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Procida, a stunning island in the Bay of Naples, is one of Italy’s hidden gems that is often overlooked by travellers.

Situated in between popular islands Ischia and Capri, Procida has finally received the recognition the island deserves and was awarded Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022. As the first island in Italy’s long history to be awarded the honour, Procida outperformed a mix of major cities and small towns – and it’s not surprising why.

Procida is a colourful Mediterranean-style 4km-wide island, featuring the same famous pastel houses, narrow streets and cafe-lined marinas of Capri and Ischia. What’s better though – Procida is widely untouched, brimming with native flora and fauna and wide stretches of pristine beaches.

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A truly tranquil experience

Procida’s locals are proud of the fact that the island is so peaceful. Travellers seek out Procida for its unique cultural experience and traditions and describe the island as a humble destination that has remained true to its age-old roots.

There are no nightclubs, luxury hotels, or designer shops in Procida, specifically for the reason that the locals made a promise to keep the island’s traditions and embrace their beauty.

Despite the island of Procida refusing to give in to the allure of glitz and glamour, there are still a variety of different restaurants, bars, bakeries and gelato shops offering delicious Italian cuisines.

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Stunning beaches

Procida is surrounded by stunning beaches that are a testament to the preserved natural beauty of the island.

Only accessible by ferry, Procida can be reached from Naples three main piers, Porta di Massa, Molo Beverello and Pozzuoli.

Once you arrive on the naturally beautiful island, you can go directly to the beach – with each beach only a short distance away from the island’s marina. Visit Pozzo Vecchio for deep black sands, Chiaia for breathtaking views of neighbouring islands Ischia or Ciraccio for a beach so long and secluded that you’ll feel as if you’re the only person there.

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Rich history

Home to the medieval prison Terra Murata, Procida is filled with a rich history that you can only truly appreciate once you’re on the island. No longer housing criminals, travellers can tour the prison to gain a sense of what life was like behind these walls.

For a lighter historical experience, wander the skinny lanes lined with charming houses in Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo. Take in the fisherman’s outpost vibe, the seaside feeling that Procida prides itself on to get a true understanding of the essence of the beautiful island.

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A celebration of the arts and culture

As one of the most authentic islands in Italy, Procida is a celebration of Italy’s art and cultural heritage. To celebrate being named Italy’s Culture Capital of 2022, the small island is currently working on a rich calendar of events. These events will showcase the deep natural beauty of the island, plus years of history, unique art, music, food and architecture. There are currently 44 projects in the works in the seaside town, which promote environmental sustainability, urban regeneration and more.

Come and experience Procida: Italy’s Culture Capital of 2022, and find out for yourself why this small, beautiful island earned one of Italy’s most prestigious awards. Make it real.

As one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, visiting Rome is high up on the bucket list of people all over the world. With so many things to do and places to explore, travellers are guaranteed to love every minute of their time in the Eternal City.

Buzzing with culture, food, history, architecture and stunning scenery, there is plenty to do ‘when in Rome’. Here are some of our favourites:

1

Explore the Colosseum.

The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most famous attractions – and rightfully so. Built almost 2000 years ago, the stunning attraction will transport you back to a time of gladiator games and battles, and will truly take your breath away.
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Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain.

Made famous for its role in hundreds of movies, the Trevi Fountain is remarkable and awe-inspiring. Designed by Nicola Salvi, the Trevi Fountain features the legendary figure Neptune and his triton.
Nowadays, the bottom of the Trevi Fountain is covered in thousands of coins, with people travelling far and wide to make a wish in the fountain. Legend has it that by throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, you’re destined to return to Rome again. We like the sound of that.
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Visit Trastevere.

To really live out the saying ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’, you must visit Trastevere.

Across the river from Rome, Trastevere reflects the true Roman experience. Strolling aimlessly through Trastevere’s cobblestone streets will give you a real feel for how Romans live and will inspire you to hang out in the many restaurants and bars.

If you’re a fan of perfume and jewellery, you’ll love the shopping opportunities in Trastevere.

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Explore the Villa Borghese Gardens.

If you feel like you’ve seen enough historical architecture for one day, taking the time to relax and explore the Villa Borghese Gardens is the way to go.

