Procida is a beautiful Italian island in the Bay of Naples. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Procida in 2023: how to get there, what to do and why you should visit this colourful island.
This post contains affiliate links – all this means is if you buy something as a result of clicking a link, I’ll make a small commission that helps me run this site. There’s no cost to you.
Where is Procida?
Procida (pronounced Pro-chee-dah) is the smallest inhabited island in the Bay of Naples, on the south-eastern coast of Italy. It’s one of three islands in the Bay of Naples, the others being Capri and Ischia. While Capri is the most famous island and gets the most visitors, Ischia is also a popular destination, in part because of its 100+ natural hot springs.
This part of Italy is incredibly rich in things to do, and you could easily spend two weeks in the area without getting bored. The Amalfi Coast is nearby, while anyone with an interest in history will love visiting the Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum. But Procida is definitely worth at least a day or two of your trip to Naples. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Procida, the most colourful Italian island.
Things to do in Procida
Procida is the least-visited of the three islands in the Bay of Naples – something which seems incredible given how beautiful it is. Unlike Capri and parts of Ischia, even the most popular areas of Procida have a laid-back, local feel. The shops still cater to the residents’ needs rather than being targeted at tourists, and you won’t find the tour groups of Capri or the Amalfi Coast here.
Even though is Procida is tiny, there are still plenty of interesting places to visit and things to do – enough to fill a day trip or two days, if you decide to stay overnight.
View over Marina di Corricella
If you see nothing else in Procida, make sure you come here. It’s worth making the trip to Procida just to see this. The view over Marina di Corricella from the road up to the castle is a sweeping, romantic vista across a glistening bay with fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, the ice-cream colours of the 17th-century fishermen’s houses and the lemon sherbet-coloured Santa Maria delle Grazie Incoronata church.
To get there from the ferry port, walk up the hill from the ferry port to the other side of the island, then up again towards the medieval citadel. Look over the wall, and you’ll see one of the most beautiful views in Europe. There’s often a little red food truck serving beer, Aperol spritzes and vegan cakes parked up, and there are a couple of benches where you can sit for a while.
The viewpoint is also the start of Terra Murata, a fortified medieval village at the highest point on Procida. The two cannons date from the Neapolitan Republic of 1799, but much of Terra Murata is far older. The main building in Terra Murata is the brooding Palazzo d’Avalos, built in 1563 and turned into a prison in the 1800s. It’s now open for guided tours.
At the highest point of Terra Murata you’ll find a square with traditional houses, and the 16th-century Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo. When I visited Terra Murata, the inhabitants were getting ready for a festival celebrating the local fishermen, so the streets were colourfully decorated.
What struck me about Terra Murata, as in the rest of Procida, was how quiet it was and how few sightseers were around – apart from me and my partner there were maybe two or three other couples walking around the village on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September. The whole area was perfectly peaceful and atmospheric, with beautiful views over the island, the Tyrrhenian Sea, Naples, Ischia and Capri.
Visiting Marina di Corricella
It’s a bit of a cheat to put Marina di Corricella on this list twice, but walking down through the village to the waterfront is one of the best things to do in Procida. It’s only by walking through the narrow streets that you can really appreciate how the houses have been built directly on top of each other as they cascade down the cliff.
Down by the harbour you can appreciate the colourful fishing boats that were just dots when you saw them from the viewpoint. There are some nice restaurants and an ice cream parlour on the waterside, but this is still a working harbour.
Down a narrow alleyway just down the hill from Terra Murata, you’ll find a thick archway leading to Casale Vascello. This small courtyard of traditional houses was built in the 16th century and shows the characteristic architecture of Procida, with outside staircases and arched windows.
The houses are still inhabited, and the square feels very quiet and private, with washing hanging from the centuries-old balconies.
If anywhere on Procida could be described as “bustling”, it’d be Marina Grande. This is where the ferries from Naples and Ischia dock, and the busiest place on the island. Marina Grande’s waterfront has lots of bars, restaurants and shops of all kinds. While it’s not as charming as Marina di Corricella, the pastel-coloured buildings are still pretty, and the beaches at either end of the Via Roma waterfront are great for relaxing and watching the world go by.
Are there beaches on Procida?
While Procida isn’t famous for its beaches, there are plenty to choose from if you’re looking for some beach time during your trip to Procida.
- Spiaggia Chiaia is a long but narrow dark sand beach a little further west of Marina di Corricella, with a view of the Terra Murata citadel, Capri and Vesuvius. There are two cafes with sunbeds and umbrellas available to rent.
