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Scilla, situated at the tip of the Calabria region, just under 20 kilometres from Reggio Calabria, is a fascinating town rooted in Greek mythology and maritime traditions. 

A town on the Strait of Messina

This picturesque town lies between the crystal-clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the slopes of the Aspromonte mountain range, offering breathtaking views and an atmosphere steeped in history and legend. The link between Scilla and the sea is inseparable. The waters of the Strait of Messina, with their unpredictable currents and depths rich in marine life, have always been a fundamental resource for the inhabitants of this town. Maritime traditions, handed down from generation to generation, live on through fishing and the numerous celebrations held throughout the year.

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Chianalea, the fishermen's district

One of Scilla's most characteristic districts is Chianalea, also known as The Venice of the South and considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. This ancient fishing village has houses built directly on the rocks, overlooking the sea. The narrow streets of Chianalea, lined with stone houses and with small boats moored at the quays, create a fascinating labyrinth where time seems to stand still. Walking along cobbled streets you catch glimpses of colourful doors facing the sea, old wooden fishing boats and flower-decked balconies that give the quarter a romantic and authentic atmosphere. The transparent waters lapping Chianalea are a paradise for divers and snorkellers, offering the chance to explore the rich marine ecosystem.

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The August swordfish hunting ritual  

Scilla is also famous for its traditional swordfish hunting, an ancient practice now controlled and carried out with respect for the fish and the sea, that takes place in the waters of the Strait of Messina. This tradition, which has its roots in antiquity, is a ritual that combines skill, knowledge of the sea and a deep respect for nature. Swordfish hunting takes place during the summer months, when the fish migrate through the Strait to reproduce. Scylla’s fishermen still use felucca rowing boats with a long central mast, from which a crew member, the helmsman, spots the swordfish. The fishermen then silently approachs, and the harpooner throws his harpoon with precision and dexterity. This practice, besides representing a source of livelihood for the local community has, over time, become a tourist attraction, luring visitors curious to witness the fascinating spectacle. The swordfish hunt is celebrated every year in August with a festival that pays tribute to the fishermen and their tradition, offering tourists the chance to taste typical dishes based on fresh swordfish.

Golden beaches, history, culture and nature 

Today Scilla is a popular tourist destination, combining ancient traditions with the demands of modern tourism. The beaches of Marina Grande, with their golden sand and well-equipped lidos, offer relaxation and comfort to those seeking a sea and sun break. Ruffo Castle, dominating the town from the top of a promontory, is another must-see and offers spectacular panoramic views of the coast and the Strait. Scilla, with its unique mix of history, culture and natural beauty, is an ideal destination for anyone wishing to discover the authentic soul of Calabria. The Chianalea district and the tradition of swordfish hunting are just two of the many aspects that make this a fascinating and unforgettable place. You can reach Scilla from Reggio Calabria by train www.trenitalia.it or by car.To get to Reggio Calabria by plane there are many domestic and international flights  https://www.reggiocalabriaairport.it/ and it is also accessible by train. For information: https://turismo.reggiocal.it/  

Published in Cities & Regions

Hidden amidst the evocative landscapes of the province of Palermo (Sicily), the Gole di Tiberio are in a UNESCO geopark gorge.  

A canyon about an hour's drive from Palermo

Located in the beautiful setting of Sicily’s Madonie Mountains, a protected area since 1981 and a UNESCO Global Network of Geoparks since 2015, the gorges combine the wild beauty of mountain landscapes with the excitement of guided raft excursions.  Named after the Roman emperor Tiberius, who is said to have frequented them for hunting, the gorges are about an hour's drive from Palermo in the northern part of Sicily. Situated 100m above sea level, the area had been carved out over millennia by the Pollina, the only navigable river in the area, and that leads down to the sea. Set between the mountains, there are breathtaking vistas and the area is a natural refuge for varied flora and fauna.

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Inflatable boats to admire rock carvings

The gorges offer a wide range of activities, including hiking, climbing, birdwatching and, above all, guided raft tours along the Pollina River. These activities have been joined by the fastest zipline in Italy, with a length of 1600m, a maximum height of 300m and a maximum speed of 130km/h. The most exciting way to explore the Gole di Tiberio is to take a guided raft trip with an experienced and qualified guide, exploring hidden caves, bathing in natural pools and admiring spectacular waterfalls and rock carvings dating back millennia that tell ancient stories and reveal the ancient links between man and the land.  

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The wild beauty of Sicilian nature

In addition to their historical and scenic importance, the Gole di Tiberio are also a unique ecosystem that is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are rare and protected.  The gorges are an unforgettable experience, and with their untapped tourism potential, they are a unique opportunity to discover a hidden corner in the province of Palermo. For information: https://goleditiberio.com/

Published in Experiences & Tips

La Corte dei Mari in Messina is on 4500 sq mt of beach, faces the Strait of Messina (Sicily).

Ideal for weddings, gala dinners and corporate and private events

With its beach and terraces this restaurant, which is just ten minutes from the port and two minutes from the Regional Museum, is ideal for multiple uses from conferences, gala dinners and weddings, to private and corporate events. Open all year round, it boasts two large panoramic rooms and there is a convenient parking area, also for tour buses. 

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A Sicilian tasting menu with wines and a folk show

The package of La Corte dei Mari for visitors making a cruise stopover in Messina includes a transfer from the ship and a typical Sicilian tasting menu with a selection of Sicilian wines. Guests are entertained by a show with the Peloritani Canterini and a parade of traditional costumes. The restaurant is open all year round. For information: www.lacortedeimari.it

Published in Food&Wine
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