From Procida, we set sail to Ischia, Capri then off to Palmarola, together with Maurizio, base manager in Procida.
Already from afar, when the port of Marina Grande can barely be seen, the first thing that amazes about Procida is the colourful ensemble of houses. A rainbow of colours that welcomes sailors welcoming all to this small island. A little less touristy than the others and so extraordinarily authentic. The beauty of Procida is right here, in the fishermen, the blue sea, the anchored boats. "Amalfi, Positano, the Amalfi Coast are certainly among the most beautiful places to visit in these areas. But the islands are the most wonderful beauty around here. We are based in Procida and seeing the Corricella from the sea with its explosion of colours is truly breathtaking" comments Maurizio.
The quaint harbour in Procida
"I suggest sailing all the way to Sant'Angelo in Ischia, a small fishing port near a hot spring."
Sant'Angelo d'Ischia is one of the most fascinating villages on the island of Ischia. An oasis of peace and tranquility, no cars allowed, with its alleys and houses leaning against each other, it's the essence of Mediterranean architecture.
An ancient fishing village, it is today an elegant meeting point for more sophisticated tourism with the characteristic luxurious yachts. Located at the foot of the town of Serrara Fontana, it is the jewel of the island of Ischia.
Through the bougainvillea, a romantic view of Sant'Angelo d'Ischia
"Then there's Capri which is the most beautiful of the islands, arriving there in the evening at Marina Piccola, mooring and watching the stacks is one of the most romantic things."
A small detour to Palmarola
"Then off to Palmarola, my favorite island where there's a place called the Cathedral of the Sea, an explosion of rock in the midst of nature, solitude and wind."
Natural arches on Palmarola island
The dwarf palms growing luxuriant on the island give Palmarola its name. Nature is wild and inhospitable. The island is a nature reserve and the water, particularly fishy, is among the most beautiful of these areas.
Caves and creeks give imagination to the white cliffs. An area in particular called the Cathedral which takes its name from the conformation of the rock that develops in a series of narrow, high basalt caves that carve the cliff like a cathedral with its vaults and pillars. The Cathedral's caves can be explored with a mask and mouthpiece. Swim in the darkness in the water made blue by the light that filters through the cavern. An unmissable experience. Maurizio tells us 'The Cathedral is an explosion of rock in the midst of nature, solitude and wind'.
Among the other goodies to visit by boat in Palmarola, are certainly the Grotta del Gatto (Cat's Cave) which houses a fresh water spring inside, preferably accessible by a small boat.
The Galere the rocks are spotted, black on ochre, of obsidian, a very pure black glass. A curiosity about the Galere: primitive men who lived in the caves and shelters of the Circeo promontory probably came here on rafts to make obsidian. Obsidian extracted in Palmarola was processed in Ponza and Zannone where remains were found and then transported to the Circeo. The Chapel of San Silverio is worth a visit. You will find a path carved into the rock that leads to the chapel. The o'Francese restaurant in Cala del Porto, the only landing place in Palmarola.
"It's always nice to sail in these places because they're kissed by the wind in the afternoon and a beautiful mistral rises and allows you to sail."
Where would you take us for dinner Maurizio?
I love to go to eat at the Conca del sogno because I arrive by boat and I feel the true flavors of the sea that the Vermicelli alla Nerano, which are the specialty around here.
Immediate access to the sea, Conca D'Oro
Se ho voglia di mangiare pesce crudo a Sant’Angelo c’è oppure muovermi un po in collina ed andare a provare il coniglio all’ischitana.
If I fancy some fresh fish in Sant'Angelo there is il Pescatore or move a bit towards the hills and go to try the rabbit all'ischitana.
Il pescatore in Sant'Angelo d'Ischia
Watch the full video with Maurizio here.