|Where it is||Portoferraio - Old Part|
|How to get there||Start off at the Palazzina dei Mulini, then 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 2017||From 08.06 to 17.09: 10.00-20.00|
From 26.03 to 07.06 and from 18.09 to 05.11: 10.00-18.40
7 euros / 5 euros reduced
Cosmopoli Card 7 euros / reduced 5 euros (children from 6 years old to 18, students and the over 70s( /no charge (children up to the age of 6, the disabled) - valid for 7 days all and allows you into the following places of culture in Portoferraio: Linguella Museum, Fortresses, Forte Falcone and Vigilanti Theatre.
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). It was designed by Giovan Battista Belluci from San Marino, and under the guidance of Giovanni Camerini, 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 roadthat starts in Via della Regina and 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 with the same name 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 the Fort 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 Le Ghiaie Beach.
Today only two of the four sentry boxes that stood at each corner of the fortress remain: the north-eastern one where the Lorraine cross that is still in good condition is kept, and the south-western one that 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.