Like many centres of Sabina, Roccantica started life as a Roman villa. Strabo describes it as rich in olive groves, vineyards and woods. At the fall of the empire the populations, fleeing from invasion, sought protection in the Abbey of Farfa and sheltered in various fortified castrum in high places.
In 1061 it came under the jurisdiction of the Holy See and for its strategic position was called ‘Castra Specialiae’ and was governed directly by the Pope. Shortly earlier Pope Nicholas II had taken refuge in this castle that had protected him against the militias of antipope Benedict X. In that clash is only thirteen people survived.
In 1415 a fiefdom was granted to the Orsini and in 1698 the estate returned to the Holy See.