Scopello is a small village on the coast of north Sicily, a short distance north of Castellammare del Golfo and within the Zingaro natural park.. The village is best known for its historic tuna processing centre - now a tourist destination - and the impressive coast.
Italy This Way comment: the tuna factory at Scopello is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the coast of Sicily, which is why it is such a popular destination
There are two parts to your visit to Scopello: a visit to the Tonnara (historic tuna centre) and a walk around the small village.
Tonnara de Scopello
The Tonnara at Scopello has been an important centre for tuna fishing and processing since ancient times and during a visit today you can learn about the industry and see the 'tools of the trade' such as boats, nets, anchors and ropes. The tuna industry continued until the 1950s.
Interesting as the museum perhaps is, it is for the setting that most visitors are attracted here: the tonnara is in a very beautiful natural port with dramatic rocks in the sea to either side. The well known film Oceans Twelve with George Clooney and Brad Pitt had a segment filmed in Scopello.
Because it is so beautiful, the tonnara is often used in publicity and attracts 'social media influencers' who like to be photographed in pretty settings. I couldn't help noticing that the pretty red-ochre colour of the tonnera, which makes it pretty in photos, is a new addition: in older photos it is much less colourful!
There is a small charge to pay to enter the site of the Tonnara de Scopello.
A short distance from the tonnara you can visit the village of Scopello. It is a very small village but quite charming, with the main centre of the village entered through an arch in the ancient village walls.
The main square in the village has various small cafes and shops and inside the walls there are a few more small shops and cafes, but a visit will not take long.
The tower high on the hill behind the village, called the Torre Bennistra, has a lovely view along the coast in both directions. There is a road that goes most of the way to the tower but it is in poor condition.
Visitors are usually in this part of Sicily to explore the Zingaro nature reserve along the coast between Castellammare del Golfo to the south of Scopello and San Vito lo Capo to the north. There is a popular trail that follows the coast and the pretty scenery.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Sicily guide.