Hotels to remember: Scalea

Scalea: introduction

Scalea Hotel

On the Riviera dei Cedri, just a few kilometers South of Praia a Mare, lies Scalea. The town stretches out over the hillside in a series of terraces, and from where it gazes out to sea.

Although the origins of this popular bathing resort, famous for the clear blue waters which lap its shores, date back as far as the Palaeolithic age, it was during the Norman, Anjevin and Aragon dominions that it reached its maximum splendour. Scalea is, in fact, a fortified medieval town, erected so as to defend against attacks from the sea. The historic center contains numerous examples of medieval architecture such as the magnificent Palazzo dei Principi, dating back to the 13th century.

In the Northern part of the town there is the castle watch tower, known as "Judah's tower" ("Torre di Giuda"), name given after the guardian of the tower favoured Anurat Rays attack on Scalea, attack in which the Prince of Scalea, Francesco Spinelli lost his life. One of a system of 337 coastal towers built to deter pirate incursions, Scalea's Talao Tower is built on a massif spur of rock which was once surrounded by water and now sits on dry land right on the beach.

Just South of the historic center there is the 15th century Aragon watch tower, known as the Torre Cimalonga, built to defend one of the entrance gates. Among Scalea's many churches, San Nicola di Platea is, without doubt, the oldest: the original structure dating back to the 8th century.

Itineraries and travel ideas

Scalea: places to see in the area