A tiny town in the North-West of the island of Sicily, Scopello sits on a rocky coastline amongst a scattering of small, natural beaches and bays.
Summer days around here are spent in the bright, hot sun hiking up and down the mountains and residential enclaves along the coast. With lunches packed in backpacks, stop in for swims and reading and picnics at all the little beaches all day long. Hiking through Zingaro National Park is even more special, where the beaches get less and less populated as you venture further into the park, we started at the more popular Cala Capreria with the crowds dwindling by the time we reached Cala della Disa further into the park, I've heard if you do the whole path - two hours one way - you're rewarded with empty beaches at the end.
The Tonnara di Scopello is an old tuna factory turned swim spot, you can even stay here now in converted apartments right in the old factory building. It sits right on the water at the base of Scopello town on the hill. Everyone comes here to bake in the sun, on the concrete sloping down to the sea and the smooth white rocks. You can swim out to tall rocky outcrops jutting out of the water and jump from great heights.
A short drive east of the town of Scopello or a long walk will take you to even more secluded beaches, coves, inlets, bays, again you're best parking your car and walking the coastline until you find a patch of blue that calls to you. Our afternoon at Cala Cucuzze was kind of unbelievable.
At night, the town is full of life. Sleeping and evening meals are best taken at Pensione Tranchina, a humble ten-room bed-and-breakfast run by an American/Italian couple who’ve become known the world over for their incredible homestyle Italian cooking. They use very local ingredients in their food, many from their neighbour’s backyard gardens.
It’s dry and hot here in summer, the ocean waters are so salty, blonde coloured flowers and pale trees grow from the baked earth with bees buzzing around, you can’t help but feel all this with your senses, giving you a re-connection with the earth and the water and the sun.