Scalea is a locality of the Alto
Tirreno Cosentino, near to the homonymous Cape and
the territory of the Pollino National park. It enjoys a beautiful
panoramic position overlooking the Tyrrhenian coasts.
Its present day name derives from the development of gradines
in the suburb which gradually lead up from the coast.
Scalea came about at the time of Saracen raids and was the
ground for clashes between the Longobards and Byzantines (IX
century). Nevertheless, its territory was also frequented
by the Romans, who constructed some villas in the surrounding
areas as well as during previous eras.
It seems certain its identification with the Roman Lavinium
and with the Magno-Greek Laos, founded by survivors from Sibari
(VI century BC). It was conquered by the Lucani, near to where
a battle was fought in 389 BC.
Furthermore, in the grottoes near to Torre Talao, the presence
of prehistoric man has been verified (Middle Palaeolithic
– 30.000 years ago).
It was an important fortified centre under the Normans (1062)
that enjoyed a period of development which also continued
under the Swabians (1194-1269). When the Vespri Revolt broke
out, it was one of the first centres to oppose the Angioinians
and take sides with the Aragonese. In this way, it obtained
some independence which favoured marine commerce distinguishing
it for centuries.
It was fief of the following families: Sanseverino, Caracciolo
During the XVI century, it suffered attack from the sea by
the Turks, and for this reason became part of the coastal
defensive circuit under the wishes of Carlo V, with the construction
of the Torre Talao.
In 1848, in the ambit of the Risorgimental motions, it was
proclaimed a Republic.
During the Second World War, Scalea was bombed by Anglo-American
In the same century, the centre developed greatly towards
the sea, meeting headway with the continual growing need for
tourism. In this way, it has become an important seaside centre
A visit to the City
There are noteworthy monuments present in Scalea, beginning
with the S. Maria Church of Episcopio,situated in the higher
part of the suburb, which preserves frescoes in its interior
dating back to the '300s. In the lower part, one can visit
the San Nicola in Plateis Church, of ancient foundation, with
adjustments made in later eras.
There are important remains of the Norman Castle, where the
pact of land partition of Calabria was signed between Roberto
and Ruggero (1062). From here, one can also admire the remains
of the Basilian Churches (IX century). Another Norman testimony
is the Palazzo known as Episcopio (XII century).
The City still preserves tracts of its Medieval wall.
Along the coast, one will come across the Torre Talao, erected
during the XVI century to defend Scalea from Turkish pirate
The Talao Grotto is also nearby, and preserves testimonies
of the presence of man during the Middle Palaeolithic period.
To have a panoramic view of the long history of Scalea, one
should visit the Torre Cimalonga Antiquarium.
Place of interest
- Palazzo dei Principi (XIII sec.)
- Palazzetto Normanno detto l'Episcopio (XII sec)
- Torre Cilindrica (XV sec.)
- Torre di Giuda
- Resti del Castello Normanno
- Resti di Chiese Basiliane (IX sec.)
- Chiesa di San Nicola in Plateis (VIII sec.)
- Chiesa di Santa Maria d'Episcopio (XII sec.)
- Chiesetta di San Cataldo (XI sec.)
- Resti della Grancia e del Convento Francescano del (XIII
- Torre Talao (XVI sec.)
- Grotta di Torre Talao (preistoria)
- Area Archeologica di Laos
- Parco Nazionale del Pollino
- Visita di Belvedere Marittimo
- Visita di Maratea -
- Antiquarium Torre Cimalonga
- Festa della Madonna del Lauro l'8 settembre