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Blick auf Procida im Golf von Neapel, Bild: IgorZh / shutterstock

Procida, an insider tip in the Gulf of Naples

The island of Procida is picturesquely located in the Gulf of Naples and belongs to the metropolitan city of Naples. The main town of this small island is named after the island itself and is also the only place. It has a population of 10,486, making it the most densely populated island in the entire Mediterranean.

Procida, the original Italy

The smallest island off Naples is not yet overrun by mass tourism. There are only small hotels and a few holiday apartments that revive the original Italy .

Procida is of volcanic origin and therefore has an unmistakable nature. The coastline is very irregular and has very high rock walls. The beaches are very narrow and consist of black volcanic sand. There are six crater remnants on the island. One of these craters can be seen in the harbour circle of the Corricella and the Marina di Chiaolella.

In addition to this incomparable landscape, the flora is also beautiful. Lemon groves and many wildly overgrown gardens stretch across the island.

The sister island of Vivara

Vivara, Procida
Vivara, Image: Francesca Sciarra / shutterstock

Prociada has a sister island, the island of Vivara. It is very small with a size of 0.32 km² and is connected to Procida by a bridge. Vivara has been a nature reserve since 1974 and is part of the Area naturale marina protetta Regno di Nettuno. Many rare plant and bird species can be found on the small island.

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The highlights of Prociada Island

As small as the island may be, it offers many other sights in addition to nature and Italian flair.

The Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo (L’Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo)

The abbey is located on the Terra Murata. This is the highest elevation on the island and is home to a medieval fortress. This is where the oldest settlement core on the island is located.

San Michele Arcangelo is the most famous attraction on the island, dating back to the 16th century.

The convent has its origins in the 7th century AD and was destroyed again by the Saracens. However, the residents kept rebuilding the convent. During an attack by the Saracens, San Michele suddenly appeared and repelled him. The tribe, which is native to the Arabian Peninsula, left full of fear of the patron saint of the island, leaving all its belongings and an anchor on the island. This anchor is still on display in the convent today.

From the abbey and thus the highest point of the island you have a beautiful view over Procida to Naples.

The Library of the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo (Biblioteca abbazia)

On the first floor under the abbey is the monastery library. Here are old books and writings and the figures of saints that are used in the Easter procession. The second floor houses a chapel. Here the altar is decorated with a picture showing the Archangel Michael.

The Marina Grande

Procida Port
Procida, a truly colorful island, Image: Francesca Sciarra / shutterstock

The port of Procida, Marina Granda, is the place to moor when you come to the island. It is a classic and very characteristic fishing port with small pastel-colored houses. This small port shows right from the beginning of the trip that the island is the epitome of Italian life. Here you will find many restaurants and bars that process the fresh catch of the local fishermen into delicious menus. Holidaymakers who prefer to cook for themselves can buy the fruits of the Mediterranean from the fishermen.

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The Castello of the Island (Palazzo Reale)

The palazzo was built by the Cardinal d’Avalos in 1563. Before the castle became a dungeon, it was inhabited until 1800. A new and modern prison building was added to the old building, which served until 1988. Until this year, the prison was considered the safest in all of Italy.

Good Friday procession worth seeing

The Easter procession of the Misteri is the most famous in Italy. It begins in Piazza d’Armi and dates back to 1627. According to a Spanish tradition of misteri (mysteries), religious reliefs depicting the suffering of Christ are carried through the streets of the city. These depictions are elaborately handcrafted by the inhabitants of the island. On Good Friday night, a wooden statue of Christ is carried by believers on their backs to the highest elevation of the island. From here, the funeral procession begins in the morning, accompanied by trumpeters and during which relics and crosses are carried through the small alleys.

Tips for getting to Procida

The island of Procida can only be reached by boat. These depart regularly from Naples, Ischia and Pozzuoli. These include car ferries (“Traghetti”) and the fast hydrofoils (“Aliscafi”), which only operate between Marina Grande, the island’s port, and Naples or Ischia. These are significantly more expensive than car ferries and no longer run after a certain sea state. Naples is very easily accessible by plane from many cities.