Rocca Calascio (Calascio, AQ)
Rocca Calascio is a medieval fortress overlooking the village (almost deserted) from which it takes its name, Calascio.
It ‘easy to reach by car from the main road, but we arrived with a path running from Santo Stefano di Sessanio, climbs awkwardly on a hill and then goes down again and continues right up to the fortress.
More than a real castle, it was a watchtower: and in fact, the view is really stunning, 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys.
The construction of the fortress dates back around the year one thousand. Almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1703, it was completely abandoned by its inhabitants, who moved into the village below (Calascio).
It was restored in the late twentieth century, and has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its use in numerous films (remember Ladyhawke?).
Now it is manned by an all-volunteer, which should be a good thing in theory, but in reality their presence generates a bit ‘of organizational confusion. To climb inside the fortress there is a tiny scale chioccola feasible by one person at a time. The intent of the volunteers (usually 2, alternating between those above and those outside) would be to accompany the groups that form spontaneously at intervals of about one hour, entertaining them with a little ‘history of the fortress in waiting for the group in front evictions ladder.
In theory the system would work; Unfortunately, volunteers are not enough stops and organized execution of this practice, then they generate the unpleasant situations of people who want to go up without waiting for the group and that are allowed to pass, also generating some unpleasant and evitabilissima scene.
Also, I have to admit that the explanation that I attended I was … too long and wordy perhaps tell the whole story of Abruzzo, starting from 500 BC and the Roman Empire is a bit ‘too much, no matter how impressive the Rock and old.
Even if you can not go up (actually over there is not much to see), the square tower has its own little charm stony also from the “ground floor”. Attention in the recesses at the corners: there are slits suitable for children or small dog unprotected.
Although now it is easy to find it full of tourists, especially during the summer months, Rocca Calascio is one of those places suggestive and evocative, do not miss the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga.