Located near San Nicola Arcella (where we were staying) and along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast, the resort town of Scalea is a big draw for tourists. The old part of town on the hill has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the lower business district dates back to World War II. As a result, it’s a strange mix.
I didn’t particularly care for the business district, which I found to be quite drab and nondescript. It didn’t have the charm of Maratea, and the shops weren’t particularly interesting. Just one block up the hill; however, was another story. More on that later…
At the far end of the beach, past the lidos, was a nice wading area in between the rocks in the shallow water that was perfect for those who wanted to play or take a dip and cool off. I opted, instead, to go for a swim along the sandy area of the beach. It was beautiful! At about 79 degrees with no current, it was a perfect beach to get in a good open-water swim.
There were also plenty of lidos along the beach of Scalea from which to choose for sunbathing or a beach side lunch. We followed our swim with a delicious lunch at a lido owned by friends of our friend.
On another day in Scalea, our group split up. The other gals went shopping, the guys took a drive to check out the view of old Scalea from other vantage points, and I went for a hike in the old town to explore and do photography.
I was delighted (and excited!) that just one block up from the business district, the feel of Scalea completely changed as I climbed the hill. Asphalt and concrete gave way to ancient cobblestones. I was in my element, and I could feel my somewhat apathetic mood towards Scalea lift as I explored the narrow, winding walkways filled with homes that were built hundreds of years ago. Everywhere I turned, there was something unique to admire and photograph.
At the very top of the hill, there were ancient ruins that were just begging to be explored. I found a very narrow and steep pathway that required careful footing, but I was determined to hike up and take in the spectacular views of the old town and coastline below.
Other than the disappointment and disgust I felt at the sight of graffiti that had been carelessly painted on the ruins, the hike up was well worth the effort.
Soon, it was time to meet back up at Jeni’s, a restaurant owned by the good friend of our friend we were traveling with who had once lived in Scalea. Making my way back down the winding walkways, I realized I had put in a pretty good workout and was craving the chocolate gelato I would soon be enjoying.
Jeni makes the best gelato! She sources the best ingredients, including a high-quality single origin chocolate from Ecuador. Her gelato was dairy-free, but it still had a very creamy texture. It was pure heaven!
If you are curious to see more of Scalea, the new James Bond movie is being filmed there.
My final post on Italy will be about Diamante. Stay tuned!