Comune di Scilla
Scilla is known as one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages in Italy, a popular destination for tourists and artists from all around the world. It is also one of the most sought-after seaside locations in the whole of Calabria, a sea village that can boast a particularly rich history and a centuries-long fishing tradition. Its territory stretches up from the seaside to the foot of the Aspromonte mountain range, from where many handy-crafting traditions, typical cultivations and food customs have been drawn. The hamlet of Chianalea is a particularly fascinating part of Scilla, a community of fishers where most of the houses are brushed by the seawater, creating the romantic and dream-like atmosphere that has earned this village the reputation of a “small Calabrian Venice”.
The Marina Grande is another splendid feature of Scilla, a wonderful 800-metre shore provided with both full-equipped lidos and segments of public beach; the seabed in this area presents an abundant and varied fish fauna, many algae and mollusks as well as precious black corals. The Ruffo Castle overlooks the navy-blue sea from a massive, towering cliff, which was chosen as a strategic post by the Etruscans in the 7th century b.C., and turned into a fortified area during the Magna Graecia period, when it was provided with defensive structures which would be later extended by the Romans.
The 15th-century Scategna Palace and many of the old 17th- and 18th-century buildings are still in good conditions, contributing to enhance the beauty of this little village. One of the more precious of these architectural gems can be admired in the Marina Grande area: it is the Church of the Holy Spirit, an officially proclaimed national monument hosting a high altar made of several different kinds of marble. The “Descent of the Holy Spirit”, a 1799 altar piece by the Borbones’ court painter Francesco Celebrano, is placed in the centre of the altar structure. Quite abruptly, the sea in Scilla gives way to the mountain area: only a few kilometres separate the plains of the district of Melia from Gambarie, a well-known ski resort in the territory of Santo Stefano d’Aspromonte.