Enjoy beach time and experience traditional Italian village life in Squillace. Don’t leave without exploring the nearby archaeological park, which is scattered with ancient ruins.
The modern town of Squillace was founded by the Byzantines in the 8th century and came under the ownership of a succession of rulers including the Saracens, the Arabs and the Normans. Look for the evocative remains of the Norman Castle, which, like the old town itself, is set on a hilltop. The castle features a small museum displaying interesting artifacts unearthed nearby.
Wander the quaint cobbled lanes and browse boutiques selling ceramic crafts. Ceramics have been an important part of the local economy for centuries.
Look for historic religious buildings, such as the Church of Santa Maria della Pieta and the 18th-century Duomo, which was built on the site of an older medieval cathedral. Also worth viewing is the Ponte Ghetterello bridge, also known as Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge). The bridge spans Ghetterello creek and is said to have been used by the great Carthaginian general Hannibal during his campaigns in the region.
Pack your swimsuit and towel and make your way down from the old hilltop town to the Squillace Lido. Here, a long stretch of beach attracts sunbathers and swimmers. Find plenty of restaurants, bars and hotels nearby.
Make a trip to Scolacium Archaeological Park, just a 15-minute drive from town and even closer if you’re staying near the beach. The park has numerous ancient ruins, including the remnants of old Roman villas. An on-site museum displays artifacts uncovered from the partially excavated remains.
Squillace is located on the Ionian coast in the region of Calabria overlooking the Gulf of Squillace. Drive here from nearby Catanzaro in about 30 minutes. While Squillace itself is small and walkable, renting a car makes exploring the other attractions in the surrounding region quite easy.