Scala dei Turchi
The Scala dei Turchi is a rocky cliff on the coast of Realmonte
Realmonte is a comune in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily, located about 90 km south of Palermo and about 10 km west of Agrigento....

, near Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle
Porto Empedocle is a town and comune in Italy on the coast of the Strait of Sicily, administratively part of the province of Agrigento. It is the namesake of Empedocles , a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of the city of Agrigentum , in his day a Greek colony in Sicily...

, southern Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy. It has become a tourist attraction due to its unusual white colour, as well as by its mention in Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri is an Italian writer.-Biography:Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri, began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories.From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio...

's series of detective stories about Commissario Montalbano.

The Scala is formed by marl
Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and aragonite. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay...

, a sedimentary rock with a characteristic white color. It lies between two sandy beaches, and is accessed through a limestone rock formation in the shape of a staircase, whence the name. The latter part of the name derives from the frequent raids carried on by Turkish and Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...


In August 2007, the municipality of Realmonte applied for the inclusion of the Scala dei Turchi (together with the nearby Roman Villa Aurea) in the UNESCO Heritage List.
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