Since ancient times this stretch of sea that bathes the Violet Coast is rich in swordfish. According to legend, the swordfish was the only creature that didn’t scare at the sight of the monstrous Scylla, indeed, swam up to wide of these coasts to court her during the mating season. Even today, in the months between April and October, it’s easy to meet wonderful specimens, which gave him the name of The King of the Violet Coast.
In the past the boats for fishing the swordfish were a felucca with a 20 meters high tree (in dialect called ‘ntinna, antenna) on which stood an observer who tried to spot the swordfish, accompanied by two luntri, rowing boats that thanks to their aerodynamic shape were very fast. Once spotted the fish was chased, harpooned and hoisted on board. For several years these boats have been replaced by passerelle: boats with an iron bridge 20 meters long (hence the name), where there is an harpooner and a 100-foot-high trellis on which sits an observer.
Taking a walk in Chianalea district in the afternoon you can observe the passerelle return to the port and, with a bit of luck, meet the fishermen returning from their fishing and maybe see live some specimens of The King of the Violet Coast caught. If you are interested in taking part in a fishing trip write us, so that we can organize this beautiful experience for you.
In the evening you can choose to sit in a restaurant to taste some marinated swordfish or swordfish alla ghiotta (cooked with potatoes, tomato, olives, capers and the inevitable pepper). Street food lovers can taste the famous sandwich with swordfish, typical of Scilla: closed between two slices of bread and seasoned with salmoriglio (a mince of oil, salt, oregano, lemon and white wine) in the simplest of the variants accompanied by tomatoes and salad, or by red onion of Tropea or by ‘nduja. Without a doubt you can match The King of the Violet Coast with a good glass of local white wine, would you like some advice?
Walking to the upper part of Scilla, passing the beautiful terrace overlooking the Strait of Messina, you can admire a bronze statue made by an artist, reggino of adoption, Pasquale Panetta, which represents a young man embracing a swordfish. The way the boy holds the fish can express how closely the economy of the city is linked to this activity, since ancient times.
If you think this article is interesting, read also The monstrous Scylla and Little Southern Venice and if you would like to visit these places we suggest the tour Castles on the Violet Coast.