Rocca Priora, the Terrace over Rome

Rocca Priora, the Terrace over Rome

Rocca Priora is the highest town of the Castelli Romani, a picturesque position that gives the traveller a natural picture: the horizon ranges from the Prenestini mountains, to the Lepini mountains, from the Sacco valley to the wonders of Rome !!
Behind the terrace is the Savelli Castel, the medieval castle of the family that has marked the history of Rocca Priora, in front a panorama opens up that leaves you breathless: Piazza del Belvedere, where the gaze knows no boundaries!

Getting to the top of the village means passing through the small and charming old town, passing through the pointed arch, the ancient gateway, and remembering that right there Mastro Titta, papal executioner, carried out his hangings.
But the journey is not just a journey through history, the town lives between ancient architecture and modern art, animated by works of an important international artist, Maestro Mario Benedetto Robazza.
[caption id="attachment_36238" align="center-block" width="700"] A real artistic path winds along the streets of the town: the sumptuous White Horse welcomes us at the bottom of the hill, at the gates, then the fountain of the "Triumph of the Good" and the Fountain of the "Narcissus" prepare the way for the bronze stations of the Via Crucis through the streets of the historic centre.[/caption]
The journey into art ends in the civic museum inside Palazzo Giaggi, an elegant building where the final proof of the artist's most majestic work is exhibited: "Inferno".

This is Rocca Priora, between its natural beauty and its art and with a beautiful story to tell that binds it in a unique way to the Snow Trade! (leggete anche)
Its geographical position has always favoured harsh winters that brought abundant snowfall, thus the idea of conserving snow in wells, deep cavities dug into the ground that allowed composting of the snow, alternating with layers of earth and sand so as to conserve ice.
The transport of this white gold to Rome, to store food and medicine, took place at night, and was regulated by special laws and edicts and the snow industry was kept under the strict control of the Papal States.

Snow gathering became a special occasion for all inhabitants the men, women and children, who managed to earn much more in those days. The end of the harvest was a day of celebration for the whole country: everyone went joyfully to the Sanctuary dedicated to the "Madonna della Neve" (Madonna of Snow) to thank her for the abundant snowfall.
This is a faith that is still alive today, and a festival that miraculously repeats itself every year with the copious "snowfall of August" which transforms the main avenue of the town into a white carpet, paying tribute to the Madonna delle Nevi and the white harvest that was the commercial engine of Rocca Priora in past centuries.
Nature has given Rocca Priora many special things, its wonderful chestnut woods, the green lung of the Castelli Romani, planted to save the town from misery and abandonment. It all started with a small glaciation that in 1709 brought freezing temperatures across the continent: wells, rivers, lakes were frozen, destroying olive trees, fruit trees and entire forests!
The sacred forests of beeches, oaks and broad-leaved trees of Rocca Priora were completely exterminated and the population started to abandon the country! Less people less manpower for the snow industry!
It was necessary to bring inhabitants back to the country and so the Apostolic Chamber decided to replace the dead trees with a tree suitable for the climate that gives better fruit, the Chestnut trees, and to give those who returned to the town 1000 square meters of land in perpetual lease!
A new identity that started a new business, the timber some sent to Venice to realize the foundations of the houses due to its special molecular composition that keeps away the moisture, and some used to manufacture barrels for transporting fine Spanish wines.
[caption id="attachment_45802" align="center-block" width="750"]Rocca Priora Narciso But there is more, in May spring gives a new face to the town the valley is dressed in an unusual white mantle, the Narcissus (daffodil) gives the town a new image and its scent fills the air with good feelings.[/caption]
The narcissus arises spontaneously from a large underground bulb that gives special flowers: an internal yellow-orange corolla that connects white petals framed by straight and linear leaves.
[caption id="attachment_36274" align="center-block" width="750"] Fountain of Narcissus in Rocca Priora by Robazza - Chiara Rufini[/caption]
The flower is linked to the story of beautiful Narcissus, whose face was reflected in the waters of the ancient Lake Regillo and who fell in love with his own image and realizing that his dream of love can never come true lets himself die in the sweet waters. In this place the nymphs arrived to give the body its burial, and found a flower, the flower of youth which is named Narcissus.
The festival at Rocca Priora in May, pays tribute to all mothers, and the alleys, streets and houses are decorated with love and passion by the citizens.
There are special experiences to enjoy in every season, accompanied by feasts and festivals, a unique opportunity to savour the typical flavours of this town on top of the Tuscolani Hills.
[caption id="attachment_42574" align="center-block" width="750"] Rocca Priora - Scottone[/caption]
In Winter you can taste the extraordinary flavour, a semi-liquid cheese from heifers made with love by a young local shepherd, the last of seven generations, and savour the Christmas cake par excellence, the pangiallo that is a mixture of honey, cocoa nuts, almonds and hazelnuts prepared by the hands of women of the town.
In summer it will be a special treat to enjoy the crisp air of Roccaprioresi nights enjoying the traditional bruschetta and every day of the year is the chance to taste the tochetto, local biscuit and fundamental element of wedding receptions: the bride gives it wrapped in a cotton handkerchief to all her guests! A simple dough of eggs, flour, butter and hazelnut that has gone to the Milan In
A town rich in history, art, nature and flavours, the highest of the Castelli Romani, waiting for you, to make you experience special emotions!


Written by:
Chiara Rossi

Engineer lover of beauty, politics and beautiful mother. Integral soul of Discoverplaces.travel

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