After arriving at Procida and settling into our apartment, we first headed to the marina with the name that is impossible to pronounce. Chiaiolella harbour is located at the southern end of the island, just opposite from Marina Grande, the main port of Procida. Although less visited than Marina Grande and less stunning than Corricella, Chiaiolella is really charming with its row of centuries-old, colourful houses, cosy restaurants and fishing boats.
The small bay, where locals and tourists are taking a stroll in the evening, used to be a volcanic crater. Chiaiolella is surrounded by the promontory of Santa Margherita from one side, and the Solchiaro area from the other side, with beautiful villas hiding in lush gardens.
People say that from Marina Grande you can walk to Chiaiolella in about an hour, but with a small child it was not an option, so we took the local bus. The buses leave from the Marina Grande, but you can jump on the L1 or L2 buses at several locations around the island.
On our first evening we enjoyed a magical sunset from the nearby beach, looking towards the islands of Vivara and Ischia, then had a fantastic Neapolitan-style pizza Margherita in the Crescenzo restaurant. It was June and we were surrounded by local people only, having pizza with their friends, walking their dogs or preparing their family boats for the summer season. It’s an extremely pleasant and friendly part of Procida where we returned several times.
Next time we came back with Salvatore who showed us one of their apartments. It’s small, cosy, a typical fisherman home and it has a wonderful roof terrace overlooking the sea with the colourful boats. I’d surely consider spending a few weeks here for some digital nomad working, a few hours on the terrace with my laptop, going for daily swims on the nearby beach, joining the passeggiata in the evening and enjoying a spritz in one of the bars and restaurants along the marina. The good news is, you too can rent this apartment, at an affordable price.
After checking out the apartment, we relaxed a bit at Crescenzo. It was quite hot, so Salvatore invited us for an ice tea mixed with lemon granita. I’ve personally never had this combo before, but now it’s the ultimate summer drink for me in Procida. Best if made with Procidan lemons. Needless to say my daughter loved it as well.
Later we also visited a stunning villa in the area, the kind of house where you want to spend the entire summer with your family and your best friends. A lush garden and private rocks for entering the sea make it perfect. The villa is for rent and it’s definitely on my bucket list.
On our last evening Salvatore drove us to his friend’s house in Santa Margherita from where we could enjoy a view of Chiaiolella from a completely different angle. I am so grateful he took us to this special place we couldn't have reached ourselves. We also crossed the foot bridge to the small island of Vivara, which was part of a volcanic crater a long time ago. This unspoilt island is a natural reserve and can be visited on weekends only, with a licenced local guide. You need to book your visit in advance on their website.
The bridge was very quiet, there were only a couple of fishermen around and a group of friends, waiting for the sun to dive into the sea. Just another perfect location for slow moments.