Rocca Sinibalda

Rocca Sinibalda

Route: Rocca Sinibalda

Area: Lazio region, Central Italy

Date of walk: 30th May 2023

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 1.0 mile

Ascent: 150 feet

Weather: Sunny and warm

The ancient village of Rocca Sinibalda sits on a spur of rock dominating the Turano Valley. Its main point of interest is the castle, once a fortress but now a palace with several names, a bizarre architectural form, a quirky history and a unique art collection. As well as the Castle of the Eagle, it is also called the Castle of Metamorphoses, while the plaque by the entry door refers to it as the Castle of Invented Destinies. Each of these names refers to a phase in its chequered history, click here for more information about this fascinating place

Entry times are limited and anyone wanting to book a tour is advised to check in advance here

We parked in a free car park near the village church known as the Church of Saints Agapitus and Justin. We walked up the main village street towards the castle entrance. We were aware that it would be closed so this didn’t come as a disappointment

A short circular route took us around Cesarini’s Castle (one of its other names), and along the way there were lovely views over the fortified walls to the Turano Valley. On completing the circuit we retraced our steps back to the start

During the course of our short stay in the Sabine Hills area we visited seven ancient small villages and towns – Posticciola, Colle di Tora, Castel di Tora, Rocca Sinibalda (today’s walk), Toffia, Frasso Sabino and Monteleone Sabino. These general comments apply to all of them, and no doubt to the many other old villages in the region. Anyone following our footsteps is advised to park outside the old areas for two reasons: firstly, traffic regulations are in place which restrict entry to locals and, secondly, the streets are very narrow and winding, and inevitably peter out. Once in, it would be hard to get out. These quiet communes do not cater for mass tourism and although there may be the occasional village shop, local bar or restaurant there is no guarantee that it will be open for business. I’ve provided the customary route maps of our walks, but it’s not necessary to follow a set route. There are numerous alleys, staircases and narrow passageways and it’s best to follow whichever of these looks to be the most tempting

Click on the icon below for the route map

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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