The Bay of Naples’ smallest island is also its best-kept secret. Off the mass-tourist radar, Procida is like the Portofino prototype and is refreshingly real. August aside – when beach-bound mainlanders flock to its shores – its narrow, sun-bleached streets are the domain of the locals: kids clutch fishing rods, parents push prams and old seafolk swap yarns. Here, the hotels are smaller, fewer waiters speak broken German and the island’s welcome hasn't been changed by a tidal wave of visitors.
If you have the time, Procida is an ideal place to explore on foot. The most compelling areas (and where you will also find most of the hotels, bars and restaurants) are Marina Grande, Marina Corricella and Marina di Chiaiolella. Beaches are not plentiful here, apart from the Lido di Procida, where, aside from August, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some towel space.