The coveted appointment of Italian Capital of Culture 2022 was awarded the first time to an island – a delightful destination and meeting place ready to enchant visitors: the colorful island of Procida won the final against nine other Italian city candidates.
Located in the Gulf of Naples, together with the glamorous neighboring islands of Capri and Ischia, Procida is considered an insider’s tip among the lesser-known vacation destinations in Italy. The island, which is only 1.6 square miles in size and has a population of just under 10,000, can be reached from Naples in less than an hour’s boat ride. Once arrived, it delights its guests with picturesque villages, dreamy bathing bays and vegetation rich in cacti, fig and citrus trees due to its volcanic origin.
A truly unique stage setting
With its colorful houses and idyllic beaches, Procida has often served as a film set. Many actors and directors have fallen in love with Procida over time and have shot memorable pages in international cinema here. Special mention goes to “The Postman” by Michael Radford with Massimo Troisi, as well as “The Talented Mr. Ripley” with Matt Damon. Further proof of Procida’s absolute charm came in 2015 when Apple and Microsoft precisely chose to use images of the colorful island village to highlight the color rendering of the screens for the iPhone 6S (Jobs) and SurfacePro4 tablet (Gates). Once the ferry has docked, you will truly be unable to resist the wonder of these places, where the air smells of salt and tiny alleys with narrow steps lead up to the amazingly colorful town.
The inhabited area is divided into nine districts: Corricella (the fishermen’s village reflected in the sea) is perhaps the best known and most evocative – but do take the time to discover all the others as well. Many people suggest that the most beautiful scene can be enjoyed from the Callìa Belvedere. It offers an incomparable view over the sea, with the island of Capri in the background. The Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo (Procida’s patron saint) is well worth a visit. Founded in 1026 and developed over the centuries, its current structure was commissioned by Cardinal D’Avalos in the mid-XVI century. The basement has a permanent XVIII century Nativity Scene, with figurines of wood and terracotta by master artisans from Naples.
The calendar of events is being constantly updated
On January 22, 2022, the Capital of Culture Year opened under the motto “Cultura non isola” – “Culture does not isolate”. 44 cultural projects and 240 participating artists at 8 venues provide a diverse program for a period of 330 days. Exhibitions, film screenings, performances and inspiring cultural projects will be on display under five guiding themes. Among the highlights of the program are the “”Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean” from April to September. The series of events “Oper(A)mare” from June 3-25 will feature performances of two operas with the choir of the Fondazione Teatro San Carlo. There is the possibility to attend the performances even from a boat or one of the balconies overlooking the Marina di Corricella. Other scheduled dates include “ArteCinema” from July 1-3, featuring documentaries on Banksy, Picasso, Marina Abramovich and Renzo Piano. “MarEtica” from September 8-11, is an event created by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco that weaves together literature, maritime themes and the island’s nautical tradition. Part of the critical social debates include topics such as social inclusion. Historic locations, such as the Palazzo d’Avalos, which served as a prison until 1988, are also featured.
With the title of Capital of Culture, the small island will attract wider attention. At the same time, in this role, it wants to be a symbol of slow tourism, with a focus on sustainability and responsible treatment of residents and the environment, away from mass tourism.