Roccantica, a “small gem” near Rome, clinging to the Sabine mountains, covered by a “sea” of olive trees and surrounded by an extensive Mediterranean scrub, and, far away, downhill, the outline of Mount Soratte that is like a stage at sunset. Roccantica, a melodious and dreamy name that makes you think of a relaxing and unchanged village where walking through small roads and alleys, you enjoy the noise of your pace on the cobblestone while you have a breathtaking view.
“Medioevo in Festa” (Feast of the Middle Ages) begins in 1996, an initiative of the Town Hall and “Pro Loco” of Roccantica.
Taking into consideration that Roccantica has a typical medieval structure and also a unique historical characterisation, an idea emerged on realising the most important and determinant medieval event concerning the historical commemoration regarding Roccantica in the year 1059.
In fact that year the village took part of the power conflict between Pope Niccolò II and the “antipope” Benedetto X. Roccantica, lined up with Niccolò II, was destroyed by the Crescenzi troops, allied with Benedetto X. Although the involvement of the troops of the Norman Roberto d’Altavilla set on the run the Crescianziani troops, only 12 persons in Roccantica (roccolani) survived after the sanguinary attack.
In the year 1060, the Pope who recognised their value with a special papal bull dated 18th April 1060 (containing the 12 survivors’ names) enfeoffed the village in the Catholic Church’s estates favouring Roccantica with many “papal privileges and subsidies”.
Everybody in Roccantica was very excited about the idea of the village’s historical reconstruction; on the other hand their aim was already focused on a concrete attempt to recover a historical consciousness of that period due to the forthcoming publication, on behalf of the Town Hall and the “Pro Loco” of Roccantica, of the volume “Roccantica – Medioevo che vive” (Roccantica – Middle Ages living) by Giovanni Cecchini.