The pure white enchantment of the Scala dei Turchi on a crystal clear sea
It’s like dazzling white pearl sloping down to the azure sea, creating a spectacular contrast.
In the Agrigento area, the Scala dei Turchi is breathtaking; a unique cliff shaped by the wind over centuries, with the skill of an artist. It feels like lying on a white sheet.
It is a place of unique enchantment, also celebrated by cinema and literature.
Geology as a work of art
The Scala dei Turchi is a sheer cliff overlooking the sea, formed by a spectacular series of terraces. The star of the unusual setting is called Trubi and it is made up of very ancient sedimentary rocks, in this case composed of marl, a soft, clayey limestone material. This is why the wind, with the aid of the waves and salty air, has been able to create its masterpiece by shaping the soft material and smoothing out its corners.
Even the name has its own interesting quirks. History, with a good dose of legend, tells us that in ancient times ships of Saracen pirates, incorrectly called Turks by the locals, landed here in the 1500s to plunder the coastal villages.
Stop, admire, and discover the coves
Before heading down, admire the seascape from above in all its glory. The panorama opens up before you, taking in the coast of Agrigento as far as Capo Rossello. You will also notice that the Scala dei Turchi is nestled between two magnificent coves of golden sand, accessible by a rather impervious path. All around, rocks dot the limpid water.
The Agrigento coast offers numerous beaches for relaxing bathing amidst beautiful scenery. They are worth exploring.
At the nearby Playa Lido Rossello, in Realmonte, you can swim against the backdrop of the Scala dei Turchi. At Giallonardo the sand is particularly fine and the shoreline is wide: stroll for a while to find yourself away from the crowds.
The Punta Grande beach stretches for 10 kilometres as far as Capo Rossello, against a background of cliffs and rocky ridges.
Le Pergole, between Siculiana Marina and Realmonte, is, on the other hand, a small strip; walking along it you will come across an even more secluded beach, known as 'U Cappiddazzu'.
The place loved by Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri, a native of nearby Porto Empedocle, is the Sicilian writer who shot to worldwide fame with the series of novels starring Commissioner Montalbano, later also featured in a highly successful TV drama. In one of the books in the series, La prima indagine di Montalbano (Montalbano's first investigation), published by Sellerio like all the others, there is a passage in which he describes the Scala dei Turchi. The Scala dei Turchi also won over director Giuseppe Tornatore, who filmed several scenes of Malèna here, with actress Monica Bellucci.
Welcome to Vigata!
Vigata exists only in Andrea Camilleri's imagination, as the Sicilian town that is the setting of his character's adventures. In real life it is Porto Empedocle, where the writer was born. Porto Empedocle is a small seaside village with a delightful historic centre. Wander through the narrow streets, admire the Tower of Charles V, and in the evening head to Café Vigata for an aperitif, served with delicious rice arancini.
Disclaimer. In February 2020, magistrates sealed off this part of the Agrigento coastline to avoid the risk of collapse and to preserve the cliffs. Before you go, check the new provisions and, if it is closed, you can enjoy the view from the sea.