- Spiaggia Chiaiolella, also known as Ciracciello, is on the south-western tip of Procida, near the bridge across to Vivara. It gets the sun all day, and has warm, shallow waters. This side of Procida gets stunning sunsets.
- Spiaggia Ciraccio is separated from Chiaiolella (Ciracciello) by two large rocks. It’s more secluded than Chiaiolella, with fewer beach bars or cafes.
- Spiaggia Cala del Pozzo Vecchio, also known as Il Postino Beach, as scenes from the classic film Il Postino were filmed here. There’s just one beach bar here with sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, plus a public (free) beach area.
- Spiaggia di Punta Ottimo. This beach is close to Cala del Pozzo Vecchio, but more difficult to access and therefore significantly quieter.
- Spiaggia Silurenza. The closest beach to the ferry port at Marina Grande, Silurenza is easy to access with many bars and restaurants close by.
- Spiaggia Lingua is at the eastern tip of Procida and is another convenient beach for the ferry port and marina. Unlike the other beaches on Procida, which are dark volcanic sand, Lingua is pebbly, but the water is beautifully clear. It’s a free beach with great facilities and is a particularly lovely spot in the early morning when the sun rises over Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
How to get around Procida
Getting around Procida is easy. The entire island has an area of only 1.6 square miles, and it’s easy to see the major sites on foot. Walking across the island from the ferry port to Marina di Corricella takes only 10-15 minutes – if you can get there without stopping to peer into a doorway or take a detour down an interesting alley.
If you want to visit the beaches on the western coast and don’t fancy the walk, four bus routes cross the island or taxis are available.
How to get to Procida
If you’re arriving by plane, the nearest airport is Naples International (NAP). From the airport, the easiest way to get to Procida is by taking the airport bus to one of the two ports, from where you can take a ferry or hydrofoil to Procida. Naples is also well-connected to the rest of Italy by rail; the main train station Napoli Centrale is around a mile from the ports.
If you’re staying in one of the towns along the Gulf of Naples towards Sorrento and want to take a day trip to Procida, you can catch the train to Naples and from there take a bus or taxi to the port.
How to get to Procida from Naples
The two ports in Naples where you can catch a ferry or hydrofoil to Procida are Molo Beverello and Porta Di Massa. Departures from Naples to Procida are frequent and there are around 17 boats each day. Hydrofoils take 40 minutes to make the journey, while ferries (which also take cars) take an hour.
If the weather’s nice enough to be out on deck then I recommend taking the ferry. Ferries are only 20 minutes slower but they’re significantly cheaper than the hydrofoil, and it’s an interesting journey along the coast and past the dramatic lighthouse at Capo Miseno.
How to get to Procida from Ischia
If you’re staying on Ischia, Procida is close enough to see from the north coast. Ferries and hydrofoils make the short journey from Ischia Porto and Casamicciola Terme. From Ischia Porto, the hydrofoil to Procida takes 15 minutes and ferries take around 25 minutes. I still recommend the slower ferry, particularly for the return journey. When we travelled back to Ischia from Procida, we were treated to the most beautiful sunset over the island.
Where to stay on Procida
If you decide to stay overnight rather than visiting Procida on a day trip from Naples or Ischia, there are a range of hotels, apartments and campsites.
Hotel La Casa sul Mare is a 4 star hotel near the yellow church in Marina di Corricella, and has stunning views over the harbour.
At the other end of the island, Hotel La Tonnara is another 4 star hotel with great reviews, and it’s only a very short walk from Chiaiolella Beach.
There are plenty of apartments to rent in Procida available on Booking.com. My pick is La Casa Di Titina, an apartment in a traditional building in Marina di Corricella, with a patio overlooking the harbour.
Procida Camp & Resort is a campsite with a difference. Campers without their own tents can choose to stay in a luxury safari tent, a bungalow, or best of all, one of their silver Airstream-style caravans.
If you enjoyed this post, you might find my other posts about Ischia and the bay of Naples useful:
- The best things to do in Ischia
- Where to stay in Ischia – the best villages, beaches and hotels for every type of trip
- How to get from Naples to Ischia by ferry
- Visiting Ischia’s best thermal spa, Negombo
- How to visit Giardini la Mortella, a garden love story on Ischia
- Tips for visiting Castello Aragonese in Ischia Ponte
- 12 tips for visiting the ancient Roman city Pompeii (plus how to climb Vesuvius)
- The best places to stay to visit Pompeii
- Advice for visiting Herculaneum, the “other Pompeii”
- The best day trips from Sorrento