Edited by Mauro Bucci

During the conquests by the Medici in 1559, with the battles raging in Val d’Orcia and all the armies’ continuous skirmishes, most people deserted La Rocca, leaving the town practically destroyed.

Five years after the end of the war, in 1564, we find documents indicating that the main street, VIA DEL MEZO, was still inaccessible and uninhabitable.

As a consequence of the devastations of war, this depopulation caused all kinds of other problems.

In 1620, the town council of Rocca decreed that “...any person owning a house in this land is debarred from demolishing it, and by so doing the demolished house and any remaining part of it is forfeited to our Community”.

But this did not stop the decline. Even in 1700 we have news of houses being demolished because of their precariousness.

A contemporary scholar wrote about Rocca that “The houses, of which many are lost, because ruined, remain miserable and more similar to shacks than houses, have aspect”.

La Rocca never really recovered from that bloody conquest.