Unknown Italian Villages: “Scilla”

Calabrian Coast near Capo Vaticano

Calabrian Coast near Capo Vaticano

OK, so you have visited the major sights in Rome, Florence, Venice, you’ve even been on the Cinque Terre hiking trail; and are familiar with the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast; you have rented a villa in the Chianti wine area, but the bug to see more of Italy is still with you. You are looking for a new destination that can draw your interest in a different way than the famous Italian highlights did, but you are not sure where this place is. Does it even exist?

Have you ever heard about Gerace Calabro, Pizzo Calabro, Locri, Tropea, Siderno, Pizzo, Altomonte, Scilla, or Palmi? Maybe not…….

Let’s start with Scilla, which is probably the best known of the Calabrian small towns. The city is located on theTyrrhenian Sea on a rocky and fretted coast where the legendary Ulysses was once drawn by the singing of sirens. It offers a ruggedly beautiful view from Capo Vaticano (southernmost point) up to the gulf of Policastro (northernmost point).

This fishing village sits on a rocky promontory on the eastern coast of the Messina Strait, overlooked by the imposing Ruffo Castle.

The houses that form the ancient nucleus of the village cling to the cliffs almost touching the sea. In the “rione Chinalea” as the locals call this part of the village there is a small beach of fine white sandy where you can still see the fishing boats that are used for the Sword fish “hunt’. The harvest resembles hunting rather than fishing because of the traditional techniques used.

There are a couple of restaurants that are very popular and respected, the Ristorante Glauco is known for its simple tasty cuisine based on the fresh fish served there. Some of their specialties are “Risotto ai Gamberi” (seafood risotto) and “Fiori di Zucca” (zucchini flowers) but their sword fish is to die for as well.
“Il Ristorante la Pescatora” is famous for their “Tagliatelle al Gambero Rosso” (tagliatelle, flat long pasta with red shrimp) and “Linguine alla Pescatora” (seafood linguine)

Good wines to match these dishes are the local “Cerasuolo” a light red wine that pairs perfectly with grilled fish and the “Costa Viola” that is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Greco, dry and with good body, that is the perfect companion for shellfish.

You can get there:
• by train with stop at Villa San Giovanni or Reggio Calabria a little bit farther down the coast.
• by car A3 highway exit at Scilla.
• by air via Reggio Calabria airport close with limited service, or Lamezia Terme about 90 minutes drive with service from all over Italy and Europe.

More information on this fishing village can be found at Scilla on line.

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