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Rocca Santo Stefano is in the mountains east of Rome and its history is inseparable from the history of the Abbey of Subiaco nearby. Probably the countryside and the origins of the locale are due to a group of people who have taken refuge in the mountains during the raids of the Barbarians and the first record dates back to the tenth century in a deed of the abbey.

In its history many feudal lords have come and gone but, shortly after these reigns, its control always returned to the Abbey. In 1600s for a period it was also in the possessions of the Colonna family, before returning definitely to be among the possessions of the Abbey of Subiaco.