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Rocca di Papa
Comune di Rocca di Papa
View of Rocca di Papa.
View of Rocca di Papa.
Coat of arms of Rocca di Papa
Location of Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa is located in Italy
Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa
Location of Rocca di Papa in Italy
Rocca di Papa is located in Lazio
Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa
Rocca di Papa (Lazio)
Coordinates: 41°45′40″N 12°42′33″E / 41.76111°N 12.70917°E / 41.76111; 12.70917
Metropolitan cityRome (RM)
FrazioniPratoni del Vivaro
 • MayorVeronica Cimino
 • Total40 km2 (20 sq mi)
680 m (2,230 ft)
 (30 April 2017)[2]
 • Total17,166
 • Density430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code06
Patron saintSaint Charles Borromeo
Saint day4 November
WebsiteOfficial website
Convent of Palazzola.

Rocca di Papa (Roman Castles Romanesco: 'A Rocca) is a small town and comune (municipality) 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".


The city is built on the location of the latine city of Cabum.

Documents from 12th century name Rocca di Papa as Castrum Rocce de Papa ("Rock of the Pope Castle"), because Pope Eugene III lived there. In 1541, Pier Luigi Farnese and French troops destroyed the castle. In 1855, the town proclaimed the "Rocca di Papa Republic" against prince Colonna and the Papal States.

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, destroying the town centre. 34 people died in that airstrike, and 35 more died in a second one on 25 May. The city was liberated from the Nazi German occupation on 4 June 1944 by the 85th Infantry Division, of the United States Army.

In June 2019, an accidental explosion at the town hall building killed Mayor Emanuele Crestini and another man, while several others were injured.[3]

Main sights


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



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.

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.


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.


The alpine-style funicular of Rocca di Papa was inaugurated on 12 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 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 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 euros to the reopening of the funicular, on 29 October 2013, 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.


Twin cities



  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Rocca di Papa, il sindaco Emanuele Crestini è morto da eroe: è uscito per ultimo per salvare i dipendenti