....with a little advice and info:
Another two Brits and I went over to Procida in late July - which proved to be a bit rash as it was debilitatingly hot and we didn't manage to do nearly as much as I have on other visits.
Things started well, we caught the 9.45 SNAV hydrofoil from Ischia's second port, Casamicciola, and got there by 10.
That's definitely the crossing to aim for - the next (a Caremar ship from Ischia Porto at 11.20) doesn't leave you long to see the Abbey before it shuts.
Our first stop was the newstand by the ferry ticket offices, for bus tickets, which cost 80 cents for a single ride, or 1 Euro for those with an hour's validity. Tickets from Ischia, and everywhere else, don't work here!
You need to guess how many you'll want for the day, or search around for more later - but you can pay 1.10 Euro to the driver instead! Details: eavbus.it/opencms/eavbus/tariffe/procida.html
The summer timetable (says 2008, but it worked for us) for the EAVBUS services (not SEPSA now) is here:
After a - slow - walk along the harbourside, we caught the extraordinaryly skinny C1 bus at 10.30 and were soon up in the Terra Murata having a cooling drink at the little bar near Half Man's Gate after a ride which never fails to amaze me.
The former orphanage wasn't open but we spent a fair while in the Abbey, where they had a very unusual display - gold and silver religious items that had been stolen during a breakin there earlier in the year, which have recently been recovered thanks to a combined effort by all the local law enforcement agencies. Now I'm generally a cynic, but I couldn't stop a bit of a lump developing in the throat when I read the notice and saw the sad state in which those beautiful objects had ended up.
As it was so **** hot we took only a short and very slow stroll through the streets up there before walking back down and through the fortified gateway to where several large canons stand on the belvedere, commandingly above the fishing harbour, and taking our photos of the magnificent view. Heading for the shade, we descended to the big yellow church where we stopped again, this time for more sustenance at the bar there!
(When cooler it's a nice walk down to the harbour there, where many scenes from both Ripley and 'Il Postino' were filmed, and several excellent restaurants serve wonderful fish dishes - of course - except at lunchtimes in the hottest months as then it's like a furnace.)
Instead we scooted off to catch the next bus down to the main beach at the far end of the island - which faces over to Ischia - from where we walked round to the little tourist harbour, passing the restored and converted tonneria - now a hotel. We stopped at the fine restaurant Crescenzo, where we were served by two young men with excellent English, and ate very well indeed!
And, to tell the truth, after that all we managed to do was walk back up the hill as far as the first bus stop, and slope off back to Ischia on the next Caremar ship - at about 3.30.
Usually we've taken another bus to the other side of the island and done a bit more walking, or stopped off somewhere near the centre, but that was enough, we were too pooped for icecream!
And on some occasions we've also done the island tour by taxi - which has worked out at 7 or 8 Euro each, with a minimum of about 30 Euro although it may be a bit dearer now?
It seems a well-established route, used by many of the drivers at similar rates, that includes a trip up to the Abbey with time for a look around, before you're off on a journey through the lemon groves of the backroads to see several other pretty places, and it's actually quite difficult to do any other way! Just seemed like it might have been pricey for three of us - but perhaps we should have splashed out?
You'll find a mix of pictures - some old favourites and a few new ones - here: http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/procida1