Scilla (pronounced sheella) is a stunningly-located fishing village in the Calabria region, in the south of Italy, on the toe of Italy’s boot. A rocky spur topped with an ancient fortress separates two narrow strips of seashore hemmed in by steep hillsides. Scilla is squeezed into this restricted and picturesque landscape and it is an unforgettable sight.
Scilla is straight out of myths; it is traditionally the home of the fearsome monster Scylla who, along with Charybdis (over the sea towards Sicily) guarded the narrow Strait of Messina and menaced Odysseus / Ulysses as he sailed by. According to the town’s tourist information leaflet “the origins of the castle date back to Ulysses”. Even if you don’t believe the mythological connections, the geography of Scilla’s castle on a commanding outcrop guarding the entrance to this important shipping route must have made it an important site for millennia.
Today Scilla is a pretty little town where visitors can relax on the beach and visit different touristic attractions
ATTRACTIONS IN SCILLA
Marina di Scilla
The main attraction in Scilla is the beach front. The town is situated on the coast of Calabria between the slopes of the mountain Aspromonte and the Tyrrhenian Sea and its waters are cooled down in summer by the strait draughts. Plenty of tourists visit the town during the summer months and that’s why there are a lot of restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels near the beach. I fuochi di mezzanotte, or midnight fireworks, take place in August 16th at this beach, during the festival of San Rocco, who is the patron saint of the town and several people from Calabria and Sicily visit Scilla to attend this festival.
Chinalea in Scilla is one of the favorite district visited by tourists. This tiny fishermen village is where the real Scilla can be experienced because of its natural life style based on the typical ancient life of people from South Italy. Plenty of local fishermen live in this part of the town, and the area is characterized by narrow streets lined with small, charming houses. At any time of the day, fishermen can be seen sitting outside mending their nets or chatting with each other.
Scaro Allaggio is another place in Scilla where visitors can see local fishermen mending their boats, as this is the part of town where they anchor them.
At sunset the view from Scaro Allaggio is really beautiful.
Scatena Palace is located close to Scaro Alaggio. The palace is three stories high and has a beautiful architecture. It has two rows of stone balconies that have a square shape and visitors can admire its beautiful architectural details
Villa Zagari is another beautiful architectural wonder. The villa was built in 1933 and although it isn’t very old, it has interesting architecture that provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of some of the wealthier residents of the town.
The Ruffo Castle
The most visited location in Scilla, after the beach, is the Ruffo Castle. The castle is built on a high cliff looking over to the imposing rocks and the azure waters of the sea. The castle was originally built for military purposes but had later been converted into a residential property in 1532 by Paolo Ruffo, the earl. Paolo Ruffo took over Scilla in 1532 and spent his next few years in this castle. From the castle visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the coast of Sicily and the Eolian Islands.
MOVING AROUND SCILLA
Scilla is a small town and the main attraction is the beach front. This part of the town can be easily explored on foot. During the summer months, dozens of tourists can stroll around leisurely along the beaches and during the weekends you can also meet the locals, mainly in the evenings. Visitors can also use the public buses that operate in town even if those who have their own cars can drive around the town easily.