Procida (Proceta in neapolitan) is located in the gulf of Naples, in Campania. The territory includes the island of Procida and the nearby island of Vivara, two islands of the gulf of Naples belonging to the Group of the Flegree Islands. The relief more high is represented by the hill of Terra Murata (91 m), surmounted by a fortified village of medieval origin. The island is located at a minimum distance from the mainland of about 3,4 km (Channel of Procida) and is connected by a small bridge to the neighboring island of Vivara. Its coasts, in some areas low and sandy, elsewhere to peak on the sea, give life to the various bays and promontories that offer shelter to the small navigation and permitted the birth of three marinas on the northern slopes, east and south of the island. A large part of its coastline is protected by the Area Marina Protetta Kingdom of Neptune. Traditionally, the inhabited center is divided into nine districts, said grancìe: Terra Murata (the most ancient village), Corricella (a characteristic fishing village), sent the cò with the commercial harbor of Marina Grande, San Leonardo, the Santissima Annunziata (also called Madonna of Free), Sant'Antuono, Sant'Antonio and Chiaiolella (a tourist port in the southern part of the island).
The current name of the island is also derived from the Roman era Prochyta. According to a first hypothesis this name derives from the first Cyme, i.e. "next to Cuma", as it should appear on the island to the Greek settlers in the migration from the island of Ischia to Cuma. Another hypothesis has it that the name is derived from the Greek pròkeitai (πρόκειται), i.e. "lies", in consideration of how it appears the island as seen from the sea. According to another hypothesis still, instead, this name derives from the Greek verb prochyo, in latin profundo: the island would in fact been profuse, put outside, raised from the bottom of the sea or from the depths of the earth. Dionysius of Halicarnassus Finally, in his Roman Archeology chose to make the name derives from that of a nurse of Enea, from him buried here when we arrived. According to the Greek myth here came also the fight between the giants and the gods, and as Tifeo Alcioneo and ended up respectively under the Vesuvius and Ischia, so Mimante was placed under the island of Procida.
Recent archaeological finds on the nearby island of Vivara (a time connected to Procida) suggest that the island was already inhabited around the 16th - 15th century B.C., probably by Micenei settlers. Certainly, around the VIII century B.C. Procida island was inhabited by settlers Calcidesi of the island of Evia; these subentrarono following the Greeks of Cuma, whose presence is confirmed both by the archaeological discoveries that from the toponymy of different places of the island. During the Roman domination, Procida became the seat of villas and settlements scattered on the territory; however it seems that in this era did not exist a real town center: the island was most probably holiday resort of Roman patricians and cultivation of the vines. Juvenal, in the third of his satires, speaks of it as a place suitable for a stay lonely and quiet. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the island suffered the ravages of the Vandals and the Goths; not fell instead never in Lombard hand, always remaining under the jurisdiction of the byzantine duke (then autonomous) of Naples, in the territory of the County of Miseno. At this time the island began in the meantime to radically change its demographic composition, becoming a place of refuge for the populations fleeing from the devastation caused by the Longobard invasion first and then to the raids of Saracen pirates. Environment changed radically in the appearance of the island: the typical settlement "spread" of the Roman era was placed a fortified village typical of the medieval age. The population took refuge in fact on the promontory of the earth, of course defended by walls to peak on the sea and in later times fortified, thus changing the name first in Terra Murata and then in one today of Terra Murata. With the Norman conquest of southern Italy, Procida experimented also the feudal domain; the island, with annexd a part of mainland (Mount Miseno, then said Monte di Procida), was subjected to the family of origin salernitana of Da Procida (which from the island took the name), who ruled the island for more than two centuries. In this family the exponent of prominence was certainly Giovanni da Procida, third (III) with this name, councillor of Frederick II of Swabia and animator of the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers. In 1339, however, the last descendant of the Da Procida sold the feud (with the island of Ischia) to the family of French origin of Cossa, family of admirals loyal to the dynasty of Anjou, then reigning over Naples. The Cossa, exponent of greater importance was Baldassarre Cossa, elected antipope in 1410 with the name (then ignored in the historiography Vaticana) of John XXIII. During the domination of Charles V in Naples the island was confiscated at the last Cossa and granted in fief to the family of d'Avalos d'Aquino of Aragon (1529), loyal to the House of Hapsburg. Meanwhile continued also in this era the raids of Saracen pirates, further accentuated by the struggle between the Ottomans and the Spanish Empire. In the XVII century the island was occupied by the French fleet commanded by Tommaso Francesco di Savoia, on the background of the events linked to the revolt of Masaniello and the birth of the following Republic. With the advent of Bourbon in the Kingdom of Naples in 1734, it had in the meantime a further improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the island, also due to the extinction of feudalism in 1744 for work of Charles III, which put Procida among the possessions of the allodiali crown, making it one of its hunting reserve. In this period the seafaring Procida starts toward its period of greatest splendour, approaching to this also a flourishing shipbuilding activities: until the following century, are launched in the island ships and brigantini that face the ocean navigation; toward the half of the nineteenth century, about one third of all "wood" of great cabotage in the south of Italy comes from procidani yards. In 1957 the island is reached by the first underwater aqueduct of Europe, while in the last decades, population, until the thirties decreasing slowly begins to rise.
Between the middle ages and the XVIII century develops, in the island of Procida a particular example of architecture generally defined spontaneous but more correctly from the popular character, linked, i.e. the community of place, which develops according to constructive codes well encoded. Among the most characteristic elements there are certainly the arc and the rampant scale (or donkey ride). The arc has input function (or better, of passage between the road and the house), while the upper floors delimits a particular terrace, locally called vèfio (from an ancient German waif), a true symbol of the dwelling typical of the island. The scale rampant, resting on the same arc, is the most common solution to reach the upper floors. The times are always sail or, more frequently in rural areas in cask. Another characteristic element is represented by the color: constructions are usually painted with a certain group of pastel shades well defined assorted, in such a way that two nearby houses very difficult to have similar colors, with the result of a polychromy characteristic. According to the tradition, this peculiarity stems from the desire of the fishermen of wanting to recognize his own house also far from the sea. This hypothesis however has never had any confirmation. The popular architecture is rooted on the territory with one urban scheme particular and original which resuming development models of the epoch (from the plant of Swabian Terra Murata the system of rural grancìe of Benedictine matrix up to the construction of the eighteenth-century road) li mixture in a synthesis which is linked to the natural environment and local culture material.
The island was already described, in classical era, among others from Juvenal, Stazius and Virgil. In the literature the vernacular, Procida becomes the scene of the sixth novella of the fifth day of the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, wherein, on the background of the war of the Vespro, it recounts the love of Gian da Procida, nephew of Giovanni da Procida, for the young Restituta. Even more recent is the novel Graziella written by Alphonse de Lamartine, (of which it has been drawn to the movie of the same name in 1955), came to Procida from Burgundy in the first half of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century is instead the famous island of Arturo (1957), one of the greatest works of Elsa Morante, writer to which is also dedicated a literary prize, assigned to the island by several years. Passing to the cinema, Procida was chosen as a film set for a large number of films, especially for its landscapes and its architecture typical of the Mediterranean: among these we can cite as examples, the postman, with Philippe Noiret and Massimo Troisi, and The Talented Mr. Ripley, with Matt Damon. The Castello D'Avalos instead provides the setting for the prison of dramatic film Held awaiting trial, with Alberto Sordi.