Welcome to Scilla – a fishermen little town, one of those romantic places in Calabria where you just feel like home and sometimes it seems like you could stay here forever.

An iconic view of Scilla and its castle - Ruffo.
An iconic view of Scilla and its castle – Ruffo.

Scilla is a small town in Calabria made famous by Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ for having two cruel monsters in its seawaters – Scylla and Charibdis. Although no one actually believes in these monsters, locals still might tell you that you can hear them in the night. In reality, the noise comes from the strait of Messina – its waters are sometimes so rough that the sound makes it seem like monsters dwell in the waters.

The beach in Scilla.
The beach in Scilla.

The town is only 20 kilometers away from the capital of Calabria, Reggio Calabria, and is located on the Tyrrhenian coast – the most visited part of Calabria by international tourists. Officially, the town is divided into three parts; first is San Giorgio, which is the historic center and the highest peak of the steep cliff that Scilla stands on (this guarantees a beautiful panorama from any looking point). The iconic sight of this town, Castle of Ruffo, stands on the highest point of the cliff. Next to the castle, there is the main church of Scilla – Matrice. And to the left of the castle is Marina di Scilla, a white sand beach with sunbeds, little shops, restaurants and bars along the coast. Needless to say, Scilla offers a good choice of B&Bs and hotels.

The Chianalea part of Scilla.
The Chianalea part of Scilla – right by the sea. 

The third part is the fishermen village of Chianalea. This scenic little village has houses right by the sea and streets that tangle all the way up and down from San Giorgio. Naturally, the menus boast fresh fish dishes, spoiling the local cats that saunter around meowing for leftovers. Try the local specialty – freshly caught swordfish, rent a boat to cruise along the coast, or simply relax on a terrace, sip chilled white wine and watch fishermen boats come in and out of the dock.

Beautiful tangled streets of Scilla.
Beautiful tangled streets of Chianalea.

Scilla is not big, but its perfect location makes it easy to travel around and see other beautiful places nearby. For example, Tropea and Capo Vaticano, the most famous beach destinations of Calabria are just 1.5 hours drive away. Besides, the direct train connection with Reggio Calabria makes it easily accessible from any other location in Calabria. It is quiet, relaxing and in our humble opinion, just perfect!  Except for the monsters. But they like it there as well. 😉

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