Scilla is located in the Calabria region of Italy, in the province of Reggio Calabria. The town is spread over an area of 43 sq km and has a population of close to 5163. Scilla is mainly famous as the site of Scylla, a sea monster from Greek mythology. The town lies close to the Strait of Messina, 22 km from Reggio Calabria.
The beach front of Scilla is filled with restaurants and hotels since there are many tourists who visit the town. During the summer months, the town is crowded with tourists from the nearby area as well as from other parts of Italy. The other parts of the town are more traditional in nature, especially where the local residences are located.
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. The town is just north of Reggio Calabria and its waters are not cooled down in summer by the strait draughts, so there are plenty of tourists that visit the town during the summer months. This part of town has plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels. The Fuochi di Mezzanotte, or midnight fireworks, take place on August 16th at this beach, during the festival of San Rocco, who is the patron saint of the town. Several people from Calabria and Sicily visit Scilla to attend the festival.
Chinalea in Scilla is the district which is least visited by tourists, but is also the most interesting. This tiny fishermen village is where the real Scilla can be experienced. 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.
Palazzo Scatena 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 are square in shape and visitors can admire its various 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. The villa 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 count. Paolo Ruffo took over Scilla in 1532 and spent the next few years in this castle. From the castle visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the coast of Sicily and the Eolian Islands.
Getting to Scilla
Scilla is located close to Reggio Calabria which is very well connected to the cities in the region as well as to many destinations in other parts of Italy. Visitors coming from other regions in Italy can easily reach Reggio Calabria first and then reach Scilla by road or by bus. The state buses leave regularly for Scilla from Reggio Calabria as well as from many other destinations in the region. Visitors can also reach Scilla by car, driving down from Reggio Calabria would only take half an hour.
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 be seen strolling 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. Those who have their own cars can also drive around the town easily; there are several parking lots so parking is generally not a problem except for in the peak tourist seasons.
Stay and Accommodation
Because of the number of tourists that Scilla attracts, there are plenty of accommodation options in the town. The beach front of Scilla is lined with several hotels and bed & breakfasts. During the peak tourist season, these hotels tend to get filled up quite quickly and the rates climb up so it is recommended to book in advance. Some of the best known hotels in Scilla are Le Piccole Grotte, Hotel Krataiis, B&B Chianalea 54, B&B La Veduta, La Filanda and B&B Sunshine.
Eating in Scilla
Since Scilla is located close to the coast, almost every restaurant in the town serves fresh seafood. The local cuisine is heavily based on seafood, with swordfish or as it is known in Scilla, the Bagnara, widely used in local dishes. The fish is cooked in various ways, in sauce with maccheroni or simply fried in olive oil. Some of the best restaurants in Scilla are La Grotta Azzurra U Bais and Bleu De Tois.
Shopping in Scilla
There are plenty of places in Scilla where visitors can shop. Apart from the beach front area which has plenty of shops mainly targeted at tourists, there are also plenty of shops in the other districts of Scilla where visitors can shop for local items. Scilla is also famous for its wine which is made from Zibibbo grapes.