August 1, 2023
The experience of Francesca di Pietro
A holiday in Procida is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to travel alone, even for those who have never done it before and want to try it for the first time.
My name is Francesca Di Pietro, I am a travel psychologist and coach, author of viaggiaredasoli.net, I help people to use travel as a tool for growth and I help them on their solo trips. I explored the island of Procida by staying at the Glamping La Caravella, I found it to be a perfect solution for solo travellers and in this article I will tell you why.
Procida is a rather small island, only 4km long, but very populated (more than 10,000 people live there). This makes it an easy place to explore, where you can easily find your way around and there is always someone to break words. The people are sociable, as carefree as anyone lucky enough to live in a paradise by the sea, and very helpful. You only have to go and buy fruit to strike up a conversation, but I must admit that I have also met people just by looking out at the Corricella belvedere. On a small island, the locals are curious to chat with those who have different stories to tell, and you often end up meeting other travellers several times and always end up chatting.
Getting around Procida
As the island is only 4 km long and there are no major ups and downs, much of the island can be explored by foot, and there is an excellent public bus service which takes you to any part of the island in just minutes. The best way to get around the island is to hire an e-bike; there are all kinds, with fat wheels, with a basket and with a child carrier in the back. You can even rent them at Procida Camp & Resort, and it is much more convenient, because you can only take them when you really want to explore the island. For those relaxing days between the pool and the sea, you can get around on foot.
Where to sleep in Procida
The island of Procida has been densely inhabited for many centuries, which meant that urbanisation was much more like that of a city and therefore very different from the island concept. Strolling through some of Procida's streets, I felt as if I were walking through the historic centre of Naples: palaces with large courtyards and high ceilings alternate with smaller houses, with steps to reach the main floor, and you can find a votive shrine almost at every doorway. Very often, if you are travelling alone, you end up renting a room or a small flat, often not very modern or comfortable. If you choose to stay at the Procida Camp & Resort, you will really be in a different context.
At Camp La Caravella you will be just a stone's throw from the main road, but you will find plenty of greenery, large trees for shade, freshly mown lawns, the scent of flowers and accommodation that blends in with the surroundings. There are many types of accommodation to choose from, all very comfortable with a different charm, I slept in the Tiny House but in my opinion, the Indie Tent is also perfect for a solo traveller.
As well as a private shower room, each lodge has a well-equipped kitchen, so you can cook your own meals and there are no 'rules' to follow.
Eating out alone can be a problem for some people
For many single travellers, eating out alone can be a problem because they do not feel comfortable. Here's my advice: at Procida Camp & Resort you can cook whatever you like, buying genuine products in the village shops, but the best solution is to rely on the hands of Francesco (La Caravella's chef), who prepares some traditional dishes for lunch and dinner or pizza every day. At Glamping La Caravella, the restaurant is a beautiful Airstream, and many guests choose to dine there for lunch or dinner, creating real moments of conviviality and sharing with other guests. While I was there, there was a very large group of Australians who were in love with Italy. They were very curious to hear stories about a country so different from their own, and every day they learned an extra word of Italian. The intimacy of the glamping environment encourages sharing and exchange, even for the shyest of people.
The most beautiful beaches of Procida
In my opinion, a great advantage of Procida is that the island is beautiful regardless of the sea; the unique atmosphere can be experienced along its narrow streets, in the heart of its squares. This means that you can choose to visit even in the low season, in fact I prefer to come here at the end of September, October or May: it really is a unique experience.
The most spectacular beach is Chiaia, because it is a beautiful circular inlet with a vertical wall of volcanic rock behind it and you can see the village of Corricella in the distance. There are two ways to get there, either down the steps behind Glamping La Caravella or from Via dei Bagni: towards the village of Corricella you will find easier access with larger ramps and fewer steps.
If you are looking for a beach that is more easily accessible, I recommend Chiaiolella beach, where you will find a promenade with various facilities and where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island. From Chiaiolella you can also hire a SUP or a kayak to explore the island of Vivara, a nature reserve and a truly magical place.
During your stay in Procida, don't miss a boat trip around the island. Seeing the island from the sea is a completely different experience and the most beautiful beaches are inaccessible by land. There are many companies that organise these excursions, but my recommendation is a trip in a gozzo, the typical wooden boat of the gulf.
If you stay at Camp La Caravella, I suggest you enjoy their swimming pool; it is surrounded by greenery, so there is always a pleasant microclimate and the water is the perfect temperature. Few people, the cicadas, the breeze and the shade... I assure you that this alone will make you leave the tiredness of the city behind.
The poetry of travelling to the islands is to savour the concept of slowness, not to be obsessed with seeing everything in the shortest possible time, to linger, to take your time, you're on holiday and you also have the great advantage of being alone, so you're in complete control of your time and your desires.
The solo travellers offer
Since Camp Ciraccio and Camp La Caravella receive many requests from people who want to travel alone, Procida Camp & Resort has created an ad hoc offer: this is the page of the website where you can find it.