Just One Day In Procida


I have been to Capri many times, and loved it.
But lately Capri has felt less like the jet-set world of Jackie O, and more like the hellish realm of a disgorged cruise ship.

Capri is definitely chic. No question. But it has become horribly touristy. There is invariably a cruise ship or two in the harbor, and during the day the piazzetta can be a nightmare crush of humanity that you have to wade your way through in order to get anywhere. Somewhere along the way I started losing interest.

When I was planning this year’s Glam Italia Tour, which included a week on the Amalfi Coast I just couldn’t face taking anyone to Capri. I know I will go back at some point, but for now I have a new island love, and that love is called Procida.

Arriving in Procida

Procida is the smallest island in the Bay of Naples’ Campanian Archipelago, at a mere 3.2 km long.


incredibly colorful arrival in Procida!

One of the 24 most colorful places in the world, Procida has attracted movie directors over and over as the setting for their films, so much of it may feel familiar to you.
(The movie Il Postino was shot on Procida and on the Aeolian island of Salina).


Marina Corricella, Procida

You get to Procida by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples, and the “wow” factor on arrival is just staggering. Out of the blue, blue ocean, set against the blue, blue sky erupts an explosion of color in the form of bright yellow and pink fishermen’s houses, that will take your breath away.

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morning sun in Procida

Procida feels authentic. A weekend retreat for the people of Naples, it doesn’t have the manic tourism and outdoor mall feel of nearby Capri.

Where to stay on Procida

I did spot one Tshirt shop while there, and I’m sure there must have been a couple more, but as you walk around town you feel as though you have stepped into some secret slice of shabby-chic Italian island life that hasn’t been polluted by major retailers and Chinese manufacturers.
It looks and feels real.


narrow streets of Procida

The streets are narrow and windy and in some places steep. You can spend hours just wandering around and exploring.


pink houses in Procida

The perfect day trip to Procida would start by taking the very first ferry or hydrofoil from Naples.
Walk around the port area and have an espresso or two, then take your time and discover the streets as they weave and wind up the hill, working your way over to Corricella.

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socks hanging out to dry on shutters

Marina Corricella, is a darling and picturesque sliver of a bay that backs onto a cliff made out of fisherman’s houses.


fishing nets drying in the sun, Corricella, Procida

Fishing nets lie out to dry along the waterfront and fishing boats moor against the sea wall – did I mention it feels authentic??


fishing boat moored in Marina Corricella

Marina Corricella is the perfect place to stop for lunch. There are several oceanfront restaurants to choose from, but we wound up taking in the view from Bar Graziella. The hilarious and engaging owner Vincenzo opened Bar Graziella in 1964, and apparently was the first restaurant in Corricella.
The food is bountiful and inexpensive. We ordered a platter of seafood antipasti and a salad, supposedly an order for one person, but there was more than enough for 4!


Lunching under the umbrellas at Bar Graziella, Corricella, Procida

After lunch walk along the eastern shore from Corricella to Chaia beach. You’ll take a long flight of stairs to the sand but you need the walk to burn off lunch.

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streets of procida

When you are done beaching head either on foot or by bus up to Terra Murata and Abbazia di San Michele. You can check out the walled fortress which was at one time a monastery and until recently a prison, take in the stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Naples. Here from the highest point on the island you can walk down through the two stone gateways into the still inhabited idyllic settlement of Terra Murata. Wander around some more, and make sure you visit the art filled, romantic little church, Abbey of St Michael.


selfie in Celine sunglasses in Procida

Sightseeing done, make your way back to the port and enjoy a locally made gelato before boarding your hydrofoil back to Napoli.

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Limon Gelato, Procida

My only regret about the Glam Italia 2 Tour is that I allowed just one day in Procida.
Although the island is small, it is the perfect place to escape to. You can stay here for days on end doing nothing much at all. Evenings on Procida are said to be magic. This is the ideal spot to sneak away to with your Italian lover, or to plan a little romantic getaway.


Another place to stay on Procida (check out these photos!)

From nearby Ischia it is 30 minutes by boat, from Naples 40 minutes by hydrofoil.

All images in this post apart from the one noted, were taken with my iPhone during the Glam Italia 2 Tour. Please do not use any of them without written permission from me.

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pompeii


In 79 A.D Mount Vesuvius erupted. Ash and pumice rained down on Pompeii, an oceanfront merchant city at the bottom of the mountain, completely burying it. For the next 1700 years Pompeii disappeared off the face of the earth.

