TRAVEL

The Italian Island That's Just As Breathtaking As Cinque Terre

09/08/2016 1:50 AM AEST | Updated August 9, 2016 01:50
Frank Chmura via Getty Images

It has an area of less than 2 square miles, but an allure that is definitely dangerous. Procida is an island that will win your heart. It is no accident that this is where Il Postino: The Postman was filmed, the movie directed by Michael Radford and starring Massimo Troisi, which with its ve Oscar nominations in 1996 and, above all, its 80 million dollars in worldwide box-of ce gross set the new record for an Italian movie (far more than the multiple award-winning Nuovo Cinema Paradiso). In the lm, 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 movie, filmed in Pantelleria, Salina and Procida, features charming views of the latter. The setting is not the main port, the one that during the summer sees the constant comings and goings of boats from Naples, but the secondary harbor of Corricella: a separate village with colorful shermen’s houses, nets piled up on the dock, the tables of a few small cafés and rows of strati ed dwellings. 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.

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Behind it is the big, majestic Terra Murata, a forti ed citadel that stands on the tallest point of the island. It can only be reached via a steep climb and is in the middle of a district with countless layers of history. Not only is the panorama below stunning, but in the sunny alleys you go from medieval forti cations to a building like the Palazzo d’Avalos (mid-sixteenth century) and the beautiful Abbey of San Michele, from the same era. But the Terra Murata—with the outline of its two long cannons from the Neapolitan Republic of 1799 and its dwellings carved in the tufa rock—also stages exhibitions and cultural activities, and it is one of the fundamental poles of this little island. And then, naturally, there’s the sea, with its coves waiting to be discovered along the entire coast of the island, below the ancient palaces and gardens with lemon groves. The most famous is the Spiaggia del Pozzo Vecchio, now commonly called Spiaggia del Postino, since this beach was one of the main sets in Radford’s movie. Other beaches worth exploring are Chiaia, which is sheltered even when the wind picks up, as well as Lingua and Grotte, which can easily be reached from Marina Grande (also known as Sancio Cattolico), which is the island’s main port. Those who love the wilder side of the sea can head to the rocks by the lighthouse and the reefs dotting the coastline.

Frank Chmura/IFA Bilderteam via Getty Images

HOTEL LA CORRICELLA

Via Marina Corricella 88
tel. +39 081 8967575
Just nine rooms in a Mediterranean style, with the added value of immense peacefulness. This small hotel is far from the noise of scooters zipping through town, and has a terrace that overlooks the marina from on high.

LOCANDA DEL POSTINO

Via Marina Corricella 43
tel. +39 081 8101887
The small café and restaurant is a must, not only for its sh menu and lemon desserts, but also for the memorabilia from Troisi’s movie and the outdoor tables on the dock.

BOUTIQUE MARICELLA

Via Roma 161
tel. +39 081 8967579
When you’re at the beach, you always want a new hat, a beach bag or some costume jewelry to show off your tan.

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