Walked from Santo Stefano Di Sessanio u to the Castle and Church then down to Calascio for a drink before returning to Santo Stefano. Around 10-15km walk I think , took around 4 hrs with lunch. Lovely meadows to walk through I late summer. Interesting ruins at the top. nice wander home mostly down hill.
This is such an amazing place perched right on the top of a mountain. The views are incredible and photo opportunities are in abundance. The drive through the mountains is challenging but only because it's on the other side of the road for Australians. We were there in Summer and it was glorious!
Best spot 50 miles around ... well worth the trip for any biker! If you want to avoid the road passing through Calascio (which cars are forced to take) take the gravel road from s.Stefano.
We visit Italy every year as my husband's family lives in Abruzzo. We take all guests that come with us to Rocca Calascio. The entire experience is beyond words. The views from this ancient castle are panoramic with Gran Sasso mountain sitting gloriously (and if you are fortunate) peaking out of a ring of clouds! This is a little hike, so be prepared with comfortable shoes. The village on the way to the castle is not restored yet, but work has been started. The ride up is worth the views alone. Take a picnic lunch and if you are fortunate, the local dogs will join you. Enjoy this quiet gem before the rest of the world finds it as there are no crowds here. If you have the day, make sure to visit the nearby Gran Sasso National Park. During the summer, the shepherds actually live outside with the sheep and you will see the sheep dogs found especially in Abruzzo. Cows with cowbells and horses grazing above the tree line. Truly like going back in time.
Rocca Calascio is truly one of the gems in the province of Abruzzo. The views are incredible and panoramic. This place gives one the feeling of life in the dark ages with the castle, the church and the quaint village below. If you are in Abruzzo, Rocca Calscio is a place not to be missed.
Some places words are not enough to explain. All I can say is WOW!!!! The switch back road up the mountain side is breathtaking. Early July and the road is lined with yellow wildflowers and the sweet smell fills the air. Next trip to Abruzzi and I'll go back. It worth it!!!
A must see if you are in the area!!! Wear comfortable walking shoes as after driving up a narrow winding road with no guardrail and passing cars (!) it's a bit of a hike. But absolutely worth it!!! A beautiful place.
I stayed at the Rifugio for a few days with some walking pals last year - rooms basic but so atmospheric and with such far-reaching views over the Appenines - this was the first time I'd stayed in a hotel that is actually a reclaimed abandoned village. The short walk up to the castle and church was so magical I did it several times. This year I came back to Gran Sasso with my wife and a couple of friends and we stayed in Santo Stefano Di Sassanio. We walked from there up to the Rocca and it was truly a stunning walk with fabulous views all around. Had a very nice lunch in the Rifugio and walked back the same way through acres of wild flowers avoiding those big white sheepdogs who were carefully guarding their flock. A memorable day indeed
This morning we enjoyed the walk, wonderful fresh air, 360deg views over the fertile valley below to snow capped mountains beyond. Spring flowers abound with apple blossom in the lower village.The views were stunning, well worth it. One of the highlights of our travels. ThIs walk is for active people only.
An amazing place with breathtaking views. So glad we visited this amazing ruin. We were just sorry the Capella wasn't open when we visited.
Abruzzo is a beautiful region of Italy at the best of times but when the sun goes down on this beautiful area of Campo Imperatore this Italian landscape is truly awesome. The stunning castle has been used as the backdrop to cult films such as Ladyhawke and has to be seen to be believed.
While staying in Santo Stefano, 5 km drive from Rocca Calascio, one of the locals recommended we visit her hometown. We are glad we did. We drove the 5 km winding mountain road and parked about 50 m walk to the tiny town which is overlooked by the ruins of the tort. We then did a beautiful walk through the tiny town and up to the fort where there were breathtaking views and your imagination runs riot imagining guards at the lookout points, womn and children hidden away while they did their best to fight off the enemy! After the walk, there is one restaurant in little town. You can also stay there and the owners were helpful nd food delicious. I think the restaurant was called Ristoro di Refugio? They recommended we drive to the plateau next which was covered in snow and beautiful. All in all a great little trip..
We visited here in July of 2012 on a recommendation from the B & B we stayed at. It did not disappoint. The panoramic view of Abruzzo from the top of this site is spectacular, as well as the architecture of the castel and church. It took a while to get here, but it was worth the trip.
Well worth the effort. Make sure you drive up the skinny road to almost the top before Parking.....we did not understand and parked mistakenly half way. Resulting in a long walk
We drove to the village and there is a reasonable amount of parking- as others have said the road is narrow and bit hairy for about 1.5 km, so may be challenging at busy times of the year. It would seem as though the village was also a victim of the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake and there are not many people currently in the village, although it is undergoing renovation. There is also a functioning trattoria (Da Clara) but we did not go in. The huge castle remnants are a short and easy walk from the village and is above the church shown in the picture. The view from the top is breathtaking and the mind boggles at the effort it must have taken to build the castle! As others have mentioned, nominally one can walk there from Santo Stefano di Sessanio, but we met a middle-aged couple who had done that and they had taken over 3 hours, and it had rained hard for more than 30 minutes. It was also very windy. Clearly, if one is fit, used to hiking, is appropriately clothed, and has sufficient food and drink, it is not overly challenging. However, the hike should not be taken lightly, and most are likely to have to do the return journey!