We found Casa La Rocca in January 2007 – habitable but in need of some serious renovation. Luckily the adjoining vineyard, orchard and field were available too. Unable to resist the charm of the place and the wonderful views, we took the plunge. A few months later the paperwork was completed and the biggest project of our lives was underway…
In the past the house would have stood in splendid isolation, able to maintain a wary lookout both up and down this strategic route into the Sulmona valley. The original building, dating from about 1600(?), was probably a large fortified farmhouse with vaulted animal stables and barns on the ground floor and living rooms above. Topping this, we have been told, was a lookout tower which was perhaps demolished or maybe it fell with disuse? A recycled beam still acts as a tie in the loft space. Evidently a grand place in its heydey but, by the middle of the last century, little was left but a few walls and lots of stone.
In the late 1960s the ruins were repaired and Casa La Rocca was effectively rebuilt and extended to its present size and form. Little remains of the original building – just the walls and vaulted ceiling of the sitting room. The walls, though, are three feet thick keeping us cool during the heat of the summer!
We have updated and converted the house into a family home and a holiday apartment. We wanted not only to make it available for friends and family, but also to be able to offer self-catered accomodation to people coming to explore the rich natural history and spectacular environment that is on our doorstep.
All mod cons have been added, landscaping undertaken and things are more than comfortable. The vineyard is in full production, the orchard is being rejuvinated and new trees have been planted out on the land. Though the project continues gently (further landscaping work in 2018), we are now in our tenth year of welcoming visitors to this delightful, unspoilt backwater of Central Italy!