Central Italy

La Vita Rocca: Among the Ruins of Calascio

The road narrows with every foot of elevation gain. It’s lined by five feet of snow, an uncommon amount for this area. Nearing the top and seeking a place to park, we encounter a small car heading down the valley. A middle-aged woman pops her head out the window. When we ask about a place to stay, she answers, “Talk to my husband.”

We enter the abandoned streets of Calascio. It’s in the Abruzzo region right in the center of Italy, maybe shin-height on the Mediterranean boot. This old village is named for the medieval fortress that dominates its upper reaches, Rocca Calascio. It’s late January, prime time for the Alps and the Dolomites up north. But fresh snow blankets the landscape here, too.
Soon, an old man welcomes us in a quick-spoken mix of both Italian and English. His name is Marco and he throws a big metal rod to the ground again and again, aiming to break the ice that covers the road. We can see the Rocca above the village, a ruined remnant of medieval times…

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Snowboarder’s Journal.


The Snowboarder's Journal mailing list

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.