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Rocca Calascio Fortress

Rocca Calascio Fortress in Abruzzo, Italy is an abandoned very old fortress that was used for cinema sets by Hollywood, Italian, French and German productions.

rocca-calascio-01-travelmapitaly.comAbout Rocca Calascio Castle

Basic Information:

  • Village: Calascio
  • Region: Abruzzo
  • Province: L'Aquila
  • Zona: Central Italy


Rocca Calascio Fortress is situated nearby the village Calascio (AQ) in Abruzzo and it is in the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga at 1520 meters. The castle is the highest on in Apennines in Italy. The place is a unique vantage point so that in ancient times was used to communicate with the castles of the Adriatic coast through a proven system of optical links scattered throughout the area (working at night with torches and mirrors during the day). In our days you can find only remains of Rocca Calascio there.

It is thought that the fortress was built at around 1000 A.C. although the first historical document attesting to their presence is dated 1380. The original structure consisted of a tower block in a quadrangular stones already squared and was used as a watchtower. The castle is in a very favorable position from the defensive point of view and it was used as a military observation point in communication with other neighboring towers and castles to the Adriatic.

rocca-calascio-02-travelmapitaly.comThe structure, made entirely of white stone blocks square, consists of a central male, possibly preexisting, crenelate walls of cobblestone and four corner towers with a circular base strongly slopes. Access is through an opening on the east side at about five feet off the ground which is accessed via a wooden ramp retractable originally bearing away stone shelves.

The castle was damaged by the earthquake of 1703 and has been subject to a number of conservative restorations between 1986 and 1989 aimed at restoring the structure and allow them to recover architectural and functional and it is now accessible to visitors free of charge.

Just close to Rocca Calascio Fortress you can find and see the Church Santa Maria della Pietà. The church dominates the southern side of Gran Sasso. It was built in gratitude by shepherds around 1400 A.C. after they defeated in a bloody battle a group of bandits from the neighboring state of the church.



The place of Rocca Calascio is fascinated many producers of cinema to use the fortress as a natural decor for many movies.

Since the eighties of the twentieth century, the area of L'Aquila and Gran Sasso in particular the fortress of Rocca Calascio were used for numerous movies. The first and main feature film is LadyHawke (USA, 1985) in which the fortress (still not restored) was a shelter of the hermit, played by Leo McKern. The next year Rocca Calascio was a set in The Name of the Rose (FRA-GER-ITA, 1986) with Sean Connery. Later were filmed The Journey of the Bride (ITA, 1997) and The Events Horizon (ITA, 2005) . More recently it has been set for the series of Padre Pio of RAI (ITA, 2006). The fortress is also visible in some scenes of the movie The American (USA, 2010) with George Clooney, shot entirely in the province of L'Aquila, in particular the film was made in the area of Castel del Monte, Calascio and Castelvecchio Calvisio.

Opening Hours

Being in one open air space it is possible to go and see it 24 hours of 24 hours.



Calascio L'Aquila, Italy

North-West of the village of Calascio


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Map of Rocca Calascio


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