From CruisersWiki

Revision as of 08:00, 21 August 2018 by Vadp (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
WorldMediterraneanIonian SeaItalyIonian Coast of ItalyScilla
38°15.371'N, 015°42.977'E Chart icon.png
lat=38.25619 | lon=15.71629 | zoom=16 | y
Moorings and breakwater, Scilla

The tiny harbour and settlement of Scilla lies at the northern entrance to the Straits of Messina in Italy, 15 miles NE of the port of Reggio di Calabria. In settled weather only, it provides a handy stopping-off point for smaller yachts transiting the Straits. The settlement takes its name from the monster of Greek mythology, which is described in Homer’s Odyssey as a six-headed she-monster ready to devour passing mariners. The she-monster was said to live in a cave above the entrance to the Straits, opposite the parallel danger of Charybdis, a powerful whirlpool ready to drag unwary ships down into its depths. The tiny harbour has a short quay where a yacht may anchor moor with care and a series of mooring buoys which smaller vessels may pick up if one is free.


British Admiralty


Weather conditions in the Straits of Messina can vary considerably from those encountered in the Tyrrhenian or Ionian Seas to N and S respectively. The funneling effect of the land to either side can turn a typically light NW summer sea breeze into quite brisk winds at the N end of the Straits which, equally, can accelerate over the easternmost tip of the island of Sicily, creating testing conditions in the narrows between Capo Peloro and Punta Pezzo. With the light southerlies that are more frequent in spring and autumn, moderate to brisk headwinds will be experienced by a yacht headed S through the Straits from just off Scilla on the mainland coast as far as Reggio di Calabria and up to 10 miles beyond, where the Straits open out into the Ionian Sea. Gusting off the high land on either side is not uncommon with moderate to strong winds from any quarter. Finally, any wind against tide results in very uncomfortable conditions in the Straits, especially during spring tides, and yachts transiting the Straits should aim to accomplish at least the narrowest section between Messina and Capo Pelora at or near slack water. North flowing current begins 1h 45m before High Water at Gibraltar and ends about 4h 30 min after HW Gibraltar. Tide tables are easily found on Google.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerized voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at Roma, Cagliari (Sardinia) and Augusta (Sicily)
  • Lamma Rete seems to give quite accurate forecasts that take into account local topography Wind-sea Model


See Mediterranean.



Add here VHF channel for the coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The harbour of Scilla is difficult to identify until close in. The most prominent feature is the conspicuous Ruffo Castle on a rocky crag above the harbour. Closer in, the short breakwater of the harbour and the lines of small craft moorings are clearly identifiable.

Warning: Beware of a barely visible unmarked rock on the E side of the anchorage - it lies in front of the village 0.3 Nm E of the breakwater and 0.2 Nm off the waterfront.


Larger yachts (over 10 metres) will have to do an anchor moor, if there is space, to the short quay of the breakwater. Depths here are from 3.0 metres at the inshore end to 8.0 metres at the outer end. The bottom is reportedly not good holding here and there are foul areas. Smaller yachts of up to 10 metres can pick up one of the numerous mooring buoys, which are in place from 1 May to 30 September. A small boat operated by the concessionaire for the buoys will pick yachtsmen up and return them to their vessels if required. Shelter in the harbour is only moderate and really Scilla should only be used in settled weather.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs





Water N/A (Not Available)
Electricity N/A
Toilets N/A
Showers N/A
Laundry N/A
Garbage Some bins near the harbour
Fuel Fuel can be delivered by tanker
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers None
Repairs None
Internet ?
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals N/A


Limited provisions up in the town.

Eating out

Restaurants along the beach. Others up in the town.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


The town is a steep walk up from the harbour, but there are superb views over to Sicily and (on a good day) even the Aeolian Islands. The 13th century Ruffo Castle can also be visited.

Scilla town and Ruffo Castle


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Scilla and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible) --Athene of Lymington 15:16, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

If you provide a lot of info and this page is almost complete, change {{Page outline}} to {{Page useable}}.

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Athene of Lymington; Salacia

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki