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Rocca Calascio. Abruzzo’s picture-perfect historic movie set 

By Wednesday, 03 July 2024 11:22

The fortress of Rocca Calascio is considered the Abruzzo’s picture-perfect historic movie set.

The fortress was a military observation point

Located at an altitude of 1,460 metres asl in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, it is one of the highest fortifications in Italy, and dominates the Tirino valley and the Navelli plain in the province of l'Aquila, about two hours north of Rome. On a military layout the fortress is unique for the way it blends into the impervious surrounding territory, a position chosen as it was formidable from a defensive point of view. Made of very white limestone it is on a square plan, has four cylindrical towers at the corners and a square keep in the centre which is the castle's innermost military defense structure.  The castle was an excellent military observation point, allowing communication with other castles as far as the Adriatic coast, using torches at night and mirrors during the day.

Destroyed by an earthquake in 1703

At the foot of the fortress there are also the ruins of the ancient village, to which it is connected by a wooden bridge. In 1703, a disastrous earthquake damaged both the fortress and the village. Conservative restoration work was carried out in the late 1900s and this has allowed the entire area to be discreetly preserved, and open to visitors today. 

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A popular film set

Rocca Calascio is a magical place and is famous for having been the location for many successful movies like Lady Hawke, Padre Pio and The Name of the Rose. For the beauty of the surroundings, the film industry considers the entire area, from Rocca Calascio to Santo Stefano di Sessanio, the movie set par excellence. 

In the Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga National Park

A visit to the castle is included in many of the itineraries and tours of the Gran Sasso-Monti della Laga National Park. On the road leading to Santo Stefano di Sessanio, listed as one of the Most Beautiful Small Towns in Italy you will encounter the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, which can also be admired from the fortress.

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