The origins of the island’s name have disappeared in the midst of reality and legend. One of the more evocative suggestions is that the name Procida comes from the Greek prochetai, i.e. “she lies”; in fact, a careful look at the shape of the island will show that it appears to be lying down, stretched out in the sea. Others consider the name to be derived from a wet nurse of Aeneas, called Procida, whom he buried here.
According to the most reliable sources, the first references to Procida date back to the eighth century BC, when Chalcian settlers coming from the island of Eubea landed there, bringing with them their cultural and artistic heritage. Immediately afterward this, the Greeks reached the island, leaving traces of their presence both in the roofed tombs commonly found in the area, as well as in place names such as Callia and Corricella, which today are two urban centres of exceptional architectural beauty.
Then came the turn of the Romans, who preferred dry land for a holiday location rather than the Phlegraean islands, whose volcanic nature lent itself poorly to the grandiose constructions of Roman architecture.
Only Capri, thanks to its limestone rocks, enjoyed the honour of rising to become an imperial site.