a ship or a hydrofoil from Naples or Pozzuoli, and in just an hour or less, you get to the beautiful harbor of Marina Grande. The first thing you see, together with the many-colored little houses on the seafront, is a castellated pink palace, that was first a royal residence and then a convent. Following via Roma you can reach three different and very beautiful places.
What to see in Procida
If you want to visit the top of the island, you have to go to Terra Murata. There are many churches, but the most beautiful is S.Michele abbey, with its gold paneled roof, so-called in honor of the patron saint of the island. Still walking you can see, the old borbonic castle that has been a prison for a long time. Passing the Castle you get to a terrace from where you can see Ischia, Capri and the entire Gulf of Naples.
Going down from Terra Murata, you can find the wonderful seaside village the ” Corricella”. The Corricella is the best example of Procida architecture, with colorful buildings leaning one against the other, connected by stairs and arches. Legend has it that the houses must be of different colors, to be recognized by the sailors coming back home. Corricella is also famous because here the movie ” il Postino” with Massimo Troisi was shot.
On the opposite side of the island, there is the ” Chiaiolella”, a small harbor where you can swim looking at Ischia in front of you, and Vivara on the right side.
Vivara is a small island connected to Procida by a bridge. Right now Vivara is a nature reserve for many species of animals and plants. You can visit it on an organized tour.
Then last but not least is the food. Procida has many typical dishes and many restaurants where you can taste them. There are many restaurants where you can eat “il Coniglio Alla cacciatora”, the meat of a rabbit with tomato and spices. All around the island you can eat ” la lingua di bue”, a dessert made with cream of eggs and sugar. Another must-try dish is ” la pasta alla pescatora” with anchovies and green peppers.
Finally, going to Procida is cheaper than Ischia or Capri, and the island is perfect for families, couples, singles, and solo travelers.
So, what are you waiting for?
Procida, an excellent tradition for food and drink
Procida, a small island close to Naples, has an excellent tradition for food and drink. It is just “a drop in the ocean” of pure delight offered by the south of Italy, but when you taste the typical Procida dishes you find that this “drop” must not be underestimated.
Procida is most famous for its lemons, and so everything you taste has the lemon essence.
Let’s start from breakfast: the Procida ” lingua di bue” is a typical puff pastry stuffed with yellow cream or lemon cream. We also have the “Delizia al Limone”, a dome of sponge cake filled with lemon cream and covered with icing. Sometimes also decorated with whipped cream and grated lemon zest. Both can be enjoyed anywhere in Procida, but the best places are undoubtedly the “bar del Cavaliere” and the patisserie “Dolci e Peccati”.
Now we’ll talk about lunch, with people divided into seafood lovers and meat lovers: fortunately, the island offers a variety of dishes for both categories. The seafood lovers can choose from sea cicadas seasoned with fresh cherry tomatoes or the classic spaghetti with clams or also with swordfish and eggplant, up to the “fujuto” a typical pasta sauce made with parsley, garlic, seawater, chili, and olive oil. Instead, for meat lovers, the dish to try is certainly the Procida rabbit, which is always accompanied by a tasty “parmigiana di melanzane” and a glass of substantial red wine.
Let’s finish with dinner but a light one, considering what you have eaten during the day! What about a salad? Maybe a lemon salad prepared with the “albedo” (the white layer of lemon) mint, olive oil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper; or a fresh and simple salad of octopus.
And finally, to conclude, Procida is famous for its digestive liqueurs, although the most famous is the limoncello. The Limoncello is prepared at home by restaurateurs using lemon peel, water, sugar, and pure alcohol.
You can taste all of the typical dishes of Procida in any restaurant and at any price, even if the best places are always the most Spartan but typical ones, like the restaurants “Da Girone” and “La Conchiglia” both overlooking the sea.
Can life offer you more than enjoying these delicacies while watching the sea?