For 16 centuries stories were told about this mysterious town that had disappeared. Numerous expeditions set out to find it, but part of their problem was that they were searching the coastline, not realizing the eruption had moved the coastline 2 kilometres out to sea. The city was buried under 20 feet of volcanic ash, which had become verdant and fertile farmland. It wasn’t until the late 17th century when a farmer was digging a new well that Pompeii was onc again discovered.


Most of the bodies were gone this trip, on loan to museums and Expo


I absolutely love going to Pompeii. Whenever possible I hire a local licensed guide. As often as I go there (several times per year with my tour groups) I still learn new things from my guide, every time. Pompeii is a live archaeological dig, so even if you have been before there are bound to be new things for you to see.

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18 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pompeii

1. In A.D 62 a massive earthquake severely damaged Pompeii. The city’s rebuild was getting its finishing touches when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D 79

2. There were no wealthy areas in Pompeii – rich and poor lived side by side. The city was designed to allow all citizens to live in comfort, regardless of income or social standing.

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3. There was free bread for all – no one went hungry in Pompeii. To ensure against popular discontent the powers decided on “Bread and Circuses” or bread and games for all. Not only could citizens live without worries about food, they also were given free entertainment in the form of gladiator fights, with events happening up to 100 days per year.

People had free time to do other things, including creating great art.


4. Pompeii had a clever 3 tiered water system. One tier took water into the wealthier private homes, giving them running water. A second fed water into the city for sanitation, and a third fed the fountains. If there was a drought or if water was running scarce they would shut off the tier to the private homes first, then the sanitation water second, so that there would still be the third channel running, keeping water available for everyone to drink.
The problem was there was no sewer system, so waste flowed down the streets.

Some of the water fountains in Pompeii are still working. You can refill your water bottles as you meander around.


5. There were 42 water fountains in Pompeii, ensuring that no citizen had to walk more than 1 minute from home to get fresh, cool water. Some of them are still working, enabling visitors to fill their water bottles while walking around.

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6. The big homes had elaborate, huge bathrooms.

Taking long, relaxing baths was considered to be one of the greatest pleasures in life, and as such bathrooms were designed to be beautiful, with mosaic floors and frescoes walls.

Looking down a street in Pompeii.
In A.D. 79 there would have been bold colors painted on the houses, and lush foliage all around.


7. Houses were 2 stories, and we’re actually very well built.


8. Much is known about life in Pompeii through the graffiti on the walls. Paper was not widely available, so people would scratch messages into the walls with nails. Love notes, meetings, political aspirations, public announcements, missing persons notices, notes to neighbors, running bar tabs – all were perfectly preserved on the outdoor walls.


9. The citizens of Pompeii had no idea that Vesuvius was a volcano – it hadn’t erupted in 1800 years. Prior to the eruption there was no crater at the top of Vesuvius, instead it just looked like every other mountain in the area. Vesuvius had extremely fertile land which was well farmed, and had many communities living on it.

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10. The wine shops/bars in Pompeii stayed open all night long.



11. There was 18 hours of pumice and ash raining down on Pompeii before the lava flowed.


12. This volcanic ash sealed bodies where they fell and then hardened, creating perfect human shaped forms. As the bodies decomposed they left hollow spaces in the hardened ash. Archeologists poured plaster into the hollows, creating casts that are so detailed you can see the moment of death in their faces.

13. Pompeii’s population was estimated to be between 15, 000.  It is estimated 2, 000 were killed. Which means most of the town’s people escaped in the days leading up to the eruption.

14. At the time of the eruption there was no word for volcano in latin.

15. Pompeii and it’s stretch of coastline were a popular resort area where wealthy Romans had their summer villas. The exuberant sex lives of the Romans, which were well documented in local art, lead the area to be known as the “Love Coast”. (I only recently read this last part, but if it is true, it’s pretty funny).

16. There were 40 bakeries in Pompeii, and by many accounts 30 brothels. This has been questioned however as any building with erotic art has been labeled a brothel.
The main brothel was the Lupanare, which features paintings of the many different sexual positions available to customers.


On the menu at the Lupanare, Pompeii


17. Pompeii was full of erotic art.

18. In the 16th century letters written by Pliny the Younger were discovered, describing the eruption as viewed from across the bay at Misenum where he watched with his uncle, Pliny the Elder. These letters give us an in depth account of how the events of the day progressed, including Pliny The Elder’s attempt to rescue friends from the beach at Herculaneum, which ultimately led to his death.

Pompeii is a suburb of Naples and is easy to access by train. You can make a day trip from Rome, or visit for a few hours from Sorrento or Salerno on the Amalfi Coast.