Scopello is not more than a hamlet above the coast in Sicily’s north-western corner. But for several years now, this low-key destination has been in vogue not just with local people but with trend-setters including film directors and magazine photographers. The picturesque little spot may become a victim of its own success, but in the meantime it is still a remarkably scenic spot for a swim, a leisurely meal or an afternoon excursion.
Scopello is a tiny village on the coast between the fishing and resort town of Castellammare del Golfo and the Zingaro nature reserve. This part of the Sicilian coastline, though dotted with villas and a few seaside developments, is nevertheless unusually well-conserved by the standards of this construction-happy island. There are attractive stretches of rocky coastline and green hillside nearby, and Sicilians from as far away as Palermo come to the Scopello area to enjoy the landscape and the sea bathing.
Scopello itself is on a plateau some way above sea-level, though within walking distance of the shore below. The settlement consists of a historic baglio, the Baglio Isonzo, and a couple of attractive little lanes only a few yards long. A baglio was the headquarters of an agricultural estate, rather like a masseria in Puglia. The Scopello baglio is now the heart of the village, its large courtyard offering some shade and respite from the hot sun. There are cafe tables, a ceramics/souvenir shop, and a choice of places to buy food, drink and ice creams.
Outside the Baglio Isonzo is a picturesque water fountain with a trough, and around the corner are a couple of pretty little lanes, where you’ll also find a hotel and a couple more restaurants. That’s just about all there is to the village of Scopello; sightseeing here takes a matter of minutes. This is a place for a slow-paced holiday.