Scilla
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SCILLA

Scilla is a centre full of evocative fascination, situated along the Southern Tyrrhenian Coasts of Sicily, a few kilometres north of Reggio Calabria.

History

Mythology narrates that Scilla was a beautiful young girl, daughter of Niso, who was King of Megara. She was loved by the marine god Glauco, and transformed, by a wizard named Circe, into a monster with six heads of ferocious dogs who devoured sailors passing through the Strait of Messina.

The truth states that this sea passage was feared since antiquity by all populations, due to strong marine currents.

The name derives from the Phoenician skoula (rock) or Greek skola (dog) or Skylla, later translated into Latin as Scylla and Scyllaeum.

Some historians, like Strabone and Polibio, say that Scilla was founded at the time of the Trojan War (XII century BC).
History instead, calls into cause the first time Scilla clashed with Tyrrhenian pirates who were settled in this coastal area, and the tyrant of Reggio Calabria, Anassilao (493 BC).

The place therefore became an important fortified post to preside over the Tyrrhenian coasts, noted under the Romans by the name of Oppidum Scyllaeum, being protagonist of some historical events. Slaves, guided by Spartaco, took refuge here during the revolt of 73 BC. Here, ships belonging to Ottaviano, which were engaged in civil clashes with the fleets of the young Pompeo (42 C), arrived in search of mooring.

During the Imperial Era, the centre lost importance and was excluded from Via Popilia, which united Capua to Reggio, but preserved a certain marine importance, as recorded by San Gerolano who stayed here in 385 during his journey towards Jerusalem.

After the end of the Roman Empire, Scilla was firstly integrated into the Odoacre Reign (476), then the Ostrogoth Reign (494), therefore facing a period of continual sieges and plundering by the Vandals, allocated in Africa.
In 535, the Byzantine General Belisario, finally defeated the Vandals, and through the Greek-Gothic War (535-553), cancelled the Ostrogoths from history by annexing the whole of Southern Italy to the Eastern Roman Empire.

Between the VIII and X centuries, Basilian Monks arrived in Calabria, and founded a monastery in Scilla and a church known during ancient times as San Pancrazio. It was destroyed by an earthquake during 1783.

Beginning during the IX century, Scilla and the Calabrian coasts were objects of raids by bands of Saracens, by now owners of Sicily during '827, and who also managed to conquer and dominate the city for a short period of time.

When the Normans (1062), conquered the City, they were however opposed by the population who locked themselves in the Castle. Scilla obtained commercial privileges under their successors, the Swabians, who fortified (1255) on the wishes of Ruffo, who was by now in open conflict with Manfredi, son of the deceased Emperor Frederick II of Swabia.

The Angioinians conquered Calabria and Sicily (1269), but the breakout of the Vespri Siciliani (Sicilian Vespers – Palermo 30th March 1282) rapidly reached the Calabrian coasts, and therefore also seeing the attack of Scilla.

In 1421, the Castle was assigned to Guterra De Nava.

The 1783 earthquake devastated Scilla and a large part of Calabria, changing the face of the millenarian suburb. Whatever was left standing was then damaged and cancelled by the 1908 earthquake.

A visit to the City

Scilla is a place of great fascination that reminds its visitor of ancient mysteries and a millenarian history, which never ceases to astonish. The visit is accompanied by continual panoramic views over the Tyrrhenian Sea, a founding element of the village's spirit. Up until a few years ago, fishing was in fact the base for the main economy of the suburb. Sword Fish was the traditional catch and was fished since Magna Greek times.
The Ruffo Castle stands on the top of the famous cape which is wedged over the sea, leaving the beautiful beaches of Scilla, an annual tourist spot, on either side.
The presence of a fortification on the rocks is drowned in the distant past and is not definable in certain terms. Near here, in the Marina Grande district, is where one will come across the Spirito Santo Church (1752).

The Maria SS Immaculate Church, founded during the Paleochristian era, was rebuilt after being brought to the ground by an earthquake in 1908.

To complete the panorama of cult buildings of Scilla, we would like to point out: the San Giuseppe Church (1641), with its beautiful portal, the Carmine Church, the San Rocco Church, constructed to celebrate the end of the Plague and finally the 18th century Porto Salvo Church.

The Chianalea fishing suburb is interesting and characteristic.

The centre, a yearly seaside tourist spot, is very active during the summer season when shows and concerts are programmed: and the Scillese Summer.

The Trémusa Grottoes are interesting from a naturalistic point of view.

Place of interest

- Castello
- Chiesa Maria SS. Immacolata
- Chiesa dello Spirito Santo (1752)
- Chiesa di San Giuseppe (1641)
- Chiesa di Porto Salvo (1730)
- Chiesa del Carmine
- Chiesa di San Rocco
- Grotte di Trémusa
- Fonte di Paolo Re

Museums

- In costruzione...

Events

- Estate Scillese da maggio ad ottobre
- Premio Internazionale Scilla in ottobre
- Festa di San Rocco il 16 agosto

SCILLA
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Calabria region of Italy

 

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