Procida Island: Discovering Italy's Hidden Gem!* - EBONI + IVORY

Procida Island: Discovering Italy's Hidden Gem!*



Hey Guys,



This month I was invited to spend 5 nights on the beautiful Italian Island Procida


Just a stones throw (or make that a 40 minute hydrofoil ride) from Naples, Procida is one of the three coastal islands (alongside Capri and Ischia)

Ok, Google "Naples Images" right now!! Go on!! Do it and then come back!! 

Have you gone? 

Are you back? 

Great!

That was Procida! Those first few images that appear on a Google search for Naples are actually Procida! Why? Well, look how beautiful it is... and those breathtaking views are even more breathtaking in real life! Naples seems to be mistaken for the island, it's a shame Naples is taking all the credit! 
Despite it's beauty, Procida receives just a fraction of foreign visitors, compared to its neighbouring islands (great if you like quiet holidays). Procida is a tiny gem that seems to be relatively undiscovered, so I went on a mission to uncover all of its beauty... 


Procida's tiny streets (with the necessarily tiny cars) are what you would expect of an Italian town- complete with cobble stones and narrow winding roads

Despite the charm of the church clock that is always wrong and the array of strays (great if you like cats). Behind a fading facade lies a seaside city anxiously waiting for visitors to inhabit its beaches and infamous harbours. 

Accommodation


As a blogger, I was kindly offered a complimentary stay at Hotel Villa Mazzella
It was situated in a great location, just a 5 minute walk from those colourful houses. 

The double room consisted of a large bed, a modern en suite (complete with an Italian bidet- oo la la) a spacious wardrobe and a small fridge. 
Our large window opened out onto the beautiful garden, allowing a warm breeze, scented with the lemon and pomegranate trees, to flow through the room each morning. 


 We provided our own food for the week, so we would often head to one of the local supermarkets and make up a fresh salad to eat in the garden, complete with locally sourced vegetables. 
(I am aware that the hotel offers breakfast to their guests at high season, so unfortunately i didn't get a chance to try that.) 


What to do?


This tiny island is just four square kilometres, so I would recommend walking everywhere! The narrow winding streets are a mixture of uphill and downhill climbs (great for building up an appetite!) And when you do walk around, there are countless beautiful houses and lemon gardens to admire. Just be attentive to the cars and endless vespas! 


Have a walk to the colourful harbour from this post's cover image. Marina-Corricella is a great place for a view of the sea and to watch the local fishermen bringing up the day's latest catch. 
Have a taste of said fish at the harbour's gluten-friendly restaurant "Il Maestrale di Scotto Di Vettimo"
We stopped by this lovely restaurant on our second day and were pleasantly surprised. Prices are great for what you get and the portion sizes are typically Italian (big!)
I basked in the glorious sunshine whilst tucking into my shrimp in tomato sauce with spaghetti and a side of grilled peppers. It was a delicious experience!



Have a tour around an abandoned palace/ex prison, Palazzo d'Avalos!!
We were able to have a guided tour around this incredible building from the lovely Lucia. 
Our tour was extremely personal, detailed and covered every aspect of the Terra Murata. Expect to be amazed and spooked by this historical building. 



Whilst you're up a the old Prison, soak in the view... this is the spot where the incredible images of Corricella Harbour are captured. I enjoyed a couple of sunsets here too- it is beautiful. 




On our final day in Procida, we took a walk to the other side of the island in search of Marina Chiaiolella, another beautiful harbour. Not only did we find the gorgeous harbour, but we also stumbled across a vast bridge leading to a private island nature reserve. Unfortunately the reserve was closed, however there were some fantastic views from the bridge which were worth the mini hike!
En route, be prepared to see butterflies, lizards and bees- oh my!


Take a walk to one of the island's charming black sand beaches. There are a few around the coast line. At this time of year, they were pretty much deserted, leaving us Londoners the chance to soak in some much needed vitamin D!
The water is pretty crystal clear, I just wished it was warm enough for a paddle! Make sure you look out for the natural overgrown cacti that accompany each coastline. 


Good To Know...


1. Make sure you plan well any day trips away from the island. As the island is so close to Capri etc, it would be great to take a day trip. But do remember that the ferry and hydrofoil is your only route back to Procida and they stop and start at certain times every day! The hydrofoil is quicker than the ferry but a little more expensive. 
Check this website for timetables and prices:

2. When you arrive at Procida's ferry port, there are taxi's to help you get to your accommodation. I would highly recommend grabbing a lift in one of these as the cobbles and hills are potential suitcase murder and is just an all round struggle, especially if you are staying far away. There is a bus, however I am told they are not very regular and I'm not too sure where they go! 


3. If you do head into Naples, be wary of pick-pocketers and scam artists. I didn't particularly enjoy the vibe of Naples, and spent just a few hours there just before our evening flight. However, it is a great place to land as the airport is only 7km from the centre, costing just €4.00. 

4. Make sure you ask your host before drinking tap water! Italy can be a deadly zone for tap water, but not in all cases. Double check with your hotel. They should provide bottled water if their water is undrinkable. 



5. Looking for nightlife? Well, this modest island is far from Ibiza however there is a cool bar, popular with locals that speciality is their vast range of beers from around the world. 
Bar Capriccio even hosts some events now and again with DJ's and goodies. 



Fun Fact: The colourful houses, each painted differently so the fishermen could recognise the house from the sea!

Has Procida made it onto your travel bucket list?

Eb x