Spanning over 200 acres, the Villa Borghese Gardens is the third largest park in the city and is also home to the Gallery of National Modern Art and the Borghese Gallery. Follow the numerous paths and trails, and explore the picturesque gardens at your leisure.

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Go shopping in Via Condotti or the Campo de’ Fiori market.

There’s no denying just how incredible the fashion is in Rome, and luckily for travellers, there’s plenty of places to shop. Via Condotti is one of Rome’s most popular shopping destinations and is known for its designer boutiques and high-end fashion.

If you’re looking to sample the local fresh produce, a visit to the Campo de’ Fiori market is a truly immersive cultural experience.

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Find Aventino’s secret keyhole.

In a place as old as Rome, it makes sense that there are hidden gems dotted throughout the city.

Purposefully lacking any distinctive features, the secret keyhole is located on Aventine Hill and has a fantastic view of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Lined with gorgeous greenery, the secret keyhole is found in a centuries-old building and is guaranteed to take your breath away.

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Watch the sunset on Gianicolo.

Known for its stunning panoramic views, Gianicolo is the highest vantage point for travellers who want a birds-eye view of the city of Rome.

Gather with your friends and family at dusk to watch the sunset, and see if you can make out Rome’s most famous monuments. On a day with good visibility – you should be able to get a fantastic view of the city!

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Visit the cat sanctuary

If you love animals, then the cat sanctuary at Largo di Torre Argentina is the perfect place to visit. Now a popular destination for tourists, the cat sanctuary is located on an archaeological site with a dark history. As the site of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, the cat sanctuary is a much more positive experience than its previous history.

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Admire the Pantheon from the inside.

The Pantheon, which translates to ‘Temple for all the Gods’, is an ancient temple built between 118 and 128 AD.

Famous for being the only architecturally perfect building in the world, the Pantheon is the resting place of hundreds of Rome’s most prominent figures, including Roman kings. Travellers can walk in the Pantheon, and we highly recommend you do so.

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Explore the city on a Vespa.

With so much to do and see in Rome, taking it all in whilst riding a Vespa is the ultimate Roman experience. Travellers can do guided tours on Vespas, with the local guides taking you to all the best spots in the city. Whether you love food, art or architecture, you will be able to reach your destination on a Vespa.

This is just a small sample of what Rome has to offer. There are hundreds of things to do in Rome for people of all ages with different interests, tastes and hobbies. With so much to see and do, make sure you leave plenty of time to experience the best that Rome has to offer. There has never been a better time to ‘Make It Real’.

We all know about Naples, home of the pizza, but just a few kilometres off the coast you’ll find the island of Procida, a hidden gem with lots to offer those looking for some much needed relaxation.

As tourists often flock to the Italian islands of Capri or Ischia, the colourful island of Procida serves as a great destination for those who enjoy a relaxed picturesque holiday.

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Stroll down Marina Grande

If you love a waterfront view, then Marina Grande is perfect for you. Marina Grande is the main tourist port in Procida and can only be accessed by boat or ferry, unless you are flying in by helicopter. Upon arriving at the port, you will be greeted with a shoreline of homes all painted in various shades of pink, blue, yellow, red and orange. Traditionally, these colours helped the fisherman distinguish the homes on the port from their boats, but on the less practical side of things, the colours also create a wonderful attraction.
Upon arriving in Procida through the ports you will have convenient access to Via Roma, Porcida’s main street which is the home to a variety of reputable cafes with many having a long-standing history. If you’re looking for somewhere specific to have lunch then consider La Medusa, a restaurant that has been feeding tourists of Procida since 1954. Be sure not to miss washing down your meal with a quick stop at Bar Roma for an espresso and some of the best pastry you will ever taste.
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Admire the architecture

Though Procida might be a tiny spot, it’s been crowned as Italy’s Capital of Culture for 2022, making it the first island to ever win the title. Taking aside the lively and colourful homes that are spread across the island, Procida also has many idyllic churches that have stood for centuries. The 18th-century church Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pièta and the 1679 mustard-yellow church Santa Maria delle Grazie are particularly beautiful and are a must-visit. While you’re there, be sure to have a wander inside as these churches look just as good on the inside as they do out.
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Take it to the top at Terra Murata

Terra Murata is a fortified medieval stronghold which sits at the highest point and northern tip of the island. From up here, you will be granted two exquisite viewpoints of the island’s most panoramic views: candy-coloured Coricella on the west, and the Gulf of Naples to the east.
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Black sand beaches

