Sights Activities

The best way to explore the island - a mere 4 sq km - is on foot or by bike.

Clinging onto Procida's highest point is the crumbling 16th-century Castello d'Avalos, former Bourbon hunting lodge and ex-prison. Soak in the dizzying bay views before exploring the adjoining Abbazia di San Michele Arcangelo (@ 081 896 76 12; Via Terra Murata 89; admission €2; £3 10am-12.45pm year-round, plus 3.30-6pm May-Oct). Built in the 11th century and remodelled between the 17th and 19th centuries, this one-time Benedictine abbey contains a church, a small museum with some arresting paintings, and a honeycomb of catacombs.

From panoramic Piazza dei Martiri, the village of Marina Corricella tumbles down to its marina in a riot of pinks, yellows and whites. The bright colours made it easier for fishermen to play 'spot your house' while out at sea.

Further south, off Via Pizzaco, a steep flight of steps leads down to sand-brushed Spiaggia di Chiaia, one of the island's most beautiful beaches and home to La Conchiglia (p203).

All pink, white and blue, little Marina di Chiaiolella features a yacht-stocked marina, old-school eateries and a languid disposition. From here, head to the heaving Lido di Procida beach, where hyperactive water babies, flirting church-group teens and wandering-eyed husbands make for a voyeuristic feast.

The small satellite island of Vivara is protected by WWF; it contains rare native fauna and is an important archaeological site. It is currently closed to visitors indefinitely.

The Procida Diving Centre (@ 081 896 83 85; www; Via Cristoforo Colombo 6) runs diving courses and hires out equipment. Budget €32 for a single dive, €60 for a full day.

On the harbour at Marina Corricella, ask for Cesare, who runs boat trips (per 254 hrs €20) and half-day trips in a galleon for €90 (minimum 25 people). Ippocampo (@ 081 810 14 37,333 720 01 93;; Marina Chiaiolella) hires out gommoni and gozzi (wooden boats) from €80 per day.

You can charter a yacht from Blue Dream (@ 081 896 05 79,339 572 08 74; www.bluedreamcharter .com; Via Ottimo 3) from €60 per person, per day.

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