Rocca di Papa

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Rocca di Papa
Comune
Comune di Rocca di Papa
View of Rocca di Papa.
View of Rocca di Papa.
Coat of arms of Rocca di Papa
Coat of arms
Rocca di Papa is located in Italy
Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa
Location of Rocca di Papa in Italy
Coordinates: 41°45′40″N 12°42′33″E / 41.76111°N 12.70917°E / 41.76111; 12.70917
Country Italy
Region Lazio
Province / Metropolitan city Rome
Frazioni Pratoni del Vivaro
Government
 • Mayor Emanuele Crestini
Area
 • Total 40 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 680 m (2,230 ft)
Population (31 May 2015)
 • Total 16,949
 • Density 420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Roccheggiani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 00040
Dialing code 06
Patron saint Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint day November 4
Website Official website
Convent of Palazzola.

Rocca di Papa is a small town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, Lazio, Italy. It is one of the Castelli Romani about 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast of Rome on the Alban Hills. It is close to the other communes of Velletri, Rocca Priora, Monte Compatri, Grottaferrata, Albano and Marino. It is the center of the Regional Park known as the "Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani".

History

Documents from 12th century name Rocca di Papa as Castrum Rocce de Papa ("Rock Castle of the Pope"), because Pope Eugene III lived there. In 1541 Pier Luigi Farnese, with French troops, destroyed the castle. In 1855 the people proclaimed the "Rocca di Papa Republic" against prince Colonna and the Papal States government. In 1889 the "Royal Geodynamic Observatory" was built on the top of Rocca di Papa, near the little Church of the Crucified. Between 1922 and 1935 the scientist Guglielmo Marconi carried out several experiments from this building in radio-transmission, wireless transmission and broadcasting.

In 1944, during World War II, Rocca di Papa was bombed. The Center of the city was destroyed. Thirty four people died in that air strike and 35 died in a second air strike on 25 May. The city was liberated from the Nazi German occupation on 4 June 1944 by the 85th Infantry Division.

Main sights

  • Papal Fortress, known since medieval times but restored in the current form during the reign of Pope Paul III.
  • Santuario Madonna del Tufo
  • Chiesa del Crocefisso
  • Church of the Assunta, built in the 18th century. It is dedicated to the Assumption, and was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1806 in larger size.
  • Fontana della Barcaccia
  • Quartiere dei Bavaresi, built by Bavarian militiamen left here by Emperor Louis IV in 1328.
  • Via Sacra (The Sacred Way of Monte Cavo).
  • Convent of Palazzolo, located on top of a rock dominating the east shore of Lake Albano. The old Roman buildings (on the site on which some scholars place the ancient Albalonga) was turned into monasteries and a church dedicated to Saint Mary of Palatiolo. In the orchard of the convent is a sepulchral monument of the 2nd century BC with a staircase pyramid. Currently, the Abbey and the church belong to the English College.

Economy

The economy of Rocca di Papa is mostly based on tourism and agriculture, the latter dominated by wine and vine production.

Culture

Festivals

The most important festival held in Rocca di Papa is the Roast Chestnut Festival (3rd week-end of October), in which it is possible to eat the roast chestnut (the "Rocchicianelle") with wines of Castelli Romani pouring out by stands in the streets of the town.

Geophysical Museum

The Geophysical Museum shows scientific data about the inside of the Earth. It has preservation tools and scientific documents of the geology, geography and terrestrial physics of the Earth.

The astronomic observatory

The astronomic observatory "Franco Fuligni", located in the frazione of Vivaro, is a public structure, available to whoever (skygazings, curious, amateur astronomers, groups and students) is interested in astronomy.

Rocca di Papa funicular 1907, "Valle Oscura" station.

Sports

There is the Federal Equestrian Centre of C.O.N.I. – Pratoni del Vivaro. It is situated on a knoll in the center of the communal farm of "Domatore". Since 1960, when the equipment for the horse-riding events was installed for the Olympic Games, it has been the center of equestrian championships and a meeting place for horse-riders. The equipment has been improved and enlarged to form an adequate spot for the preparation of the best horse-riders, offering an excellent track with every kind of difficulty and obstacle.

Transport

The alpine style funicular of Rocca di Papa was inaugurated on the 12th August 1907 (although it had already entered service on 10 October 1906). It connected "Valle Oscura" to "Viale Silvio Spaventa" and worked on the water-ballast counterbalancing principle, which was also regulated according to the number of passengers.

The Valle Oscura funicular was dismantled and on the 28 July 1932, a new electric funicular was inaugurated, this connected "Valle Vergine" station (also called Anello) with "Piazza Margherita" (later, Piazza della Repubblica), this remained in service until the 15 December 1963 before giving way to new means of transport. The upper station, which became a bus station, still contains a cabin from the electric funicular which was used to transport passengers for thirty years. The lower cabin was partially destroyed during a fire in 2003.

After the regional government of Lazio officially assigned a budget of 6 million euro to the reopening of the funicular, on 29 October 2013, in a ceremony attended by the governor of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti; work began on reconstruction of the funicular, half a century after its closure. The project provides for the reconstruction of the funicular on its old site, with associated access works and the construction of an access road to connect the station with the main road between Rocca di Papa and Grottaferrata.

Rocca di Papa was also connected to Rome by the Castelli Romani tramway, dismantled in the 1960s and replaced by a bus service. Direct road connection to Rome is provided by the SS511 Anagnina State Road and by the Via dei Laghi (former SS217 State Road). The nearest railway station is that of Frascati.

Famous people

Twin cities

References

  • 1960 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 81.

External links

  • Official site Geophysical Museum
  • Official site Astronomic observatory
  • Official site of Palazzola-Venerable English College


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