Ughhhh, Italy…. how I love you! The colorful, serene beauty of the island of Procida could not be captured in a photo. I booked this trip in the spur of the moment and I enjoyed every waking moment of it. My best friend Angela was visiting her family and after doing some research about the island, it was an experience I did not want to miss out on.
This secret gem of an island is just a 40-minute ferry ride from Napoli, located between Capo Miseno and the island of Ischia. It is a quintessential Mediterranean paradise, mercifully off the mass-tourist radar. As I arrived into the port of Marina Grande, I noticed that the village was Portofino picturesque. Each house was painted a beautiful pastel shade; I immediately felt the authenticity of this islands culture.
We started our day at Bar Capriccio with a glass of Prosecco and aperitivo, overlooking the port. Fact: This was my absolute FAVORITE time of the day. Aperitivo is a pre-dinner drink, meant to “open” the palate and gives you the chance to socialize, relax, and nibble as dinner approaches. It is more popular in the north of Italy, though you’ll find a form of it throughout the country. Bar Capriccio offers the best aperitivo and also offers delicious cappuccinos and pastries.
I looked forward to each morning sitting in a local café, enjoying the sweet smell of espresso. I couldn’t start the day until I had a café latte and a “Lingua” – a local specialty pastry, filled with cream or Nutella.
It is most ideal to explore Procida on foot. The island is about 1.6 miles long filled with narrow, peaceful, cobble stone streets. Geologically, it was created by the eruption of four volcanoes. The highest point of the island is called La Terra Murata.
Although the walk up the hill was a bit difficult after a full bottle of wine, the view was breathtaking! What makes this place so special are the scenic views and the two long-range cannons dating back to the Neapolitan Republic of 1799.
We spent a lot of our time relaxing on La Spiaggia Lido. The Lido is located on the Chiaiolella Lungomare; perfectly seated in a natural setting between the Faraglioni of Procida and the island of Vivara. In the distance you can see the island of Ischia. We enjoyed watching the sunsets from Maresia Solarium (a restaurant/bar located in the cliff above the beach). The sunsets looked like something straight from a postcard.
I left a piece of my heart on this island. It is the exact representation of what life is all about. Family, love, tasty food, and truly enjoying life’s natural beauty. I lived in the moment, and I can’t say I do that very often! I felt so close to my heritage and my culture. I learned old italian traditions, that I will pass onto my family and children. This place and the people I met during my stay, have left an everlasting impression on my soul; I am already planning my return..