The Italian Touch: The Enchantment of Procida and Ischia

We’ve partnered with Vogue Italia to explore the Italian Touch – the unique Italian attitude towards life, craft and food that makes our country and the people who live in it so special. Today we discover the unique histories, rich traditions and stunning beauty of the islands of Procida and Ischia.

Procida is an island like no other: not a typical tourist destination, it has always been densely populated and is home to wealthy navigators and ship owners. A symbol of the sea industry, it owes its fortune to the five bays formed by the five craters that compose it, used by the ancient Romans as docks. Later, Alphonse de Lamartine’s novel Graziella and in particular Elsa Morante’s Arturo’s Island helped attract holidaymakers to this navigators’ stronghold.

Ischia has a quite different story. Local folklore offers the story that the island rose on the shoulders of the giant Typhon, whose contortions caused the many earthquakes, while his hot tears became into the therapeutic waters of the hydrothermal Negombo Park, which lies in the bay of San Montano.

The two islands in the Gulf of Naples have been rediscovered by’s tour operators, who offer a week of walking and trekking along old countryside paths, as well as visiting wine cellars carved out of tuff rock, orchards and vineyards on cliffs overlooking the sea. The holiday highlights include a visit to the Aragonese Castle, a relaxing break at the thermal SPA, excursions to the fisherman village of Sant’Angelo d’Ischia and lunch on the panoramic terrace of Terramurata, in Procida, which acted as the backdrop for the famed film “The Postman”. The tour is also an opportunity to savour Naples’ specialties, like spaghetti with sea urchins, the cianfotta (the local take on the ratatouille) or the minestra maritata (a typical Neapolitan soup with vegetables and pork meat).

Procida is also the ideal destination for a romantic weekend away or to delve into literature, as the island has hosted the Procida-Isola d’Arturo-Elsa Morante literary award for almost 30 years. Among other must-see locations are the Church of Santa Margherita and Marina Corricella, the oldest port on the island. There are also plenty of place to stay, and highlights include the Hotel La Vigna, located in a vineyard a few steps away from the sea, or the Solcalante Hotel, overlooking Ischia and Vivara. Both the Caracallè and the Sent’cò are must-visit restaurants, and sipping a refreshing cocktail at the Dal Cavaliere bar is the perfect way to end the day.

This article originally appeared on Vogue Italia.