Scopello: Italy’s hidden treasure you didn’t know existed

Planning your next trip to Italy but want to stay away from the over packed over priced tourist traps? Check out the coastal town of Scopello and discover why it should be your next vacation destination

They say all roads lead to Rome. What they failed to tell you is that Rome is chaotic, expensive and on the extreme end of touristy. As the capital city, it should of course not be cast aside and should be given some days of your travel itinerary. But if you’ve got that travel bug and you’re looking for the authentic Italian experience, one where you’ll be rubbing elbows and sipping espresso with locals, come to Scopello, Sicily. Here are three reasons why you should get there at least once in your life:

Tonnara di Scopello

Location, location, location: Tucked away on the coast in the province of Trapani, Scopello is immersed in nature, a fantastically unspoilt setting that boasts the turquoise sea enveloped by craggy cliffs. There are a myriad of beaches to enjoy, from the famous Cala Rossa to the sandy stretch of Cala Mazzo di Sciacca. Scopello’s location on the water also makes it a dream for those interested in water sports, not to mention it is adjacent to Lo Zingaro nature reserve. This 7km stretch offers a scenic walk and several hiking trails that range in difficulty. Lo Zingaro Nature Reserve boasts plenty of Flora and Fauna.

Accommodation: Though stuck somewhere in between modern tourism and that authentic spirit of the past, there are few hotel options in the area. It is rather more common to rent a villa in Scopello. Being located on a plateau, the villa options in this quaint town offer breathtaking views of the sea. Renting a villa will also be more comfortable and economic. You will have more space, a private pool and your own kitchen to cook meals (like a real Italian).

Scopello Villas Gabbiano

Scopello Villas GinestraScopello, SicilyCulture: If you’re coming to Italy, you surely have somewhat of a culture vulture within you. In Scopello, you’ve come to the right place. Scopello was built around what’s called a baglio, which is now the center of the village and was once the headquarters of an agricultural estate. The town has also been built up around the Tonnara di Scopello, one of the most important tuna fisheries in all of Sicily, dating back to the 13th century. You can actually see a little piece of history in the old tonnara today with preserved anchors, storage houses and boats.

busiate with trapanese pestoFood: You don’t have to classify yourself as a “foodie” to totally indulge in the amazing cuisine that Sicily has to offer. If you’ve never been to Italy, you’ll learn that eating is more than good food, it’s an experience with a long tradition attached to it. Come to Scopello to enjoy pasta with sardines or busiate, the pasta of this region, with Trapanese pesto, a twist on the classic version. Even more than the entrees however, satisfy your sweet tooth, something that Sicily is notorious for. Biscotti di pasta di mandorle (almond paste cookies), Cartocci Siciliani and the famous granita, are just a few sweets to tantalize your taste buds. And do not leave Scopello without trying pane cunzatu, traditional bread topped with olive oil, tomatoes, cheese, anchovies and oregano. If you’re around the area on the first days of September, you may just catch the Pane Cunzatu Festival.

For an alternative Italy vacation, explore all the natural treasures that the town of Scopello has to offer.