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Rocca di Cave is located on Prenestini mountains, where the river Sacco rises, and was inhabited during the Roman period, as shown by the remains of ancient villas found in the neighbourhood. Around 850 A.D. to defend themselves from Saracen raids, the monks of Subiaco built above the Roman forum a fortress, dominating the valley of the Sacco, and around which the village was built.

Between the ninth and twelfth centuries this fortress was called “Castle of the Three Saints” (for the three churches of St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Michael Archangel). The name of Rocca di Cave appears for the first time in an 1125 document.

After several changes of ownership, in 1562 the castle was given to Marcantonio Colonna, after the glorious battle of Lepanto, and since then has always been under the control of the Colonna family.