The voyage of Ulysses

Discovering the Viola Coast

At the end of the Trojan War, Ulysses undertook the return journey to Ithaca, of which he was sovereign. His journey, however, was a long and troubled journey, full of experiences and adventures. One of these adventures took him to the Strait of Museum, between Scylla and Charybdis. The beautiful nymph Scilla, transformed into a horrendous monster by the sorceress Circe, was the nightmare of sailors on the Calabrian coast, facing the fortress of what is known today as Scilla. On the Sicule shores, it was the monster Cariddi that swallowed the ships of the adventurers (in those waters, great and dangerous vortices are formed for the boats still today).


After having overcome a long series of obstacles, such as the mermaids with an enchanting voice, Ulysses therefore faced the most demanding, and, at the same time, most atrocious trial as he himself recounted: “We sailed moaning on the strait: on one side it was Scilla, on the other the clear Charybdis began to horribly suck the salsa water of the sea. When he vomited, he gurgled all over, as like a great fire on a lebete: from above, the foam fell on the top of both rocks. However, when sucked the salty seawater, shuddering appeared at the bottom, the rock around bellowed hideously, and below appeared the black earth of sand. There was a pale look of anguish. We turned our gaze to it, fearing the end, and behold, Scilla took me from the well-quarried ship, the six best companions for her arms and strength” (from: The Odyssey, translated by G. A. Privitera, Mondadori 1991).


After the necessary and dramatic choice to sacrifice part of his crew, the Aeolian Islands gave shelter and comfort to the King of Ithaca. Here Ulysses found Eolo welcoming him, having listened to his stories and donated him a leather skin containing winds that contained winds against navigation. Today the Aeolian islands are one of the most sought after destinations by sea and nature lovers, and see in some of the Reggio localities, specifically Scilla, Palmi and Reggio itself, the Calabrian ports of call, especially in the summer, for the routes to and from the wonderful towns of the nearby Sicilian archipelago. However, the traces of the past and the millennial roots of the Reggio territory are also well represented in the two prestigious archaeological and museum sites of Medma and Metauros, located respectively in Rosarno and Gioia Tauro and in which precious testimonies are kept from the 7th century AC. Ideally, with furrowing waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, along the routes of Ulysses, licking the coasts just as the dictates of the ancient rules of navigation imposed, this itinerary offers three of the most famous places of the splendid Costa Viola: Palmi, Bagnara Calabra and Scilla.

Latest updates 10 June 2019
Time to read 5 min.
The Journey of Ulysses
Estimated Time 1day
Scheduled distance 26.00 km
Recommended Transport
Suitable for