The village of Rocca Santa Maria , according to some documents dating back to 1273, takes its name from an ancient fortified structure located on Colle Castello, which in the past had a great importance inside of the territory.
According to various traces found, the human presence dates back at least to the Roman era. In fact, in Sant’Omero there is a monument that proves the construction, in the year 637 in Rome, of the Cecilia Metella road that crossed the territory of Rocca Santa Maria. This road branched off from the Salaria road, at the height of Amatrice, and rejoined it at the height of the Val Vibrata. This section-shortening, undoubtedly, was built to be able to reach the numerous villages already present at that time in the territory of Rocca Santa Maria.
Of very important historical memory was the settlement, during the seventeenth century, of the Briganti , who found in the territory of Rocca Santa Maria, dominated by centuries-old woods and impetuous mountain roads, the perfect place to stop before resuming the journey. Their presence, however, was strongly opposed by local residents who formed a real army to be able to drive them out and thus put an end to the thefts, devastation and criminal actions carried out by brigands.
Until a century ago, before the modern era, Rocca Santa Maria was divided into several small towns, communities in their own right, with their own organization, their own economy and with their own activities linked to the resources most present in that place. Some villages were dedicated to the breeding of cattle, others to those of sheep, still others to the forest industry or the agricultural production of cereals or the management of water mills.
In addition, Rocca Santa Maria, and in particular the Bosco Martese, have become famous for being the scene of the first battle of the Partisans against the German troops in 1943. The Bosco Martese thus became the place symbol of the partisan resistance against Nazi-Fascism. In those days of struggles and reprisals many young people died, today, in those places we can admire two monuments and several tombstones dedicated to their sacrifice.
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