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Castello di Rocca Imperiale

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Address: Via Castello Aragona, 87074 Rocca Imperiale, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 3429965876
See all hours
Sat - Sun 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The castle is situated on the top of a hill on which Rocca Imperiale’s...

The castle is situated on the top of a hill on which Rocca Imperiale’s residential centre is extended with its houses arranged in stando, al about 200 metres sea levei. The fortress that Frederick II of Swabia had built in 1225 in a place of great military and strategic importance to control the Ionian Coast (Via. Publica de Apulia). Frederick II (26 December 1194 – 13 December 1250) was a Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily in the Middle Ages, a member of theHouse of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous. However, his enemies, especially the popes, prevailed, and his dynasty collapsed soon after his death. Historians have searched for superlatives to describe him, as in the case of Donald Detwiler, who wrote:

A man of extraordinary culture, energy, and ability – called by a contemporary chronicler stupor mundi (the wonder of the world), by Nietzsche the first European, and by many historians the first modern ruler – Frederick established in Sicily and southern Italy something very much like a modern, centrally governed kingdom with an efficient bureaucracy.

Besides, the principal defensive purpose, Frederick united the task to give a home to the Court in their movements and in their hunting purposes of which the territory was suitable. At the construction of the castle there followed the development of a flourishing residential centre in which conducted the people to a series of fortified settlements that are present in the territory. After Frederick’s death, Rocca Imperiale was entrusted to the Knights of the Hierosolymite Order by Charles I of Anjou, that in 1271 stayed in the castle, was accepted by the inhabitants of Rocca Imperiale as a liberator. Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266,[1] though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. Thereafter, he claimed the island, though his power was restricted to the peninsular possessions of the kingdom, with his capital at Naples (and for this he is usually titled King of Naples after 1282, as are his successors).

Having ended the Anjou domination, in 1487, Alfonso II of Aragon strengthened Rocca Imperiale’s castle with the addition of a wall and creneillated towers. In the subsequent two centuries many were the large landowners that alternated in the government of the territoty, constantly mangled by barbaric raids. In 1664 the castle endured the attack of 4000 Saracen pirates that devastated Rocca lmperiale, destroying the ancient thirteenth century church of which today remains only the beautiful Romanesque bell - tower with mullioned windows and frames.

In l7 l 7 the feud passes on to the Crivelli dukes to which they give the last significant alterations to the castle, with the addition of the top floor which followed beginning in 1835 a period of abandonment and devastation that reduced the castle to a pit of building material. This period of abandonment has now finally concluded thanks to the works of restoration, that are still in progress, strongly desired by the Municipal Administration.

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4th visit

This lovely castle is somewhere we always bring friends who visit us, it's lovely to see that restoration continues but that the castle is not being spoilt. Inline the last review... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed July 21, 2016
Richard M
Leeds, United Kingdom
via mobile
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170 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 7: English reviews
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2016 via mobile

This lovely castle is somewhere we always bring friends who visit us, it's lovely to see that restoration continues but that the castle is not being spoilt. Inline the last review we ask that the entrance costs are kept low so we can continue to visit regularly. Just some info in English works be helpful.

Thank Richard M
Galicia, Spain
Level Contributor
125 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2016

Yes, the man on the gate wasn't just there selling the tickets. We got there past five o'clock on Sunday evening and he chirps up and says with a beaming smile that the 3 Euros include a guided tour! He certainly was enthusiastic about the history that surrounds this castle and delivered his knowledge accordingly. There is an ongoing effort... More 

Thank Michael M
Vincenzo_DMTT, Operatore at Castello di Rocca Imperiale, responded to this review

Thanks, we'll consider your suggestion... More 

Level Contributor
248 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2015

Beautiful castle in a commanding position along the north Ionian coast, in a location that turned out to be impregnable to any invader, including the Turks as late as 1644. It’s a quite sizeable fort, bigger than many others constructed in this southern Italian region, enlarged a few times after the first structure erected by Frederick II of Svevia in... More 

Thank Giulio1412
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2015 via mobile

This Castle is just amazing. It has been refurbished in the last few years but its condition is still the same of the past. It belongs to Federico II. The guide of the Castle is very friendly. Another great thing about this place is the atmosphere: quite and fascinating. You could have an amazing view on the sea as well,... More 

Thank Rossella P
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,451 reviews
1,375 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,274 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2015

First things first. This is the dead heart of Calabria and as much abounds with myths, legends and superstitions. It is alleged that Alaric, the Visigoth king was buried here with his treasure. The river was diverted, according to legend, he was buried and the river was returned to its natural course. 'Show me', is my response..... and where is... More 

Thank Eli B
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2014

The castle at the very top of the hill on which sits the small town of Rocca Imperiale is one of the most well preserved and beautiful medieval castles I have ever seen. We had no expectations, and visited the town just because we were staying nearby, so the castle was a surprising treat. There is very little information available... More 

3 Thank PhoebeFisher
Potenza, Italy
Level Contributor
170 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013

This castle is open for unguided tours and you can also reserve to have a guided tour (not known if in English). We did the unguided tour. There isn't anything in the castle to explain what you are seeing but most of it is obvious. They have done an interesting restoration with glass walkways where some of the floors would... More 

2 Thank BrunoAP

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