Castle of the Rocchette

photos by Marco Ramerini

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Two views from the sea of the rocky promontory of the Rocchette: in the first photo the southern side with the watch tower , in the second that northern with the barracks.


The Rocchette rise on the Thyrrenic coast around two kilometers south of Cala Galera and five before Castiglione della Pescaia, it can be reached following a deviation of the SS327, the road that from the coast leads to Grosseto.


» Aerial view of the Castle
» Where is Le Rocchette located?

Of the castle or fortress, or even more simply tower, of Rocchette there are no documents of its origin but it is named in official documents of the year 1188. Its position on a rocky promontory around thirty meters high on a precipice overlooking the sea without beach or cove allows us to assume its purpose has always been only that as a lookout post, even if its form is more articulated in comparison to the other Tuscan coastal towers. The central nucleus is constituted by a square tower surrounded by a wall of irregular form. The inside of the small fortification included an apartment for the commander and a barracks for the garrison, an oven, the stable and a cistern for the water.

In the XV century the Rocchette was involved in the war between Florence and the King Alfonso of Aragon which in the year 1460 gave the fortress and the whole district of Castiglione della Pescaia, with the Giglio island, to Antonio Piccolomini of Aragon of the dukes of Amalfi, the pope's nephew Pio II. The Piccolomini family remained owner of the area up to 1559, when they sold this possesion to Donna Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de' Medici, Duke of Florence and Siena. The tower was in operation, with a 4 pounder gun and various smaller fire arms, for the whole 19th century, as documented by Colonel Warren's famous report compiled after his inspection of all the Tuscan coastal defenses.

The small fortress is today a private residence. Thanks to this it's still in good conditions but not visible. We can have a better view of it from the sea.


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