After Morocco, we headed to an island off the coast of Naples, Italy called Procida. When people talk about islands around Naples, the most famous one is Capri. We didn’t go to Capri, instead, we went to Procida. Why Procida? I bet most of you never even heard of this place. I found out about this island a few years ago when I was searching for the most colorful islands. Then, two years ago, Jason showed me a Windows Surface sales advertisement and asked me “where is this place, it looks beautiful!”
I said to him, that’s Procida, an island in Italy! Since then, Procida has been on my bucket list! We had to make our way back to Europe from Morocco to catch our flight back home from Switzerland so I routed to Naples for Procida and to explore Southern Italy. Even though Tangier, Morocco and Procida looked not that far away on the map, it was a pain to get there! We went from Tangier to Madrid, a flight change in Madrid to Naples, taxi ride from Naples Airport to the ferry terminal: Calata Porta di Massa, then a ferry over to Procida. It was May 1st, a public holiday and we arrived Naples at 6:35 PM. The two last ferries over to Procida was at 7:25 PM and 9:55 PM. I don’t think we would make the 7:25 PM one so I bought tickets in advance (since it was a public holiday) for the 9:55 PM ferry. Ferry ticket can be purchased online and timetable here: https://shop.caremar.it/en/timetable/Napoli-12-4/
The plane landed on time and our luggage came out first, we walked quickly out to the taxi station. Before we got into the taxi, I confirmed the price first as I read the taxi drivers are not honest in Naples and I was aware that there was a fixed rate at €16 (now €21 as of Aug, 2017) but he said €20 since it was a holiday (which was not true). We hopped in because we didn’t want to wait for the next one and we arrived at the port at 7:15 PM! I ran into the ticket office and asked if I can change my ticket to the 7:25 PM ferry instead and the guy said scan my confirmation at the kiosk to print our tickets and then we can use the same tickets to get on the 7:25 PM ferry. We ran to the ferry and made it wowwww!
So instead of arriving at 10:55 PM, we arrived at 8:25 PM yay, still have time for dinner! Meanwhile, on the ferry, I use Jason’s phone to get online (T-Mobile, free 2 GB data), and sent an email to the hotel to let them know that we got on the 7:25 PM ferry instead and asked if they can notify the driver to pick us up early. They replied!!! Phew, it was a relief because we will have no clue on how to get to the hotel; Hotel La Corricella. The driver with a sign meet us at the port and dropped us off at the stairway down to Marina Corricella. We lugged our luggage down the infinite stairs, Italy is famous for stairs, and down to the waterfront. I wasn’t sure where the hotel is located, not even Google Maps, but I know it located left side after the stairs. I told them to wait for me there and I walked to a restaurant and asked for direction. It was a huge change from Morocco where getting lost and asking for directions means trouble!!! The nice Italian lady pointed us the way and while we rolling our luggage closer to the hotel, the guys from the hotel came and helped us carrying our luggage up the stairs to the hotel reception; I always said the most friendly people we encountered on our trips are local Italians!
The receptionist checked us in, offerred us water, and showed us our rooms. He said his English wasn’t as good as the receptionist during day shift so if we have problems, let the morning shift guy know. Our room has two floors, the top floor was our bed, it was a basic and clean hotel.
The reason I picked this hotel because of the best view it has of the beautiful marina!
So romantic, I couldn’t wait to see it in daylight as it should be colorful!
We walked down the stairs for a very good rated seafood restaurant – La Lampara. The seafood pasta was delicious!!! I miss seafood after the week in Morocco!
The appetizer with mixed seafood:
Our favorite Mediterranean shrimps, omg they tasted so fresh!
The delicious seafood dinner was €42!
The next morning, it was cloudy but right outside of our room was this view, incredible!
It was a little bit chilly out in the early morning but we braved the little cold and had breakfast right on the terrace with this million-dollar view, see why I picked this hotel? The cloud moved out a little and we could see some blue in the sky…we had hope that it will clear up!
And the sun even peeked out a little bit!!!
After breakfast, we walked up on the “Salita Castello” to the highest point of the island for the view, it was like a 15-20 minutes walk, good morning walk! On the walk, we saw some painted tiles on the wall, they were very cute of Procida!
Some of the pastel-colored houses on the marina, I like the light pink one with a little “archway” stairway to the house.
There were some that looked like abandoned houses, I was joking to Sokunna that it’ll be a good investment to buy a house here as I could see this island will be a hot tourist spot once it’s discovered!
The walk up, it was a bit of exercise.
We went in the church to check it out, I like it is very light color instead of those dark and gloomy churches.
The narrow cobblestone streets in the island just like the typical narrow roads in small villages.
We walked up to the highest point that looked like a fort and the view was jaw-dropping amazing!
It was still cloudy so we continued on, knowing that we’ll be back when the weather gets better 😀
Another church on top of a cliff:
More tile painting:
The Belvedere, but the view was just the cliff and ocean; I much preferred the view of the colorful marina!
More colorful local houses.
Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo:
This mini truck is so cute lol!
The church we passed by before viewing from the highly elevation:
Love those pink flowers!
Procida and the Southern Italy are famous for limoncello (a lemon liqueur), look at the giant lemon!
Guess what, time flies, and it was lunch time! We walked back down to the marina, where all the yummy seafood restaurants are located, to have lunch. We picked II Maestrale.
We sat on the outside with the view like this!
Once we were seated and placed the order, a group of senior Italian tourists arrived, luckily, we came a few minutes before them! May was still not the tourist season yet, it starts at June 1st, so tons of outside seatings available. It was funny that the local lady was people watching from her window!
The background was the castello or the fort that we walked up for the view.
Here were what we ordered, fried anchovies, it was so good and cheap! Having fried anchovies in Italian was as common as having french fries in the States, I much preferred the anchovies than fries!
The octopus appetizer was okay, should’ve ordered 2x the fried anchovies! An appetizer dish of mussels and clams that we were too busy enjoying the food rather than to take a photo haha!
Mixed fried seafood, crunchy and fresh!
And mussel pasta; their pasta wasn’t as good as the ones we had last night at La Lampara as this one was a little bit too salty for me.
The lunch was €62 for all the seafood we ordered, love Italian seafood at non-touristy places so cheap and fresh 🙂
After lunch, it was unbelievable that the clouds were cleared, how lucky we were!
After lunch, we went back to our hotel for the iconic shots and change again for the warm sun 😀 The coral colored building on top of La Lampara is our hotel, La Corricella, on the left end (facing the ocean) of the marina.
The sun brought out the colors of the pastel-colored houses, that looked the same as in the Windows wallpaper!!! Mission completed! Photo time!
We walked up the stairs for a higher view too!
Changed to another shorter dress 😀
We went out again to explore the charming island fishing village!
Of course back up to the other postcard perfect view from the fort!
OMG OMG OMG, it was so beautiful!
I added Procida to one of my “most colorful places” list!
We walked down the “main road” to the bus station and photos along the way.
There’s a public bus, EAVBUS, that is serving the island. Although, it was geared more towards the locals than tourists. There were only 4 bus routes each ticket cost €1.30 valid for 60 minutes if you buy from the bus driver, whereas, €1 if you buy from a newsstand. More information here: http://www.procidareview.com/procida-buses.html
We took the bus L1/L2 bus to Marina Chiaiolella with the stop at the Grand Marina (the ferry port). We asked the driver if there’s such a thing as a day ticket since we’ll be hopping on and off the bus around the island to save cost. The bus driver’s English was not good and he was very nice to ask his colleagues for help when we were at the Grand Marina. They finally figured out what we were trying to buy and got it for €3.60 😀
First stop was a beach….not that nice of a beach…and definitely not the beach season…
Very pretty paintings on a house’s outter pink wall!
We were trying to go over to the other smaller island connecting by a bridge:
Viewing back of Procida on the bridge:
But the gate was closed…boooooo!
So we headed back..so disappointed 😦
Then, we walked to Marina Chiaolella.
It was hot during the afternoon and it was perfect time for famous Italian gelato….but there was no gelato shop nearby so I had an iced expresso for the meantime…it was really an expresso, so small!
We got back to Marina Corricella to relax and enjoy the picture-perfect views! We planned to stop by that little convenience store to get drinks but it was closed!!! There was no store hour there, I guess it was like a post retirement business so they open whenever they want!
When we got back to the hotel, Sokunna tried out the limoncello from the restaurant below our hotel, La Lampara, it was sour she said haha!
The clouds started to roll back in 😦 At least we had some photos of the blue sky and white clouds so couldn’t be greedy. We were playing cards until dinner time…we walked over to Gorgonia.
We ordered 2x steamed mussels this time, all of us love to eat mussels!
Seafood pasta and I ate most of it before realizing that I forgot to take a photo haha!
Grilled shrimps but those were smaller shrimps!
Fried fish and seafood:
Another fried calamari.
The dinner cost us €79 this time, too many dishes hahaha!
It was perfect timing that we finished lunch and ran up to see the sunset, although not much of a sunset due to the clouds, still great and waited for the blue hour! Once the sunsetted, the sky turned into this purple hue that added colors to the already pastel-colored houses!
And slowly turned colors…….perfectly and peacefully!
We watched the lights turned on, one house at a time. There was no rush to get back before dark or anything like that because it was a 100% safe island. We loved vacation like this at a beautiful and safe place that we can truly be relaxed and soaked in the atmosphere.
I was hoping that the church would lit up but it didn’t, I guess the island is a residential island rather than tourist island. We walked back down to our hotel and took more photos of the marina at night.
Goodnight and goodbye Procida, it was a pleasure to discover this hidden gem in the Gulf of Naples that shadowed by its famous neighbor – Capri. I am selfishly wished that it would never get discovered by tour companies so it’ll not be flooded with tour groups but rather leaving its charm to be discovered by those who do their homework!