The name of this small but popular tourist center of the Procida island comes from the Neapolitan word “chiaia” meaning beach and the diminutive suffix “ella” reffering more to softness. So the name thusly translates into “soft beaches”.
Chiaiolella is a small fishing village on the island of Procida which can be found off Italy’s east coast in Naples. Together with the small island of Vivara, Procida forms the commune with the same name in Campania on the Mediterranean coast.
Formed by now dormant volcanoes, the island is less than 4 square km in surface, with rocky coastline, but the village of Chiaiolella provides a welcoming and safe marina, perfect for sailors who are looking for a sailing holiday.
Travel & Arrival
The only direct link with the island is via ferry which van be boarded by crews fom Naples, Capri and Ischia at reasonable prices. The other ways to get here are all linked to the largest city in the region, Naples.
The airport in Naples is 38 km away if your group follows the A56 highway, a trip that under normal circumstances takes over an hour due to the ferry link. The same route is suggested in case you want to arrive in Chiaiolella by car. All major train and bus lines make trips to Naples, which then acts as an obligatory stop on your way to the village.
Avant & Apres Sail
The first houses were built here by fishermen in the 18th century in what is today the natural cove bordering the town from the seaside. On the other side of the cove the adventurers can find the promontory of Santa Margherita which used to have a Benedictine monastery built on it. Today only the ruins remain, as the monks took their church near the Fortress of Terra Murata.
On the street of Giovanni da Procida, regulars will see the Church of San Giuseppe which is the center around which the old town formed. But the all the tourists coming here congregate on the promenade Cristoforo Columbo, just utside of town. On this one kilometer-long stretch of road there are all the tourist services and also some of the most beautiful views as the steep cliffs fall into the sea.
The scenery here is so beautiful that several movies used it as a backdrop, films such as “Il Postino” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. There are also authors that based their novels on the island of Procida (Alphonse de Lamartine’s Graziella).
Even if it’s a very small island, Procida does have its own culinary delights. gourmets will surely enjoy the stewed rabbit or the spaghetti with sea urchin that are served on the 20 or so establishments on the island.
Events & Actions
The good thing about Chiaiolella is that the facilities are highly developed, offering incoming tourists the best services. And if you tire of the sea, there are 6 beaches on the island where you can bake to a perfect Mediterranean golden-brown tan that will last you through the year.
As far as events go, there are numerous religious traditions that take place here around Easter (the Holy Week and the Good Friday in particular). These include a procession in which young men from the iland carry allegorical wagons from the Torre Murat to the port in Marina Grande.