“Se il sasso scrocca, addio la Rocca”

This is the famous popular saying of the inhabitants of Roccalbegna who are aware of the beauty and, at the same time, of the fragility of their small village set in a precious gem. The spikes of rock mentioned in the saying overlook the inhabited center and give it a unique feature.

The small town develops on the slopes of Monte Labbro, in a strategic position, surrounded by the Albegna river and unspoiled nature. However, there is a problem deriving from the instability of the ground and therefore, consequently, the fear that the “stone” could come off and fall ruinously on the village.

As in the other towns that arose in the south-eastern part of Monte Amiata, also in Roccalbegna there was a very strong influence on the part of the Aldobrandeschis who immediately understood its strategic importance. However, it was the Sienese who developed the keep, which has survived up to the present day thanks also to the care of some castellans. The town then passed under the fief of the Sforza and finally to the royal vicar of Arcidosso.

The main attraction of the small village is the so-called “stone”. In fact, the keep was built in the spikes which was mainly used as a lookout point. However, there are also other interesting structures to visit. The church of Saints Peter and Paul is a beautiful example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture combined with Baroque elements. Inside there are some masterpieces by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

The Oratory of the Crosifix and the civic tower are very interesting. The latter has a lopsided appearance resulting from the various landslides. The inhabited center has a soul of its own surrounded by the many suggestive alleys typical of Italian villages.

sports and events in Roccalbegna

Roccalbegna is located very close to the Albegna valley and the wildlife park. For sports enthusiasts, there are trekking routes that are truly noteworthy. For food lovers, however, we can point out that the Fiorino cheese, winner of various international awards, is produced in Roccalbegna.

Given the beauty of the small village, it is normal for there to be many events throughout the year. Most of them take place during the summer or during the autumn period because it is linked to the collection of chestnuts and mushrooms. However, there is one event that stands out from the others and it is possible to attend it only in a hamlet of Roccalbegna: the “Focarazza” in Santa Caterina.

It is a very old tradition born in the 16th century. Every 24 November the districts of the small town compete for the “stollo”, which represents the soul of the Saint. The “stollo” is a trunk of Turkey oak in which the “focarazza” is lit and once the fire has stopped, it must be brought by the challengers to their own district by any means possible. A very folkloric and compelling show.

Italy is a country full of contradictions, beauties, history and passion. Roccalbegna, in its small way, represents all this because the uniqueness of its “stone” contrasts with its danger, enveloping the area with a mystical and adventurous aura.