August in Procida: Caught on Film

One amateur photographer goes in search of a Kodak disposable – the perfect camera with which to soak up the faded pastels of Italy’s 2022 Capital of Culture.

Procida is a photographer's dream. The cinematic allure starts with the slow approach by boat across the milky waters from Naples at dawn. It continues with the dappled light in the lemon groves, the crumbling villas, the hidden beaches, and that moment of recognition as you find yourself strolling through Marina Corricella - the film set for Anthony Minghella's adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley. Finally, the images find substance in the people you see on this tiny island: Vespa drivers delivering crates of peaches and joyously wrinkled Italian grandparents, swimming and sunbathing and eating spaghetti alle vongole on the beach for days.

Procida's aesthetic is old-school, and it's not somewhere you want to be without a decent supply of film. I came woefully unprepared. The day after landing on the island, having used up all my photos on light-drenched beach shots, I went scouring the island's tabacchi shops for some back-up. I struck gold in Piazza dei Martiri, where I purchased four disposable Kodak cameras covered in a layer of sticky dust. They were what the Italians call "usa e getta" - use and chuck. Their "use by" dates had long since expired, but their availability speaks volumes about the island's nostalgic appeal.

For the rest of the week, we camped among olive trees just metres from the beach and relaxed into the Procida pace of life as I rolled and clicked and rolled and clicked.

Visit our Pocket Guide to Procida to discover more of Italy's 2022 Capital of Culture, or follow @phoebetravelpig for more of the photographer's updates.

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