Gualdo Cattaneo is a small town in the heart of the Martani Mountains surrounded by extensive forests and olive groves, as is also reflected in the name of the town itself, which derives from 'Wald"(forest). The town was founded in 975 by Edoardo Cattaneoa vassal of Emperor Otto II of Saxony, who received it as a fief and decided to build a fortress there.
The village, located near Spoleto, was for a long time the object of contention between Foligno and Spoleto, who claimed control over it due to its strategic position on the Tiber valley. After a long period of political instability, it was only in the end, in 1493, that Pope Alexander VI Borgia gave it to Foligno, who decided to enlarge the Rocca until it became the centre of the city. In 1816, after the Restoration, Gualdo Cattaneo returned to the Papal States and became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
The building, built in 975 by Cattaneo, was modified in the 15th century by Pope Alexander VI Borgia to be able to defend against the new weapons and military techniques that had developed in the meantime.
To cope with the powerful artillery strikes, Francesco di Bartolomeo da Pietrasanta in 1594, designed the Rocca with the same defensive system now visible. The mighty fortified building, in fact, has at its apexes three towers communicating with each other and connected to the walls through underground passages that facilitate the control of the Rocca.