The Spectacular Castle Rocca Calascio
The final point of our travel to Italy’s “Little Tibet” is the legendary castle Rocca Calascio. The castle was built at the turn of the X-XI centuries and is located on the cliff at an altitude of 1460 m above sea level. It was the most highly situated castle in Europe, a real eagle’s nest. The silhouette of the castle is visible from almost every place of the mountain plateau of Campo Imperatore.
After driving along the breathtaking serpentine road we found ourselves in a small medieval village situated at the foot of the castle. In war times this village used to be a first defense ring. All the houses of the village were connected to each other, forming a single wall of defense. Currently, one can observe only ruins of the castle but the village has been gradually restoring.
We walked through a narrow village street to the castle built of white limestone. The view was magnificent. Despite the fact that there were left only exterior walls, Rocca Calascio gives the impression of a mighty power. It is not difficult to imagine what a stronghold it was in the Middle Ages. We wandered through the castle and from every loophole there opened breathtaking views of the vast plain Campo Imperatore. At the foot of the castle nestled a small, but surprisingly harmonious octagonal church of Oratorio di Santa Maria della Pietà, built in the XVII century.
During ten centuries of its existence, the ancient walls of the castle witnessed the valor and cowardice, loyalty and betrayal, love and hatred. The last time a high drama of all-conquering love was played there in the twentieth century, when in the castle Rocca Calascio was filmed the movie “Lady Hawk” with Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick. You can watch a clip here.