Procida la Capital Italiana of Culturenbsp;di questo 2022, an island that is not an island and is also a model icon of relational dynamics, of inclusion practices as well as the care of natural assets.
Procida, along with Vivara – to which it is connected by a bridge – is part of the Flegree Islands, and is within walking distance of the city of Naples. Of contained dimensions, it reaches the highest point in the hill of Terra Murata, where stands the ancient fortified village founded in medieval times, and its coasts are largely inserted in the protected marine area called Kingdom of Neptune.
Procida boasts an ancient history, dating back to the arrival of Mycenaean settlers, hosted some villas in Roman times, but it is from the medieval period that grew, through its nine districts: the ancient village of Terra Murata, the small fishing center of Corricella, Sent’co’ to Marina Grande, San Leonardo, Santissima Annunziata, Chiaiolella, Sant’Antuono, Sant’Antonio
Procida, the fascinating island
The most fascinating feature of the island is certainly its spontaneous architecture, which distinguishes all towns made of houses and buildings with arches, stairs and terraces, usually painted in pastel colors, that give it an unmistakable appearance.
Inside the fortifications of Terra Murata is to see the Palazzo D’Avalos, sixteenth century castle that imposes itself with its mighty walls and from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the island and the gulf of Naples.
The building was used as a military school and as a prison, where many characters who made the history of Italy were locked up. Another attraction is offered by the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the splendid Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo.
The story of the latter is linked to a raid by the Barbary corsair Kayr-al-Din, called Barbarossa, , who in 1252 plundered and devastated the island of Procida, reducing many of its inhabitants into slavery. According to legend, ten years later, when the pirate returned to attack the island, San Michele put the pirates on the run after unleashing a terrible storm against their ships, and the raccoons wanted to thank him by making a statue by the great sculptor Antobio Vaccaro, that is still carried in procession on the shoulder on the day dedicated to the saint.
The abbey, overlooking the sea, preserves in its sumptuous interior beautiful furnishings, gold, silver and majolica decorations, and in the underground floor houses the museum complex, a library, a permanent crib, an ossuary and the Secret, a place dedicated to prayer and the Chapter Sessions. Not to be missed is the abbey’s terrace, which overlooks the incomparable spectacle of the sea and the sky. Interesting is also the Museum of the Sea, hosted by the Nautical Institute.
Procida, the wealth of the Mediterranean
With a short excursion you can reach the islet of Vivara, a precious oasis of Mediterranean flora and fauna that has become a natural reserve, on which the remains of a Mycenaean village dating back to the fifteenth century B.C.
The charm of the island increases during the Holy Week, during which follow the Procession of the “Hooded Apostles”, the Procession of the Mysteries and the Procession of the Dead Christ.
The smallest of the islands, bells, Procida counts on a coastline of only 16 kilometers, on which however are accessible beautiful beaches like that of Chiaia, in addition to the Postino Beach – so called because here were shot some scenes of the movie em>The Postman with Massimo Troisi – , the Ciraccio Beach and those of Lingua and Chiaiolella, where the marina is located.
Procida, cooking and love
Procida’s cuisine is based on the products of fishing and on those of the island’s agriculture, which excels above all for the production of artichokes and the precious lemon procidano, which is used to prepare the traditional salad, with chunks of lemons, onion, oil, chili and mint. A typical first course of the island is “pescatora povera”, a pasta topped with fried green peppers and anchovies. Among the desserts stands the “casatiello dolce”, typical of the Easter period, and the “lingua”, a puff pastry stuffed with custard.
For a holiday in Procida you can bet on hotels and B&Bs, but also on residences located on the sea. Generally, most of the accommodation is located in Sant’Antonio and Marina di Corricella, while the most popular in the inland areas of the island are B&Bs and holiday homes.