Rocca Respampani

Not far from stream Biedano, this almost abandoned castle is now used mainly for film sets, concerts and as a didactic farm.

“Travelling along the Via Vetrallese”, a winding 20 km connecting the towns of Vetralla and Tuscania, a huge castle can be seen in the distance surrounded by fields and forests. This is Roccarespampani,

The name is derived from the owners, Pampini (Res-pampini – property of the Pampini), whose previous castle Rocca Vecchia can be seen on a rock outcrop nearby.

The castle and its 2500 hectars was once property of the town of Vetralla but in the XIIth century was taken over by the Prefects of Di Vico. In 1456 it passed to Monte Romano and the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia, thus becoming the “bread basket” of the Popes”

When in 1607 Rocca Vecchia became too dilapidated, Ottaviano Tassoni d’Este, the Preceptor of Santo Spirito, commissioned architect Ascanio Antonietti to build a new castle using an innovative and ambitious idea: he wanted a palazzo-farm that was dignified enough to house the governor and his entourage as well as the working farmers and their families.”

(Extract from “Etruria, travel, history and itineraries in Central Italy” by Mary Jane Cryan, Ed Archeoares)

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