One of the three backbones of the defence system in Portoferraio

Where it isPortoferraio - Old Part
How to get thereSetting off from the Palazzina dei Mulini, go left along Via del Falcone and keep going until you come to a winding path on the right that takes you up to the entrance to the Fort.
Opening times 2017From 13.06 to 13.09
10.00 - 20.00
From 02.04 to 12.06 and from 14.09 to 02.11
10.00 - 16.40
Ticket prices5 euros / 3 euros reduced / 7 euros all inclusive
Portoferraio Card: An all inclusive ticket of 10,00 euros allows you into the following places of culture in Portoferraio: Linguella Museum, Fortress and Forte Falcone, Vigilanti Theatre and Roman Villa in Le Grotte

Fort Falcone has an area of 2360 square metres, and along with Fort Stella and the Linguella Tower, is one of the three "backbones" of the defence system of the town of Cosmopoli (the name given to Portoferraio by Cosimo l). Designed by Giovan Battista Belluci from San Marino, and under the guidance of Giovanni Camerini, it was built in 1548.

It sits on the highest hill in Portoferraio (79 metres a.s.l.) and you get to the Fort by following a winding road starting in Via della Regina that takes you up to the entrance, preceeded by a forepart dating back to the year 1700. Above the magnificent wooden door that has been completely restored, there is a marble plaque the same as the one in Porta a Mare and at Fort Stella, in memory of the Grand Duke Cosimo l, founder of Cosmopoli.

Once you have gone through the door, that in the past was protected by a drawbridge, you find yourself in a circular vault, leading on to all the internal corridors that, with their slits looking out onto the moat, were the Fort's original defense centre. Walking up a slope you then get to theramparts that defend the land side of the Fort. On the left there is a slab in memory of Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, the politician and writer who was held prisoner here in 1848; under the floor there is a large cistern (still in use), used for collecting the rain so as to ensure a water supply  in the event of their being attacked.

If you go along the walkway around the fort, you get to the side facing the sea where the steep cliff acts as a natural and insurmountable defense. The terreplain that can be reached via a small staircase on the left is surrounded by arches and rooms with circular or cross vaults once used as small storerooms or prisons. A tunnel on the right, now closed, takes you to a walkway that goes as far as Ghiaie Beach.

Today only two of the four sentry boxes that stood at each corner of the fortress remain: the north-eastern one has the Lorraine cross that is still in good condition, and the south-western one was rebuilt after the war. The central part of the fort was built for the Navy in the 1940s.

At present it is undergoing some repair work, but soon it will be back in the hands of Portoferraio and used for meetings, festivities and special events.

Suggestion from Infoelba: Once inside Fort Falcone, make a point of looking out of every single window, sentry box and slit. All the wonderful views, with their natural stone or pink plastered frames, make perfect and totally unique postcards.

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Forte Falcone