Visiting Scopello, Sicily: best things to do and why you cannot miss it

Scopello Sicily: town name sign decorated with starfish and corals

All you need to know to plan a visit to charming Scopello Italy, a picture perfect village in Sicily with breathtaking sea view, a historical center, and awesome food.

Scopello is one of the most charming villages in Sicily, Italy.

Perched on the tops of a hill, it is a tiny town with a historical center, a historical tonnara of Hollywood fame and breathtaking sea views and one of those places that will simply add an extra layer to your experience of Sicily.

Very different from localities such as Taormina and Siracusa yet equally charming, it is a place we loved and that we now always recommend to include in your Sicily itinerary.

In this guide, you will find the best things to do in Scopello Italy, the reason we loved it and pratical tips for visiting.

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The best things to do in Scopello, Sicily

Scopello is a tiny village and the main thing to do here is to take in the beauty of its lovely alleys, the charm of flowers on sun drenched balconies and the incredible views of the Mediterranan below.

You will be able to see all the best Scopello has to offer taking a stroll around the town however, there are a few highlights that I think you should make an extra effort to seek you as they will really add to your experience.

These are the best things to do in Scopello!

Discover Baglio di Scopello (town center)

Scopello was originally built as a baglio, a Sicilian gated rural community or country estate historically belonging to local barons or the church.

Entrance to Baglio di Scopello, main gate

Scopello’s baglio dates back to the XV century and today is a beautiful piazza, surrounded by high walls and shaded by luscious vegetation, under which cafes, restaurants and craft shops thrive.

The baglio is at the very entrance of the city and it is lovely to visit.

Interested in learning more facts and tidbits about Sicily? Find more here!

The large gate framed by local stone in warm eart colors allows you in and you are quickly surrounded by a piece of local history…. and souvenir shops!

souvenir shop with colorful pottery in Scopello, Sicily

Scopello’s baglio is lovely and easy to enjoy: the best way is to take a stroll, have a snoop around the shops and then sit in the piazza for a refreshing drink or coffee.

Good to know: if you have kids, the baglio is a great stop. The piazza is car free and there is a lovely gelato shop!

Lounge in Scopello’s piazza

Immediately outside the baglio there is a large piazza, with a lovely fountain and several cafe terraces.

The piazza is large considering the size of the town and a lovely place to taste local specialties: the cafe beside the baglio has delicious arancine and nice outdoor tables, perfect for people watching!

Experience Scopello’s tonnara

The village of Scopello is gorgeous but the jewel in the crown is not in the town itslef but farther downhill, towards the sea.

Tonnara di Scopello Sicily view

This is where you find Scopello’s tonnara and one of the most beautiful sea landscapes you can get!

Scopello’s tonnara is what put Scopello on the map of international tourism.

It appeared in Ocean 12 and since then it has attracted a lot of attention.

The tonnara is gorgeous and worth the walk (carefuf with young kids, it is not the most accessible of places).

Good to know: the tonnara is glorious on a quiet day but can get very busy. If you can, try visit outside the weekend or during local festivities to avoid crowds.

Take a walk to the outdoor church

The main church in Scopello overlooks the main square however, if you take a stroll immediately utside of the village you will find another consacrated space, this time outside.

Outdoor church in Scopello with the seats facing the sea

During the good season, weddings and ceremonies are celebrated here and the setting is stunning.

The altar is positioned so that the congrergation looks out to the sea and the view is breathtaking!

Try all the food

Sicilian food is out of this world tasty and you can taste plenty of it in Scopello!

Small alley in Scopello Sicily with houses framing sea view

Foods to try and the best places to eat in Scopello are:

Pane cunzato, a local type of bread dressed with olive oil, tomato, cheese and anchovies

Sfincione, a type of focaccia with tomatoes, onions and yet again anchovies

You can taste both pane cunzato and sfincione in the local forno (bakery), inside the village.

