When the Romans had destroyed the ancient Tusculum in 1191, the territory was purchased by the Annibaldi and the future Rocca Priora welcomed refugees from the old abandoned city (just as the towns of Monte Compatri and Monte Porzio had done).
From 1382 to 1596, the stronghold was under the rule of the Savelli, who improved it with numerous building extensions and restoration work. In 1436, owing to conflicts with Pope Eugene IV, the castle and adjoining village were occupied by the Pope’s troops. It was only in 1447 that Pope Nicholas V returned the fief to the Savelli.
For a short time, at the beginning of the 16th century, the Borgia took over the town until the death of Pope Alexander VI in 1503, when it was purchased again by the Savelli.
As of 1538, owing to economical difficulties, Rocca Priora became part of the Papal Patrimony, until the beginning of the 19th century. In 1806, Rocca Priora was sold and the territory was shared between Luciano Bonaparte and the Rospigliosi family. In 1870, Rocca Priora officially became a town.