Scilla was my first stop on this trip to Calabria. It is considered one of the prettiest towns along the southwest coast although for me Tropea wears the crown (more of which later). I just stopped by because it was on the way to the town I was working in, so I arrived in the country a day earlier than I was supposed to and stayed for 36 hours of R&R.
My map is here.
It’s divided into two parts; first there is the beach area…
… which has a wide lungomare.
Then you come to the pretty Castillo Ruffo sitting high on a rocky headland. Legend has it the rock was the home of the Syclla sea monster in Homer’s Odyssey.
Passing under the castle you arrive first at the small harbour…
…before you come to Chianalea, the lovely old fisherman’s district.
There is only one very narrow street leading through Chianalea.
It seems like every nook and cranny is in use here.
On my first evening I had a magical experience eating at this restaurant…
Glauco (Intermediate A+), 95 Via Annunziata, www.glaucoscilla.com
This excellent restaurant was the Trip Advisor #1 at the time of writing.
I arrived as soon as they opened at 8pm to snag a good table and as it was a midweek night in May (this place will be heaving in July/August) I got a table looking out over the sea where I could watch the sunset over the castle.
The cruise ships coming from Reggio had a similar idea but once they had sailed past the castle they turned in front of my view and headed out to sea, probably towards the Aeolian Islands of Lipari and Stromoboli, which were just about visible on the horizon.
My happiness was made even more complete by the arrival of some excellent seafood alongside a chilled bottle of white in an ice bucket.
I really enjoyed the Chardonnay/Greco blend called Costa Viola by Crisera (B+).
I started with the Antipasto Misto di Mare; marinated octopus, tuna and swordfish, all delicious (A).
Alongside this, some stuffed squid, a fish ball and some mashed fish and potato creation which looked lovely but in terms of flavour were just okay (B).
And continued with the Trofie con Frutti di Mare, which turned out to be just pasta with some mussels and tomato, but it was superb (A+).
With a Limoncello, the total came to 55€, worth every penny for a perfect moment in terms of food and location.
Il Casito (Intermediate B), 25 Via Annunziata, www.ilcasatoscilla.it
This was the Tripadvisor #2 in 2017.
It’s okay food wise (B) but I would have had a better experience if I’d reserved a table on their outdoor terrace which is built over the sea.
Unfortunately it was Sunday and the whole place had been booked out for lunch by the locals. Get in quick is the lesson.
I had the Compose di Mare, which is a posh way of describing an Antipasto di Misto similar to what I had above. It was all fine (B).
I wasn’t that keen on the ‘5 Generazioni’ Greco Bianco white wine from Tramontana (C) but at least it was cheap.
Fileja con Vongole, Zucchine e Pesto al Pistacchio, an unusual local pasta with clams, courgettes and a pistachio pesto, was interesting but sadly had little flavour (C).
To finish the Semi-Freddo alla Zabaglione con Amaretti e Cioccolato went down very well (B+).
A good place but I think Glauco is better.
Casa Vela (Elementary B+), Via Annunziata, www.casavelascilla.it
I only came to this place for a drink while I was waiting for Glauco to open and ended up really liking it. The location seems very popular as all the tables on the street had been reserved.
The friendly owner serving gave me a glass of an excellent white called Critone by Librandi, which was made of a blend of non-indigenous grapes (B+).
His olives were fantastic too (B+).
Casa Vela was one of the B&Bs I considered staying in (many didn’t reply as it was the off season) but eventually I chose a room at the Hotel U’Bais www.ubais.it near the beach. It was fine for 50€ a night but nothing special (C+).
Final tip: don’t trust the changing rooms at the beach bars.
And that was my brief break in Scilla. It’s a very pleasant spot but a couple of days were enough for me. It was certainly much cheaper than Lyon where I’d just come from so a good place for a few days cheap holiday. Off to work in Cittanova next…