Arancine, traditional Sicilian fried rice balls – we had the best ones at the cafe on the main piazza

CousCous alla trapanese and anything fish – a fantastic address for this is La Tavernetta,

For drinks with a view, a great place is the Bellevue Lunge Bar which delivers just the stunning views its name evokes.

Go to Scopello beaches

Scopello itself is on a hill and the closest access to the sea is la tonnara, wich is a long a rosky stretch of coast.

View of Castellammare del Golfo, beach near Scopello Scily

if you want a sandy beach, teh bety scopello beaches can be found outside the town.

The best beaches in Scopello are:

Playa at Castellammare del Golfo

Beautiful sandy beach just outside of Scopello. This is the best Scopello beach if you want a full on beach day and if you ate visiting Scopello ith children

Zingaro Reserve

A stunning natural reserve with beautiful beaches and crystal clear water

Baia di Guidaloca

A wonderfil beach with calm, crystal clear waters and rocky areas perfect for snorkeling (bring water shoes for the kids!)

Cala Mazzo di Sciacca

Wonderful, family friendly beach with slowly degrading sea access, option to rent sun lungers and umbrellas and amazing views and water.

Scopello Accommodation: best hotels and agriturismo in Scopello

There is a good choice of accommodation in Scopello, ranging from hotels to B&bs and agriturismo.

Some we personally tried and had good experience with are:

Hotel la Tavernetta, outstanding especially for the views from its stunning garden

Baglio La Riserva, nicely renovated and with a lovely garden

Baglio Buccellato, with a particularly lovely garden

Agriturismo Tenute Plaia, with a stunning terrace with sea views

Baglio di Scopello, especially suitable for families with young kids thanks to the shallow

How to get to Scopello, Sicily

Scopello is a tiny village perched on top of a hill in the North-West of Sicily, Italy.

The closest big cities are Palermo, immediately to its East and Trapani, to its West.

Palermo and Trapani are the closest aiports to Scopello and the best way to get to Scopello is by car (private or arranged by your hotel) or bus.

If you can, I highly recommend you get your own car to visit this area.

The town of Scopello is car-free and a handy parking lot is avaiable just outside the village entrance, but the car will allow you to discover the Zingaro Reserve, Castellammare del Golfo and Segesta, all stunning locations near Scopello that atre best accessible with private transport.

If you are looking for car rental options, we recommend Avis.

If you prefer to rely on guided tours, we recommend you book via GetYourGuide, an excellent provider of tickets and tours we use on all our travels and that has excellent tours and cancellation options.

Good to know! You can find more beautiful destinations in Italy here and off the beaten track places in Italy here

I hope you enjoyed this essential guide to visiting Scopello and it inspired you to take a trip to this stunning corner of Sicily. Safe travel planning!

This post was originally written in 2015 and has now been fully updated (September 2020)

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10 thoughts on “Visiting Scopello, Sicily: best things to do and why you cannot miss it

  1. mark says:

    Looks amazing Maria, Sicily is always somewhere that has interested me to visit, maybe it my love of the Godfather movies who know but maybe one day for us.

  2. Crazy Travelista says:

    What a beautiful and cozy village to get married in! I have only been to Taormina one day from a cruise ship, but I really want to get back to Sicily! I had the best pizza of my life there! πŸ™‚

    • Marta says:

      Hehe I can imagine! I also can’t wait to go back to Sicily: this area was amazing but deserves well over a week end to be explored

  3. Samiya selim says:

    This reminds me of panicale, a hilltop village in umbria, so very beautiful! I so love travelling in Italy – the food, the people and the beautiful landscape. Scopello looks lovely!

    • Marta says:

      Oh Umbria, one of my favourite parts of Italy! I have heard of Panicale but have never been: i was looking for a day trip idea from Rome and you might have just given me one…

  4. melody pittman says:

    This looks like a great Sicilian vacation. πŸ˜‰ I loved visiting Sicily several years ago though my favorite part was the catacombs. LOL Anyway, loved that you included so many historic facts. πŸ˜‰

  5. Rob Taylor says:

    I love that you called our public transportation as “scarce”. And how great to experience it all with kids. I too have foodies in the making.

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