The castle, damaged by the earthquake of 1703, was subjected to a series of conservative restorations between 1986 and 1989 aimed at restoring the structure and allowing its architectural-functional recovery and is now available for free to visitors. The castle dominates the Tirino valley and the Navelli plateau. Located at 1460 meters high a short distance from the Campo Imperatore plain. Its position was deliberately located for its amazing defensive position. The castle was used as a military observation point in communication with other nearby towers and castles, up to the Adriatic.
The structure, entirely in white stone with squared ashlars, consists of a central keep, probably pre-existing, of a pebble wall and four corner towers with a strongly sloping circular base. Access is through an opening on the eastern side located about five meters above the ground, which is accessed via a wooden ramp, originally retractable, resting on stone shelves.
“Rocca Calascio – is trully an inspirational place. Well worth a visit with incredible history and wondeful views. Dont miss out ” Simon Moreira – London U.K.
The village, located south-west of the castle, along the path that leads from Santo Stefano di Sessanio to the town of Calascio, composes with it a single fortified body.
Its development is linked to the modest size of the castle and the small number of men it could host, as well as the need to safeguard the population from the assaults of invaders and pirates. The connection with the castle was through a wooden drawbridge, now replaced by a simple ramp.
It can be divided into two parts, an original one adjacent to the castle and a more recent one located further downstream. The upper part was practically abandoned already following the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1703 and is today in the form of a ruin; the lower part was instead inhabited until the very first postwar period and has undergone numerous conservative restorations over the years. Alongside forms of restoration, so to speak “public”, there are also interventions of simple enthusiasts of the Abruzzo mountains who have contributed with their interventions to the recovery of the site.
The church of Santa Maria Della Pietà
Near the fortress, on the path that leads to Santo Stefano di Sessanio, there is the church of Santa Maria Della Pietà, a small temple built between the 16th and 17th centuries on the place where, according to the legend, the local population prevailed. on a band of brigands. Other sources say it was built in 1451, perhaps on designs by Bramante.
The church, probably founded on a pre-existing Renaissance aedicule, has an octagonal external structure with an environment used as a sacristy leaning against one of the facades and a dome with eight segments. The interior, articulated on a system of Tuscan pilasters, presents a painting depicting the Miraculous Virgin and a sculpture of San Michele armed.