Monte di Procida
Monte di Procida sits like a beautiful balcony on the tip of the promontory that dips into the Gulf of Naples. It occupies most panoramic post on the peninsula, capturing stupendous seascapes and well-preserved ancient buildings on its perch.
The harbor has been an important draw since ancient times, when the Greeks utilized it. It is said that St. Paul passed through here on his way to Rome, to appeal his case to Caesar. It was used as a base for torpedo practice during WWII. Nowadays, the port is still active with fishing fleets who haul in the fresh catch daily, to the anticipation of the appreciation of local customers. It's a breathtaking spot to be at sunset! You can see Sorrento along the coastline and Gaeta across the bay and the islands in the distance. The best beach is called Acquamorta (dead water). The calm locale on the inlet is a popular place in the summer, and rightly so - its magical views are enchanting. The nearby islands look close enough to touch - or at least to swim to!
The Cappella Vecchia district is a step back in time. The charming ancient hamlet is loaded with pretty lanes decked out with imperial doors, archways, stone vaults and stairways, borrowing the typical architectural stylings of the island of Procida. Walking through the beautiful cobbled streets, you will find small flights of steps among the houses and buildings; one of these leads to the Church dedicated to the Madonna del Buon Consiglio, a lovely structure with a central nave and two side aisles built in the 19th Century.
The splendid Church of the Madonna dell'Assunta in Cielo is located just behind Piazza XXVII Gennaio, fronting the sea and the beautiful island of Procida. The chapel's profile looks like a noble and austere castle, while the façade resembles an ancient temple, bestowed with imposing pillars, arches and a marvelous bell tower. The old town center retains a fantastic Roman necropolis recently brought back to life, with dozens of niches containing urns dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC, along with numerous frescoes.
Monte di Procida celebrates its patroness annually for the feast of the Assumption, putting on a fabulous festival worthy of a queen. There is a colorful procession where devotees carry the statue of the Madonna through the streets. After, the avenues turn into a street party with thousands of overhanging twinkle lights, dancing, games, attractions, concerts. The grand finale is a huge fireworks display over the sea. They also put on a grand Festa del Mare every August to partake of the area's primary produce - fresh seafood! You'll find lots of good food and fun.
Connected to Monte di Procida by a bridge and a tunnel is San Martino Island, a squat, rock island at the end of the crescent sliver of land. It was once a base for tuna fishing, but now is a hub of la dolce vita for famous and everyday Neapolitans who appreciate the private tranquility and gorgeous views. It's a nice place for a leisurely meal on the sea. It's also popular with scuba enthusiasts and snorkelers.
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The north-western side of the Gulf of Naples offers the splendour of the small island of Procida, known as "the girlfriend of the sea".