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Scalea is a picturesque, little town which takes its name from its terraced lay-out an the hillside, at the bottom of the Capo Scalea promontory. The old town is placed on the heights and preserves the remains of an ancient wall, while towards the beach, the Scalea Marina centre has recently been developed, with modern, comfortable hotels splendid villas and numerous, fully-equipped bathing areas on the beach. These enchanting beaches look out onto a sea of incomparable beauty. This town was no doubt inhabited even in prehistorical times, as proved by the material of the Paleolithic period that was excavated in a cavern near Torre Talao, which dominates over the rocky promontory called Scalea Island.
It is claimed that the town of Lao, of pre- Indo-European origin and colonized by the Sybarites in the 6th-5th century B.C., once stood an the plain South of Scalea, near the mouth of the river Lao. Nowadays Scalea is synonymous of seaside and holidays. Indeed, it is one of the most visited resorts in Italy. But the name of Scalea is also synonymous of culture, history and folklore. During the Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese and Spanish era, Scalea became an important fief and a centre of study, which was gradually enriched with monuments and works of art, most of which can still be admired today. The 13th century Palazzo of the Spinelli Princes (XIII century), which belongs to the Town Council, is the most important building of the lower part of the old Town Centre. In the old hamlet the main "street" is an attractive stairway that begins in piazza De Palma: it is a natural amphitheatre. Well north a visit are the Norman Castle, the Palazzo Palamolla, of Renaissance inspiration and the Torre Cimalonga, Aragonese style building, now the seat of the "Antiquarium".
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