Rocca Calascio: the castle of Ladyhawke

The set of "Ladyhawke" movie through the Abruzzo mountains



Rocca Calascio castle



Did you know that the film " Ladyhawke " was shot in Rocca Calascio? The mid-1980s film with Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick, was filmed in the magnificent setting of the Gran Sasso massif, where a fairytale castle stands out in the Abruzzo mountains.

The splendid location of Rocca Calascio managed to beat the competition from suggestive European locations, which director Richard Donner personally visited. Rocca Calascio castle managed to bewitch Donner to such an extent that he considered it the ideal set for the famous colossal Ladyhawke.

The film was the first to be shot in this splendid location, but over the years other directors have been kidnapped by this fortress to shoot international feature films such as "The name of the Rose", "Il viaggio della sposa" and "The american". Rocca Calascio is in fact located in a mountainous area that is perfect as a film set thanks to its proximity to interesting medieval villages and unspoiled nature.


Rocca Calascio castle


The castle of Rocca Calascio is among the highest in Europe, dominating the Navelli plain from its 1460 meters above sea level allowing a 360° panoramic view which made it an excellent military observation point for the defense of the surrounding area.

The area has been hit over the years by several earthquakes leaving evident signs in the structure of the castle which has resisted to these days also thanks to the various restorations still in place to preserve its integrity and to give visitors a unique experience that seems to take you back to the Middle Ages.

Calascio , located at the foot of the fortress, is a pretty village which, together with Castel del Monte, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Capestrano and Navelli, villages among the most beautiful in Italy , add charm to an area that, from a naturalistic point of view, offers breathtaking views within the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga


Rocca Calascio castle and church


A short distance from the castle, the church of Santa Maria della Pietà , with its particular octagonal shape, helps to embellish the panorama of Rocca Calascio by entering directly into many postcards that portray the two suggestive structures together.

Rocca Calascio is listed by National Geographic as one of the 15 most beautiful castles in the world, a very important recognition that adds value to what is now considered by everyone as the international symbol of Abruzzo.

The Hollywood fairy tale allowed Rocca Calascio to make itself known globally and, since then, the number of visitors reaching the stronghold has increased, giving the small village the well-deserved notoriety that made the castle one of the most favorite destinations in central Italy.



My impression:


What can I say? If it has been chosen as a location for various films and included by National Geographic in their prestigious magazine, there must be a reason. The photos would be enough to justify these awards but visiting it live allows you to breathe a special atmosphere! Personally I find it wonderful even if, as for many other renowned castles, its interiors did not give me the same emotions that I feel admiring it from the outside in a very suggestive naturalistic context.



Must see places near Rocca Calascio:

  • Santo Stefano di Sessanio (9,3 Km/5,8 mi)

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a small enchanting medieval village

  • Castel del Monte (11,6 Km/7,2 mi)

Castel del Monte is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy

  • Campo Imperatore (27,4/17 mi)

Campo Imperatore is a plateau on the Gran Sasso massif and is defined as the little Tibet



Rocca Calascio where to eat:



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