Rocca Pia

Castle in Tivoli

Public Domain / Adrian Pingstone

Despite the Latin inscription above its entrance proclaiming its construction by Pope Pius II for the protection of Tivoli’s inhabitants from external threats, the true purpose of the imposing Rocca Pia castle was to assert papal authority over the rebellious townsfolk. With its formidable structure boasting four round towers and thick walls, the fortress served as a stark reminder of the power and dominion of the papacy. Visitors can experience the fortress’s imposing presence by crossing its drawbridge and ascending to its ramparts, offering commanding views of the surrounding landscape.

Nearby, on Via Aldo Moro close to Piazza Garibaldi, lie the remnants of the Bleso Amphitheater, dating back to the 2nd century AD. Originally capable of accommodating up to 2000 spectators, much of the amphitheater was unfortunately dismantled during the construction of Rocca Pia. Despite its partial destruction, the remains of the amphitheater stand as a poignant reminder of Tivoli’s ancient past, echoing with the whispers of bygone gladiatorial contests and spectacles of antiquity.

The Rocca Pia appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Tivoli!

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Visiting Rocca Pia

Address: Rocca Pia, Vicolo Barchetto, Tivoli, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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