Roccascalegna: the castle between sky and earth



Castle of Roccascalegna


Did you know that in Roccascalegna there is a castle between skyand earth? The suggestive medieval castle of Roccascalegna was built on a spur of rock following its geological trend giving the impression that it tends to rise to the sky and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful castles to photograph.

From the castle of Roccascalegna you have a 360° view of the two neighboring valleys, the Rio Secco and the Sangro, a strategic position that allowed in the past to defend the settlement from outside attack.

The castle of Roccascalegna has uncertain origins, many historians, however, attribute to the Lombards the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of this fortress which was used to defend the urban settlement located right at the foot of the spur on which it is built.

Even the origin of the name Roccascalegna is uncertain but it seems that it derives from the dangerous wooden staircase that was necessary to face to reach the entrance before the various structural changes suffered over the centuries.


Village of Roccascalegna


In addition to the Lombards, the medieval castle of Roccascalegna passed under Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese who continued the work of fortification and expansion of the structure, then it was abandoned for many decades during which, bad weather and vandalization have defaced it.

At the end of the eighteenth century and for the years to come, several feudal families settled in the castle, alternating with each other and partially giving it back that forgotten charm.

However, the turning point came in 1985 when the Croce Nanni family donated the structure to the municipality of Roccascalegna which started an important renovation that finally gave dignity to one of the most beautiful castles in Abruzzo.

The castle of Roccascalegna dominates the homonymous village of 1400 souls from which you can admire from below the imposing fortress that seems to protect the inhabited center.

The village of Roccascalegna has been included by the Italian Touring Club among the places with orange flag thanks to the remarkable state of conservation of its historical-cultural heritage, as well as an offer hospitality in this area.


Castle of Roccascalegna


A legend tells that in the XII century the Baron Corvo De Corvis , used to impose a questionable medieval practice known as Ius Primae Noctis, which included the right to spend the wedding night with any woman who got married within his kingdom.

This practice obviously did not agree with many aspiring spouses in fact, according to legend, the baron was assassinated because of a rebel who, disguising himself as a woman, was able to find a way to face and kill the evil duelist.

Roccascalegna is increasingly a destination for visitors who are attracted by the charm of one of the most photogenic castles and is immersed in a beautiful natural setting that cannot leave you indifferent, so I recommend to book the visit considering that there is a maximum limit of visitors allowed at a time.



My impression about Roccascalegna:


If looking at the Roccascalegna castle in postcard is thrilling, watching it live is even more beautiful and it is precisely when you arrive in the village that, in my opinion, you have the most beautiful emotion. After a series of hairpin bends, suddenly from above you can see the figure of the castle on an imposing rock ridge, this view is not for a postcard but that has remained very impressed to me.



Must see places near Roccascalegna:

  • Falls of Verde (34 Km/21 mi)

The Falls of Verde in Borrello are the highest natural waterfalls in Italy

  • Pennadomo (12,4 Km/7,7 mi)

Pennadomo is a beautiful village protected by vertical rock ridges which are an ideal destination for climbers

  • Fara San Martino Gorges (23 Km/14,3 mi)

The Gorges of Fara San Martino develop within one of the longest canyons of the Apennines, in some places very narrow



Roccascalegna where to eat: