THE ISLAND OF THE SEA – A 20-minute ride on a hydrofoil takes me to Procida, the smaller, sea-faring island that lies between Ischia and Naples. Procida had a brief flirtation with fame when the harbour and village scenes of the 1994 Oscar-winning film Il Postino were set here. The little port of Marina Grande is a film-maker’s dream with its brightly coloured houses – each painted in a different pastel shade so that they could be recognised from the sea by returning sailors.
There is an abundance of jaw-dropping views on this island. And the fishing village of La Corricella has an abundance of steps. The houses here are so tightly clustered together that descending a stone staircase like the Gradinata del Pennino is the only way to get to the village. Film fans might recognize its steep Via San Rocco from The Talented Air Ripley. Jude Law’s character, Dickie, rode his scooter down this street to meet up with his secret Italian girlfriend.
Tiny, volcanic Procida has an abundance of drama. Tales of shipwrecks and pirates abound and the little museum in the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo in Terra Fermata has several paintings done by sailors grateful for rescue. Terra Fermata itself is the island’s fortress – a sombre medieval village clinging to the edge of the island.But Procida also has a peaceful cosiness probably best experienced at the smallest of the island’s three marinas, at Chiaiolella. A meal of fresh fish at the hotel and restaurant Crescenzo, right on the port, finished off with a limoncello liqueur is a perfect Procida evening.