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Rocca di Papa

Visit the medieval town of Rocca di Papa, a unique experience that will help you explore the history and traditions of the place, in the splendid frame of the Regional Park of Castelli Romani.

Rocca di Papa is a town of about 15,700 inhabitants located in the Roman Castles area, and as Rocca Priora, the municipality is part of the Comunità Montana dei Castelli Romani and Prenestini.


This ancient village is also known as "Bavarian Quarter", as it was here that, in 1328, camped troops of Louis IV of Bavaria. The town of Rocca di Papa is located in a panoramic position, very impressive, with almost 700 meters high, offers visitors the beautiful landscapes of the city of Rome and beyond.

Visit Rocca di Papa means being in close contact with art and history, in fact, the town of the Castelli Romani is the only one that has perfectly preserved its medieval structure. Small and narrow streets, ancient churches and historic squares are just some of the sights you can see in Rocca di Papa, a small paradise of art, history and ancient traditions.




It is believed that the first to fortify the territory of Rocca di Papa were the Counts of Tusculum, as indeed happened already in the cities of Marino and Nemi. The earliest records on Rocca Priora we have during the Middle Ages, when Pope Lucius III in 1181 occupied the castle wing snatching the City of Rome. Later, around 1250 the castle passed between the properties of Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi, which worked to consolidate the domains of his family on the Alban Hills, acquiring several castles as Borghetto di Grottaferrata, Molara and Lake Albano.


Between 1378 and 1417 Rocca di Papa appears to be under the dominion of the Orsini family, while in 1391 and in 1411 are Annibaldi to regain possession of the feud. After Annibaldi is the time of that column in subsequent years clashed constantly with the Orsini to the possession of the city. These wars lasted until 1559 when he began a long period of peace for the Colli Albani: the feud was governed until 1584 by Marcantonio Colonna II. In 1638 Cardinal Girolamo Colonna was promoted several initiatives including the construction of the convent of Santa Maria ad Nives Palazzolo, and that of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, designed by Antonio Del Grande.

During the first decades of the twentieth century the city experienced a period of stability and was able to develop economically and politically. Rocca di Papa was also one of the favorites of celebrities from the cinema and world culture as Goethe and Andersen. During the Second World War, the country was hard hit by three bombs, which damaged many homes reduced to rubble and the parish church, even to the death of many citizens.



Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta: The work of the church began around 1700 even if a hundred years later it was again destroyed by an earthquake. Apart from the church were also destroyed many of the works contained in it. Currently you can see inside the church Our Lady of Mercy, Peter Labruzzi, a Pietà by Theodor Wilhelm Achtermann Assumption of the Virgin of Corrado Giaquinto.


Church of the Holy Cross: A small church in which you can admire the works of German artist Wilhelm Theodor Achtermann, whose works also are found in the church of Trinita dei Monti in Rome. The long facade was a statue of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

Sacred Heart Church: The church has a modern architecture with some references in the Gothic style. Inside the church you admired the stained glass windows while outside is a statue of Pope John Paul II, who often went to Rocca di Papa.


Sanctuary of the Madonna del Tufo: It was built in the late 1500s when the façade was built around the end of 1700 at the behest of Prince Andrea Doria-Pamphili. In 1830 Pope Pius VIII endowed the shrine of a privileged altar.


Church and Convent of Santa Maria ad Nives Palazzolo: Its history is very old, at first was entrusted to the Cistercian monks as a summer residence to end up almost in a state of disrepair. In 1660 Pope Alexander VII ordered the restoration of the convent became the seat of the Portuguese. Since 1920 is owned by the Venerable Inglese College in Rome.


Cardinale's Villa: built by Cardinal Girolamo Colonna in 1600, in a panoramic position overlooking Lake Albano. Today the villa houses a restaurant and a hotel.


Papal Fortress: Located at the highest point of the town, to 753 m above sea level, currently houses the Museum of Geophysics of Rocca di Papa in the nineteenth century it was used as a place for testing and Guglielmo Marconi Michele Stefano De Rossi.


Repubblica Square: Is the main town square, also known as Piazza Margherita by name during the era of the old monarchy. The restoration of the square was completed in 2003.


Giuseppe Garibaldi Square: Is located in the heart of the historical center of Rocca di Papa, and is also known as Piazza Erba because of the market of fruit and vegetables, which takes place in the square.


The Barcaccia Fountain: Is located in Giuseppe Garibaldi Square and it is called so because of the shape that resembles a fountain barca. The fountain is attributed to Bernini and was built with a single block of tufa.


Piazza Vecchia: In the square there is an old fountain, bathtub only rectangular tufa stone, and represents the history of the Bavarian Quarter.

Archaeological sites: some were found in prehistoric tombs of the seventh century BC, at San Lorenzo Vecchio and others on the summit of Monte Cavo


Natural areas: Regional Park of the Castelli Romani



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