Procida, Gulf of Naples. The island of the “slow life”
Procida is a small island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, situated between the mainland and the larger island of Ischia. Procida’s charm has led to it featuring in a number of films including the classic Il Postino and The Talented Mr Ripley. The tiny island is only 4 square kilometers large and visitors can easily walk around. Procida is an island that will win your heart. It is no accident that this is where Il Postino, The Postman in english, was filmed, the movie directed by Michael Radford and starring Massimo Troisi. The island of Procida was the star just as much as the story of the bond between Pablo Neruda and the shy mailman played by Troisi. The place to visit, is beyond any doubt, la Corricella: a separate village with colorful fishermen’s houses, nets piled up on the dock, the tables of a few small cafés and colorful homes. Their façades alternate pink and yellow with green and orange. Between the houses, there are steep staircases leading to the upper part of town, but you need to look carefully to see them. It has been quite a while since my last visit to Procida, the Bay of Naples’ smallest island but also the best-kept secret. Off the mass-tourist radar, Procida is like the Portofino prototype and is refreshingly real. The island of Procida lays in the shadow of its bigger sibling, Ischia, which can be admired from almost any spot once in Procida. It has also been used as a literary setting, notably in L’Isola di Arturo (Arturo’s Island), a 1957 novel by Elsa Morante. Procida, for me, has always had to do with that Elsa Morante’s novel. In this little-known classic of Italian literature, young Arturo grows up in near-isolation on the island of Procida in the Bay of Naples. Arturo is a semi-orphaned boy’s coming-of-age in the years just before World War II. I don’t want to recall the novel here, but the description of all the places where the boy go around the island left me, at the time I was reading the book, with the desire to follow his steps. Procida hasn’t changed so much since my last time here. It’s a bit more touristic oriented, of course, specially at La Corricella, indubitably the most scenic location of the island and, to my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful location I have ever seen around the world. September is still a good month to visit Procida, is still time to sunbath, swim and relax either on the beach or wandering around.