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Victoria Springfield invites you to Italy!

  • Submitted: 26th May 2024

Victoria Springfield invites you to Italy!

Oh get the suncream out and take a seat by the sea. The gelato is on its way and so is the boat to Procida island! Victoria is there to take us on a journey you will never forget!

My latest book Invitation to Italy is a tale of new beginnings and letting go set on the idyllic sun-drenched island of Procida. It is my fourth book to be based in Italy and I don’t plan on changing countries anytime soon. The sunshine, the scenery, the history and the sheer variety of places in Italy keep inspiring me.

Locations in Invitation to Italy

Invitation to Italy Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

Covering less than 2 square miles Procida is the least known and smallest of the three islands just off the coast of Naples. There’s a very authentic unspoiled atmosphere. There are no big sights, just colourful houses, vibrant harbours, volcanic dark sand beaches, sleepy piazzas, many churches of all shapes and sizes. In my story, Abi’s 12-year-old daughter, Chloe is invited to spend the summer on the island with her ex-husband and his new fiancée Marisa. Persuaded by her best friend, Cherry, Abi follows Chloe to the island and checks into Loretta’s Hotel Paradiso. A small island is a perfect place for holding big emotions and family secrets…

Author on Procida ( c) Victoria Springfield

Author on Procida ( c) Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

I first discovered Procida on a day trip from Ischia but parts were familiar from the film The Talented Mr Ripley (the version with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow). In fact, the street near the Piazza dei Martiri where I imagine Marisa’s parents living appears in the film. Although it’s perfectly feasible to do a day trip to the island (take the ferry from Naples or Ischia) it’s really worth staying longer. You’ll want to soak up the atmosphere, there’s something to look at on every corner. Also the food is fantastic: fresh fish, seafood and pasta. The island produces its own wine and you must try the local signature lemon-filled pastries with your coffee.

Procida street ( c) Victoria Springfield

Procida street ( c) Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

The prettiest part of the island is the Marina Corricella where plenty of the action in Invitation to Italy takes place. Think pastel colour houses and bustling restaurants! Unfortunately, Loretta’s charming hotel is a figment of my imagination. We did however stay in a small hotel overlooking the marina for three nights. Like Loretta I got up early and took a stroll with only the odd fisherman, prowling cats and seagulls for company.

Marina Corricella ( c) Victoria Springfield

Marina Corricella ( c) Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

A great way to see a lot of the island is to go on a round island boat trip. I was lucky to do this when we were just coming out of covid restrictions. My husband and I were the only two aboard and our skipper told us so much about the scenery, history and culture. I was scribbling away frantically marking everything on an island map as he spoke. This was invaluable for the scene where Abi, fellow guest Bill and Chloe do the same trip. I tend to come back from Italy with notes scribbled on all sorts of strange scraps – receipts, paper bags etc.

Marina ( c) Victoria Springfield

Marina ( c) Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

One of the most interesting parts of the island is the oldest and highest part – the Terra Murata. This is where Abi and Bill first get to know each other. They enjoy admiring the views and visiting the ancient Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo. From the Terra Murata you can see right across the island from one side to the other and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Marina Corricella – it really is something!

Abbey San Michele ( c) Victoria Springfield

Abbey San Michele ( c) Victoria Springfield

Locations in Invitation to Italy

From Procida you can reach the Amalfi Coast where ceramic importer Bill has business contacts. He and Abi go over to Vietri sul Mare on a rather eventful day trip. The town is really unusual: shop fronts and walls covered in colourful patterned tiles wherever you look. You’ll also spot the traditional green ceramic donkeys, symbol of the town. Conveniently Vietri sul Mare has its own train station so it’s easy to reach.

Vietri Sul Mare ceramic shops ( c) Victoria Springfield

Vietri Sul Mare ceramic shops ( c) Victoria Springfield

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Invitation to Italy

Twitter: @VictoriaSwrites

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