The Brigands

The territory of Rocca Santa Maria has long been a borderland, it was in fact the northernmost province of the Kingdom of Naples, on the sidelines with the Papal State and this strategic position, together to the characteristics of the territory dominated by centuries-old woods and impetuous mountain roads, has allowed and facilitated the flourishing of the phenomenon of banditry since 1500.
It is in these valleys that the most famous Brigand of all was born, Marco Sciarra, the scourge of God, remembered for his reckless exploits.
At the head of his band of about a thousand men he even managed to endanger the conclave that was held in Rome for the elections of the new Pope.
Marco Sciarra is also defined as a Robin Hood ante litteram who stole from the rich to give to the poor and for this reason numerous legends flourished about his figure, one of the most curious is the one concerning his meeting with Torquato Tasso: Marco Sc iarra gave the green light to his passage in the lands controlled by him.
This famous Brigante died for the betrayal of one of his comrades, after having kept the Papaline and Neapolitan troops in check for 7 years without ever being defeated.

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