The Calabrian coastline in southern Italy is home to a number of picturesque towns and villages, each with their own unique charm and character. One such town is Scalea, a hidden gem that has managed to escape the tourist crowds and maintain its traditional way of life.
Scalea is located on the western coast of Calabria, nestled between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the rugged Apennine Mountains. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Scalea has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the ancient Greeks who first settled the area. Over the centuries, the town was ruled by various different civilizations, including the Romans, the Normans, and the Spanish. Today, the town’s rich history is evident in its many historic landmarks and buildings, such as the Castello Aragonese, a 16th-century fortress that dominates the town’s skyline.
Despite its long history, Scalea has managed to remain largely untouched by modern development. The town’s narrow, winding streets are lined with traditional homes and shops, giving visitors a glimpse of what life in Italy was like centuries ago. The local cuisine is also steeped in tradition, with many restaurants and cafes serving up classic dishes such as fresh seafood and homemade pasta.
One of the highlights of any visit to Scalea is the town’s beautiful beaches. The main beach, known as Spiaggia di Scalea, stretches for over 2 kilometers along the coast and is lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants. The water here is crystal-clear and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
Another must-see attraction in Scalea is the Palazzo dei Principi, a stunning 18th-century palace that was once the summer residence of the Prince of Scalea. The palace is now open to the public and houses a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the town.
For those who enjoy hiking and outdoor activities, Scalea is also a great destination. The surrounding mountains are home to a number of scenic trails and nature reserves, where visitors can explore the area’s flora and fauna and take in breathtaking views of the coastline.
In addition to its natural beauty and rich history, Scalea is also home to a number of unique traditions and customs. One of the most interesting of these is the town’s annual “Fiera di San Giacomo,” a week-long festival that takes place every July. The festival is dedicated to the town’s patron saint, San Giacomo, and features a variety of cultural events, including live music, parades, and street performances.
Another interesting tradition in Scalea is the “La ‘Ndocciata,” a spectacular fire festival that takes place every December. During the festival, locals carry large torches through the streets of the town, creating a stunning spectacle of light and sound.
Overall, Scalea is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the traditional way of life in southern Italy. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just relaxing on the beach, this charming town has something to offer everyone. So why not plan a visit and discover the beauty and charm of Scalea for yourself?