Recognized for its breathtaking scenery, the Island of Procida has taken out the prestigious “Italian Capital of Culture” title for 2022.
This pearl of the Gulf of Naples is distinguished by its bright pastel-colored houses that reflect on the clear blue sea. Add some boats resting in the sun and the scent of lemons, and you couldn’t ask for a better Mediterranean scene. It is no wonder it was chosen as a backdrop for several novels and films.
Literature and Films Inspired by Procida
Procida formed the backdrop of the sixth short story within Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron set during Vespers war. In this story, the love of Gian da Procida and Restituita is narrated.
Then there is Graziella written by Alphonse de Lamartine and made into a film in 1955. The author came to Procida from Burgundy in the first half of the 19th century and found inspiration for his novel.
In the twentieth century, the Island of Arthur (1957) by literary prize winner Elsa Morante became famous worldwide. Set in Procida at a time when tourists rarely visited, the island becomes somewhat of a refuge for the protagonist, Arthur.
Procida also became the film set for several recent films, chosen for its landscapes and typical Mediterranean architecture. Among these there are: The Postman starring Philippe Noiret and Massimo Troisi, The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon, and Francesca and Nunziata starring Sophia Loren and Giancarlo Giannini. D’Avalos Castle, on the other hand, provides the setting for the prison of the drama Inmate awaiting trial, starring Alberto Sordi.
The Wonders of Procida Island
If arriving by boat, you will be greeted by Marina Grande in the main port area where hydrofoils and ferries from Ischia and the mainland dock. The iconic multi-coloured houses are visible from Palazzo Montefusco, an historic hotel built in the twelfth century.
Reachable only by foot, the ancient fishing village of Marina di Corricella offers a scenery like no other. Stroll through the peaceful streets to discover the unique buildings with ‘Vefi’, covered balconies of Arab origin.
Visit Casale Vascello to explore preserved villas enclosed in an internal courtyard. Among these are a series of farmhouses. Built starting from the sixteenth century as a defence against Saracen raids, they offer an insight into the mediaeval defensive architecture.
Another well-preserved village is Terra Murata, the historic core where the majestic Palazzo d’Avalos stands out. At 90 meters above sea level, it resembles a maze of alleys and houses surrounded by views of the entire Gulf. Here, the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo, patron saint of the island, is also worth a visit.
Be sure to check out the many bays, inlets and beaches. Such as the spectacular Chiaia beach which boasts shallow water and soft sand and is reachable by foot. While to the west of the island lie the beaches of Chiaiolella and Ciraccio; sheltered bays with crystal clear waters where the sun sets late.
Procida, The Italian Capital of Culture 2022, is a destination to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Ask our travel experts how to add it to your custom itinerary, or check out our Naples Vacations.