The Village of Calascio
metres above sea level, Calascio dominated the old L’Aquila-Foggia tratturo.
Evidence of its previous wealth, based on the sheep-rearing business, can
be seen nowadays in some interesting examples of civil and religious buildings,
dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries; valuable 16th century and Baroque
furnishings are to be found in the parish church and in the church of Santa
Maria delle Grazie, which belonged to the Franciscan monastery founded at the
end of the 1 6th century. Above the village is the scenic Rocca Calascio with
its important military stronghold that almost seems suspended in the sky. In 670
one of the ten richest wool-merchants of the Kingdom of Naples was a man from
Calascio; in the Apulian Tavoliere, Calascio sheep-rearers had their area of
Dogana-controlled grazing land at Casalnuovo, along with owners from nearby
Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Carapelle Calvisio and San Demetrio ne’ Vestini.
Sheep-farming activities survive nowadays in milk production, with dairy
products that are as weIl-known now as they were in the past.
Castle of Rocca
in an area of outstanding landscape value, the stronghold stands on the highest
ridge of the abandoned village of Rocca Calascio; the castle dominates the
Tirino valley to one side and the Navelli plateau to the other and has always
had the important function of watching over the L’Aquila territory tratturo
route. The basic strategic function was originally performed by the
central square tower, which was once an isolated structure, then, around the
second half of the l5th century, after having been long in the hands of the
barony of Carapelle, the fortification carne into the possession of the
Piccolomini family, who built it up into the powerful castle we can see today.
The ruins of the village lying below, once connected with the castle by a
drawbridge, now by a wooden bridge, are particularly scenic; traces of the
village’s defence walls
still be seen.
Church of Santa Maria dellaPietà
elegant octagonal building, reputed Io be standing on the site of a former
votive niche, was built in the late l6th century.