Wednesday, 10 August 2016


We decided to have a little adventure one day and took the train from Tropea to Scilla which is on the Reggio di Calabria line. And a very efficient train service it was too, taking just over an hour and a quarter with a change at Rosarno. Although not very well air conditioned, so a little hot, the train was comfortable the staff helpful, our only tip would be to note that after purchasing tickets from the machine at the station you need to validate them on another machine for travel that day. This is the line you would take if travelling to Sicily and from Scilla you can look across the Strait of Messina to the island. 

Scilla splits into three parts - the beach area of Marina Grande which is where the train comes into, the Castello Ruffo which sits on the top of the cliff between the beach area and the fisherman's district of Chianalea which is where we were headed.  It is a 15 minute walk from the station along the sea front and round the base of the promontory where the castle sits. As you pass through the small harbour area you are greeted by the sight of buildings rising from the sea with walls in muted earthy tones of orange and yellow. 

This ancient fisherman's enclave is really different to the rest of the town and has a magical  almost piratical atmosphere.  Small fishing boats are moored in the clear, clear waters at the base of little streets which edge into the sea.

Restaurants are built on decks with the waters lapping below and serve wonderful local delicacies. Scilla's fishing heritage is evident everywhere and particularly in the restaurants where the local delicacy of pesce spada (swordfish) is well worth trying. 

Scilla is billed as one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy" and definitely lives up to this description.   The tiny slipways with water lapping at the base of the houses are mesmerising and one can't help but wonder what it is like when a storm hits. It reminded me of Robin Hoods Bay, but with the sun.

Sited as it is between the cliffs and the sea, there is only one main street that runs the length of the area and has shops, cafes and bars along it's length. Well worth a stroll along with plenty of stops to admire the views.

We didn't have time to explore the fortress Castello Ruffo, which I am sure offers the most amazing views of Sicily and the Calabrian coast, but promised ourselves we will visit again.


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