Scilla, Calabria

Scilla (Calabrian: U Scigghiu; Greek: Σκύλλα, romanizedSkýlla) is a town and comune in Calabria, Italy, administratively part of the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria. It is the traditional site of the sea monster Scylla of Greek mythology.


U Scigghiu  (Sicilian), Greek: Skýlla
Comune di Scilla
The Castle of Scilla.
The Castle of Scilla.
Coat of arms of Scilla
Coat of arms
Location of Scilla
Scilla is located in Italy
Location of Scilla in Italy
Scilla is located in Calabria
Scilla (Calabria)
Coordinates: 38°15′N 15°43′E / 38.250°N 15.717°E / 38.250; 15.717
Metropolitan cityReggio Calabria (RC)
FrazioniFavazzina, Melia, Solano Superiore
 • MayorCommissars
 • Total44.13 km2 (17.04 sq mi)
91 m (299 ft)
 (1 January 2017)[2]
 • Total4,901
 • Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0965
Patron saintSt. Roch
Saint dayAugust 16
WebsiteOfficial website


The town, 22 kilometres (14 mi) from the city of Reggio, lies in front of the strait of Messina, and is composed of two parts: the downtown, where the town offices and the residence of the patron saint are situated, and Marina di Scilla, the beach-front, populated by tourists and thus heavily characterized by hotels and restaurants. Its beach is the first place north of Reggio Calabria where the waters are not cooled by the strait draughts.

Scilla's coastal district of Chianalea is included in the I Borghi più belli d'Italia association of small Italian towns of historical interest list.[3]

The Ruffo Castle, a fortress built by the Dukes of Calabria, overlooks the beach. On a seaward-facing terrace is Scilla Lighthouse, an important aid to ships entering the Strait of Messina from the north.


It is said that Tyrrhenian pirates were the first to settle this coastal area in 493 BC, but others claim it was already settled during the time of the Trojan Wars in the 12th century BC.[4]

The town of Scilla has ancient origins that relate mainly to the period of the destruction of Troy and invokes the myths and legends of Ulysses with Scylla and Charybdis, of Homer and Dante Alighieri. The town’s name derives from the mythological figure of Scylla, a young nymph who refused Glauco’s love. He thus went to the sorceress Circe, who was in love with him, and asked her to help him win Scylla’s heart. The offended sorceress poisoned the sea-pool where the nymph used to bathe, turning her into a horrific six dog-headed monster who destroyed every ship crossing the Strait of Messina.[5] Scylla is said to live in the rock of Scilla, which the Castello di Ruffo sits on.[4]


The municipality of Scilla includes the subdivisions Favazzina, Melia, and Solano Superiore.

Scilla borders the municipalities of Bagnara Calabra and Villa San Giovanni.

Scilla lays across the Strait of Messina, with Sicily observable from the town. When visibility is clear, the island of Stromboli can also be seen.

Twin townsEdit

Scilla has been twinned with the following:

In popular cultureEdit

Scilla is one of two primary settings in Elizabeth Street, a 2009 historical novel by Laurie Fabiano that tells of the experiences of a family who emigrates from Scilla to New York City's Little Italy neighborhood in the early 20th century.[6] Based on the author's family history, it includes a detailed description of the 1908 earthquake and tsunami.


The town is served by a station on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria railway.

Main roads include the A2 Salerno-Reggio motorway and the Strada statale 18 Tirrena Inferiore.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Chianalea".
  4. ^ a b "Castles of Italy: Castello Ruffo di Scilla, Calabria". GRAND VOYAGE ITALY. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Fabiano, Laurie (2009). Elizabeth Street. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1442152618.

External linksEdit