You can go anywhere to see tan sands and crystal clear waters, but Spiaggia Pozzovecchio boasts crystal clear waters are accompanied by unique black sand that can be found in very few places in the world. Take refuge under a beach umbrella and simply enjoy what this beach has to offer.
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Lido di Procida

Once you’ve had your black sand fix, don’t forget to check out the other beaches in Procida. As this island is a hidden gem, there are always plenty of beach umbrellas and spots on the sand to go around so you can sit back and relax. Lido di Procida is a beach further south on the island with fantastic bathing station amenities, and a bar and restaurant serving pizza to satisfy your taste for Italy.
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Take a boat ride

Ferry and boat trips to other islands and the City of Naples from Procida can easily be done in under an hour. This stylish mode of transportation not only gives you accessibility to other locations, but you will also get to sit back and enjoy the sights.
On your next visit to Italy, you can’t leave Procida off the list. This beautiful island is tranquil and gets you away from the hustle and bustle of typical tourist locations, all while giving you the Italian experience in a traditional sense.

At one point or another, you’ve likely heard of the Colosseum – the massive amphitheatre in Rome that attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Known for its beauty and rich history, the Colosseum is estimated to have been built somewhere between 72 and 80 AD under Emperor Vespasian, and is a testament to the architecture and engineering of the time.

Whilst there’s still a lot we’ll never know about the Colosseum, here are some of the most interesting facts:

1

The Colosseum changed names due to its size.

Before it was known worldwide as the Colosseum, the architectural site was called the Flavian Amphitheatre. The people of Rome felt that the original name didn’t do the Colosseum justice, and began referring to the amphitheatre as ‘il Colosseo’ for one main reason – it was colossal.

The Colosseum is still the largest amphitheatre in the world, measuring 189 metres in length, 156 metres in width and 50 metres in height. For reference, the Colosseum is approximately the height of a 12-storey building and can hold a football pitch inside of it. Now, that’s certainly colossal!

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There is a network of underground tunnels and rooms underneath the Colosseum.

As grand as the Colosseum was (and still is) above ground, there’s a lot going on under the surface, including approximately thirty trap doors. Excitingly for travellers, the underground areas of the Colosseum were recently opened to the public, meaning we now have the opportunity to get a taste of what life was like underneath the Colosseum all those thousands of years ago.

What we do know for sure is that the underground of the Colosseum was used to temporarily house animals and gladiators, ready for them to be unleashed during a battle or for entertainment.

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The Colosseum is one of the world’s Seven Wonders.

It’s no surprise that an amphitheatre of this age and size should be in contention to be recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but even after thousands of years, it was recently given the title. In 2007, the Colosseum was finally given this prestigious title.

It was also recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 80s – and rightfully so!

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The first games were held in 80 AD.

Emperor Titus, Emperor Vespasian’s son, held the first games at the Colosseum in 80 AD, running every day for 100 days. This continued for centuries, with the fifth century commonly known for the gladiatorial games and the sixth century known for mass animal hunts.

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A lot of life was lost at the Colosseum.

Unfortunately, we can’t be proud of everything that happened at the Colosseum, despite its beauty and fascinating history.

It is estimated that one million animals were killed during the games and battles at the Colosseum, including animals imported from other countries for the games. Sadly, the animals that were killed were magnificent beasts, including bears, rhinos, hippos, elephants, tigers and giraffes.

It is also estimated that approximately half a million human lives were lost as a result of the games and battles, with humans taking on animals and each other as a popular spectacle.

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The Colosseum looked after spectators.

Often major events were free for spectators, meaning that Emperors organised and paid for their guest’s entertainment.

Free food would also be served at some events and an awning, also known as a velarium, could be used to shade the seating areas to protect spectators from the sun.

The games and battles at the Colosseum were used to help Emperors gain popularity and support from commoners and the elite.

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Soldiers used the Colosseum to train for water battles.

In case of war, Roman soldiers needed practice battling enemies on water.

The Colosseum was intelligently engineered to include an intricate plumbing system underneath. This plumbing system could flood the entire arena, ensuring that Roman soldiers had the opportunity to prepare for real sea battles in the future.

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