Rocca Calascio, the highest stronghold of the Apennines

Discover the ancient village of Calascio in Abruzzo

One of the most famous tourist destinations dell’Abruzzo is the Rocca Calascio considered one of the most beautiful castles in Italy. In Abruzzo there are many villages all to discover as the small medieval village of Calascio overlooking the park of Gran Sasso at an altitude of 1460.

Its strategic position allowed to control the valleys of Abruzzo. Here you can find out where this fortress is and learn about its history. Also you will know what to see during your visit in this charming place. Finally you will also know where you can sleep and what you can eat during your stay in Abruzzo.


Where is the fortress of Calascio?

The Rocca Calascio is located in a hamlet of the homonymous municipality in the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo. You should know that this is a striking natural complex within the Gran Sasso National Park and Laga Mountains. In the twelfth century this territory was part of the feudal domain of the ancient barony of Carapelle. The distance from the provincial capital is 40 kilometers while Pescara is 80 kilometers and Rome 160.

Fortress of Calascio: its history

According to some historical sources the castle was built in the twelfth century by Ruggero II d’Altavilla. The structure was built on the remains of a fortification of Roman origin and is entirely covered with white marble. In addition to the central part there is a circle of walls crenellated by pebbles. There are also four towers with a circular base located at the corners.

The entrance to the fortress is through an opening located on the eastern side at a height of 5 meters from the ground. Access is allowed by the presence of a wooden ramp that was originally retractable. The castle was damaged by the earthquake of 1703.

In the period between 1986 and 1989 a series of conservative restoration works were carried out that allowed the architectural recovery. In fact, today the structure is accessible and can be visited free of charge. Over the centuries it has been owned by several noble families who have changed the appearance of the fortress Calascio.

Piccoli Grandi Viaggiatori

The village of Rocca Calascio: here’s what to see

You should know that the Rocca di Calascio is not the only thing you can see during your visit to these territories. In fact, you should also visit the village that is located southeast of the castle. Today it can be divided into two parts, an original one near the castle and a more recent one located in the valley. In 1703 following the earthquake the upper part was abandoned and today is in the form of ruins.

The lower part was inhabited until the Second World War. On the path leading to Santo Stefano di Sessanio is the church of Santa Maria della Pietà. It is a small temple built between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Legend has it that it was built in the place where the local population got the better of a band of brigands. But that’s not all, in fact you have to know that since the 80s these areas and the Rocca Calascio in particular have been used as a setting for many films.


Rocca di Calascio: what to eat and where to sleep?

 If you are looking for a solution to stay during your visit to the Rocca Calascio you must know that there are alternatives as this is a tourist area located in the hinterland of Abruzzo. In fact there are many villages and small towns where you will find hotels, holiday homes and campsites.

You can also try traditional local dishes in the area. Among the typical products to try there are meats and cheeses such as pecorino cheese of Castel del Monte. A typical dish of the area is lentil soup and also homemade pasta such as pappardelle with wild boar sauce.

Copertina: Il Fotografo

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