Roccalbegna and his "rock" characterized by high rock walls that are smooth like a tower.

roccalbegna03  Roccalbegna (GR) is located in the upper valley dell'Albegna, at the foot of the last propagini complex of Mount Amiata. His position is somewhat unique being located on a plateau between two rocks overlooking exploited over the centuries for defense purposes.

roccalbegna_mapThe town is of medieval origin: it is found in a privilege of the Emperor Otto IV in favor of the abbey of Monte Amiata signed in 1210. In the thirteenth century was a possession of the family Aldobrandeschi that dominated most of the castles of these lands. In the early decades of the thirteenth century the castle was, however, under the rule of a local family, that of Ugolino di Roccalbegna Ranieri, whose descendants, between 1293 and 1296, were forced to give up their rights to the town of Siena.

Roccalbegna born in the southern lip of Mount Amiata, dominating the entire valley. The country is dominated by a rock characterized by very high walls that are smooth like a tower. On top of this rock, commonly called "Rock", stands a fortress.

In regard to this particular rock, is indicative of the popular saying: "If the stone Scrocca, farewell to the rock."

The Sienese expanded the fortifications and endowed the town with walls of a cornice made with intermediate support towers. During the rule of Siena Roccalbegna suffered assaults and raids by the Aldobrandeschi, as in 1331, when gangs of Count Andrea sacked the town of Santa Fiora. The country remained despite the troubled period was under the influence of the Sienese Republic until the mid-sixteenth century when it surrendered to Florence. Cosimo I de 'Medici to give Roccalbegna in fief to Cardinal Antonio Sforza and Sforza-Cesarini family descendants of Santa Fiora. In 1646, after being returned to the Grand Ducal estate, passed to the family of Siena Bichi-Ruspoli, remaining under their control until the late eighteenth century when it became a municipality in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
In the village is worth visiting the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, built in medieval times, which preserves valuable works of art of various periods. Unique and unusual is the position of the architrave of the portal strongly inclined to the right due to a collapse of the ground. Nearby is the Oratory of the Holy Cross with a beautiful bell tower that houses the Museum of Oggio Roccalbegna. To the south is still well-preserved gate of the fen and immediately outside it is the fifteenth-century Church of Our Lady of Succour.

The country also retains some civic buildings including the Palazzo Ruspoli-Bichi that occurs in ashlar masonry defensive system and the remains of which are still visible a door, some sections of walls and towers. But the peculiar feature of Roccalbegna are the two spikes of rock above it. On the higher, commonly called by the inhabitants "the rock" is used essentially as a keep a lookout point, probably built in the early thirteenth century by the Counts Aldobrandeschi. The position of an eagle nest gives charm to this fort that the military point of view overlaid unimportant. The "rock" in the centuries has caused concern neeli inhabitants of the country because of stability problems and gaps for the position of rock that swooped on the homes below. A popular saying in fact reads: if the Rock Sasso Scrocca goodbye.

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, due to the loss of its strategic importance, the fort, then owned by the State of Siena, was left abandoned. On the rocky outcrop stood a keep built by the Sienese in today to visit the remains now used as a public garden.


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