Rocca Sant’Angelo: walking above Marmore

Disputed between Rieti and Terni, it has witnessed numerous battles for the management of the water of the waterfall. Its position, between the Ternana basin, the Valnerina and Rieti, allows it to be seen from any point in the territory.

Walk up towards the peaks of Monte S. Angelo

Arriving in Marmore from Terni, take the first street on the right after the first houses (word Rancio). Leave your car (or motorcycle) at the small parking lot on the right near an abandoned building.

Continuing on foot, take the dirt road on the right and then keep the left onto a narrower path. The rest of the trail is easy to find, you must pass a gate that does not have the review on the left. Shortly after the gate, continuing to climb, you come to an open space from which you can hear the firing range, a bit annoying.

On the left the path continues on the top of the cliff reaching the top of the sgugrola. From here we find ourselves in a panoramic point that allows us to see the Ternana basin.

The tower is held up by a miracle, I am not the first nor the last to say it but it is not long before the day when the people of Terni will no longer see the tower on top of the mountain. And to think that it was an important place until a few years before the war.

Arrived, but the fortress is hidden in the woods

After a hairpin bend, the path enters the wood and continuing on to reach the antennas. Before arriving at the power station, entering the woods on the right (towards Terni with respect to the path) you can, with difficulty, find the remains of the fortress.

You can go up (or down) from the top of Monte Sant’Angelo from the asphalted road that leads back down to Miranda from the antenna plant. However, this road is closed by an iron gate which is located near the crossroads of the road that leads to Miranda.

Papigno in the foreground, in the background the sgurgola pass with the fortress on top of the mountain with the two towers still intact (around 1700)

How was the fortress

The pentagonal keep connects the fortress to those of the first nucleus of the Duchy of Spoleto, from Ferentillo to Campello sul Clitunno.

But here we are far from those territories that were part of the Duchy of Spoleto. The reason for this building technique could be sought either in the mere copy of a construction method, or perhaps in an earlier era, in which the Lombards before the arrival of Charles conquered a large part of the peninsula.

A necropolis and objects dating back to the Stone Age have been found near the fortress.

Set in a wall it seems to see parts of a building from the Roman era, but they are pure suggestions.

From the ruined walls you can see some deep circular holes, probably the residual casts once occupied by logs. the purpose was to give elasticity to the structure, a rudimentary anti-seismic system.

Some studies and the still visible remains allow us to hypothesize what the fortress looked like in the Middle Ages.

Reconstructive hypothesis

Thanks to a work in the development phase with Jok Produzioni, we had fun hypothesizing what the fortress must have been like in its moment of greatest expansion.

On the beautiful site archeologiaindustriale.org it is written that in 1927 a chapel was built right on the rock to commemorate the fallen from the Galleto construction site.

Unfortunately from the current remains nothing of this work remains, neither the chapel nor the cross or the torch that was placed on top of the tower.

In Terni I have often heard that the fortress was demolished and blown up because it was used during the Second World War as a reference point for airplanes for bombing the city.

In fact, the fortress is destined to disappear despite its great historical importance.