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    Scilla - Venice of the South

    Scilla is a small village in the province of Reggio Calabria, one of the most charming and characteristic of Italy, that rises on a high rocky peak over the sea. Scilla is an important tourist resort of the Violet Coast, so-called because of the colour that water reflects at particular times of the day. Scilla enchants visitors with its Castle overlooking the sea, the colourful houses leaning on each other, the views of the Strait of Messina and Sicily.

    The magic of this place, especially at sunset, when the daylight begins to fade and the first lights of the evening come on, is a spectacle that is not to be missed.

    Scilla’s most ancient and impressive part is the hamlet of Chianalea, also called little Venice due to its position almost immersed in the sea. Houses, close to one another and separated by tiny alleys, seem to emerge directly from the blue sea, resting their foundations precisely on the rocks. The “antico borgo” or old town is a succession of streets that feature churches and fountains, overlooked from above by the austere Castello dei Ruffo.

    View of Scilla

    Full of history and mystery, the town of Scilla has ancient origins that relate mainly to the period of the destruction of Troy and invokes the myths and legends of Ulysses with Scylla and Charybdis, of Homer and Dante Alighieri. The town’s name derives from the mythological figure of Scylla, a young nymph who refused Glauco’s love He thus went to the sorceress Circe, who was in love with him, and ask her to help him win Scylla’s heart. The offended sorceress poisoned the sea-pool where the nymph used to bathe, turning her into a horrific six dog-headed monster who destroyed every ship crossing the Strait of Messina.

    In Scilla, the trip from the sea to the mountains is very short. In just a few minutes, crossing the various heights of Melia, we arrive at Gambarie, in the area of Santo Stefano d'Aspromonte; a famous ski resort in the south of Italy, especially known for offering skiing with the sea as a backdrop.

    Old Town


    Beaches and Village

    The coastline near Scilla offers small secluded beaches and of difficult access but also more spacious beaches equipped with every modern comfort.

    The most famous and visited beach throughout Scilla is undoubtedly that of Marina Grande; a long sandy beach with spa establishments as well as sun umbrellas, sunbeds, but also bars, restaurants and many typical meeting points. The beach is bordered by imposing cliffs that plunge deep into the sea, creating quite an impressive landscape. Near Marina Grande we also find the beach of Punta Paci, especially suitable for scuba-diving enthusiasts. In this area the seabed has quite a drop and its pristine waters are particularly rich in flora and fauna; a true paradise for all those who enjoy swimming, also simply by snorkeling. Cala delle Rondini is a beach surrounded by an unspoilt environment, relatively quiet which allows to soak up the sun amidst a wonderful natural setting. This small cove is difficult to access and that is what makes it unique.

    One of the most beautiful beaches of Scilla, with the cleanest and most transparent water, is Spiaggia delle Sirene; very busy during the summer period, especially by those who love who love exceptional tide peaks and an enchanting seabed rich in marine life.

    Spiaggia delle Sirene


    Hamlet of Chianalea

    Chianalea, that has been described as a small “Venice of the South”, is a picturesque fishing village where houses seem to be emerging directly from the sea, alleys are caressed by the breeze and the air is filled with the sound of waves crashing on the rocks.

    Worthy of a visit is Chiesa di San Giuseppe (Church of San Giuseppe), a tiny church with its 100 seats which was once the chapel of the Convento dei Crociferi. The rite to the Saint dates back to the Eighteenth Century, when the priest Giuseppe Bova built an altar dedicated to St Joseph. Still today the rite is celebrated every year in the stretch of sea between the port of Scilla and the beach with a boat race, the “riatta”, which ends in opposite the church.

    Along the alleys that lead to the sea, visitors can admire the Palazzo Scategna and Palazzo Zagari, ancient aristocratic buildings of great worth. Typical of Chianalea are the apotropaic masks hung above the house doors. Today these masks are mostly ornamental, but once upon a time had the function of turning away evil spirits. Sights to see also include the ancient fountains and the churches of San Giuseppe and Santa Maria di Porto Salvo.


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