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La Scala dei Turchi – White Curving Rock on the Mediterranean Coast

July 1, 2013

Halfway across the southern coast of Sicily, the Mediterranean coast, lies the city of Agrigento.  Many visit Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, its Greek ruins, but never venture just twenty miles westward to the Scala dei Turchi. As I recently drove to this area to revisit the Valley of the Temples, I decided it was time to see the Scala dei Turchi. Scala means steps and the rock is curved but shaped in a way that seems like steps. Furthermore,  Scala dei Turchi means The Steps of the Turkish People and the rock got its name from a legend that says that when Turkish pirates would seek shelter from strong winds they would stop on this rock. 

Scala dei Turchi is located 20 km west of Agrigento, and as I was staying at Capo Rossello close to the town of Realmonte, west of the Scala, from Realmonte, I followed the signs to Scala dei Turchi drivng along a road, high above and overlooking the coast. From the road, just before catching a glimpse of a part of the rock, I noticed this old abandoned home on the opposite side of the road, just standing there empty taking in all that beauty!

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At this point, looking down at the sea on the right hand side, this is the first glimpse one has of the rock at a distance.

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From this point, the best way to gain access to the beach below is to drive forward and park close to a restaurant, which offers access to the steps that lead to the beach below. 

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So I, as many others, walked down the 137 steps (I did count them on my way back up in the scorching sun).  As I reached the sandy beach, I turned right and started walking towards the Scala.  After just a few steps, I saw the white rock at a distance. This is a chalky white rock, made of limestone and clay, and as one gets closer and closer it looks whiter and whiter.  On the day I visited, the wind was very strong, but that did not matter.  I walked along the sandy beach and then climbed the white rock to the top.  There I could sit and look out to enjoy the beautiful contrast of the white cliff with the blue sea and sky.  I just sat and took in the breathtaking view. 

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As I walked back to the restaurant to climb the steps back up to the road, I looked to the right and saw something I had read about in the papers:  there was still some machinary left from some work that had been done days earlier to restore the beach to its original state. A concrete building that had been built on the beach many years before had been demolished to the delight of the population!   

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5 Comments
  1. Rosanna sei grande, bellissime foto pensa che io 2 anni fa circa ho scoperto che vicino Agrigento
    c’era questo bel posto chiamato cosi………….
    Spero un giorno non so quanto poterlo vedere dal vivo.
    Già le tue foto dicono tanto.

  2. pamela permalink

    It is so beautiful there! What stunning photos! Today, after viewing these photos, I can clearly understand why you return there each year to live and travel. Such beauty, history, culture…you are very fortunate indeed!

  3. Hello Rosanna! What an interesting thing that white rock is. It almost looks like snow in the close-up photos. I always enjoy your posts..thank you! With much love, Holly

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