Guide of Roccasecca

The history of Roccasecca is deeply linked to its geographical position at the entrance of two gorges that give access to the Comino Valley and being overhung by Mount Asprano that gives control of the Liri Valley.

Roccasecca for centuries was just a convenient crossing point for armies who passed across the three Roman bridges on the Melfa River.

In the Middle Ages it became a commune and one of the principals of its development was Saint Thomas Aquinas, who had his castle here, an important defensive bulwark built in 994 to defend the nearby monastery of Montecassino. The abbot of Montecassino put a branch of the family of the Counts D’Aquino in charge of the fortress, and they ruled this territory for centuries.

From 1550 the inhabitants of Roccasecca saw alternation in control of their castle between the Anjou, the Papal States, and the Aragonese, according to which ‘lord’ at that time dominated the Liri Valley.

Since the end of the seventeenth century Roccasecca, like all southern Italy, fell under the dominion of the Spaniards and the life of the town for two centuries was quite wretched.

After the unification of Italy many ‘Roccaseccani’ emigrated to find work in the North or abroad. During the Second World War it was chosen for its location to be the headquarters of the XIV Panzer Corps, because of the presence of the train station and the bridge over the River Melfa. Consequnetly, Roccasecca underwent very hard and continuous bombardment by the Allies.