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you are here: Home Apulia Jonian Coast and Taranto Murgia Roccaforzata


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Situated on the top of a hill known as "Serra di Sant'Elia" at an altitude of 140 metres above sea level. From its name (fortified in the rock), it is possible to comprehend that it perches on one side over a cliff, whilst the Eastern side of the town centre stumbles down slowly to a plain.
The town during the Middle Ages was already known as Rocca-vecchia, whilst a later stage it was changed to Rocca-nuova and finally in 1561, it became Roccaforzata as it is today, thanks to the feudal Family Laforza, lords of this area at the time. The area is famous for its rural landscapes of evergreen woods and cultivated grounds.
It was surely inhabited during the Roman Ages but the local excavations have not yet traced the exact period.
Roccaforzata was part of the "Albania Tarantina" for the strong presence of Albanians (Epiroti) in the area, that settled in the area with their leader Skanderbeg, who was invited by King Ferdinando I d'Aragona to fight the local Norman Barons (Angioini) and their allies. Once the rebellion was over, for their merits in battle, the Albanians received the titles to build their settlements in the area and Roccaforte was one of them. Today in Roccaforte the Albanian language terms are not so common, whilst in the nearby San Marzano the Albanian influence was much stronger.
In town the Castle settles itself in the highest and most visible point of the Coast. Built in rectangular shape in local stone, it includes a defence tower of '300, wall signs and works of the XV century and finally assumed its actual form like a Baron palace in '600. of major interest is also the Church of the "Santissima Trinità" built in 1578.


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