The nucleus of the Castle of Roccascalegna began as a Lombard watchtower on a rocky spur, developing between the 11th and 12th centuries. In use until its abandonment in the 1600s, restoration work later began in the mid 1980s.
Its defensive nature is characterised by a fortified perimeter with towers of different sizes, including a square-shaped tower on the top of the hill.
The rock is accessed from the centre of the village of Roccascalegna (CH) where a small lane leads uphill to the ancient Church of St. Peter. From here, a steep stone staircase leads directly to the inner courtyard of the castle. The courtyard leads to the prison tower, the Anjevin tower and the chapel. A gutter gathers rainwater which flows into a cistern.
A famous legend linked to the castle involves the Baron Corvo de Corvis who in 1646 reintroduced the Droit du seigneur (Ius primae noctis), requiring each new bride to spend the first night as a married woman with the baron rather than her husband. When one such bride (or perhaps her husband in disguise) stabbed him, in dying the Baron left a bloody handprint on a rock in the tower which collapsed in 1940. Despite constant washing and rinsing, this handprint continued to return.
Edited by Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Scuola Nazionale di Cinema — Abruzzo.