While looking for photo shoot locations in Italy for a styled shoot I came across this gem: Santa Maria della Pietà, an octagonal church on a bare mountain ridge in Abruzzo, Italy. Eventually we decided on another location, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit this otherworldly place in person while in Italy last August. I took two of my favourite people there (or rather, they took me) to escape the heat in Rome. The air up in the mountains was cooler, with a soft breeze, and – oh wonder – no mosquitoes.

 

Visiting Calascio and the castle

A small bus drove us from Calascio to the tiny four-car-parking lot of castle village. There was also the option to climb a narrow path, but that wasn’t suited for the not so very young legs of my travel companions. The castle village consists of two bars, a shop selling local products and a small hotel. The only traffic inside the village were pedestrians, and maybe the occasional scooter. The delivery of food and drink was done with a small cart which kind of looked like a wheelbarrow on caterpillar tracks.

From the village we walked on to the church, which sadly was closed (but that gives me a good excuse to visit again), and the castle. I It turned out to be even more magical in real life than all the photos I had seen online.

 

Dream elopement location

I tell you, if you have plans to elope or get married in Italy, look no further. This is by far one of my most favourite places that I have ever been. Everything felt authentic and pure. As if somehow this place has managed to not be affected by the thousands of tourists that pass by each year. It has everything you could possibly wish for: amazing views, more amazing views, a beautiful and unique church, agreeable temperatures when the rest of Italy is blazing hot at the end of summer, and delicious Italian food.

 

Your Italy wedding photographer

Oh how I would love to photograph a wedding or engagement shoot there. In the picturesque village of Calascio, on those bare rocks leading up to the church and castle, between the golden grass. If you have plans towards traveling there let me know! I spend around 8 weeks in Italy each year and would love to meet up, have an expresso together and go for a little adventurous photo session!