Fort Focardo sits at the top of a cliff on the eastern coast of the promontory in Capoliveri, between Naregno beach and Capo Perla and if you want to go there from Capoliveri just follow the signs for Capo Perla (the turning is on the road to Straccoligno). The building stands on a rocky ridge with a sheer drop down to the sea, at the end of a grit road on your left, some hundred metres before you get to the beach.
The fort was built in 1678 during the Spanish rule on the island, and it is called after the man who had it built, Don Ferdinando Gioachino Foscardo di Roquentes e Zuniga, who at that time was Governor of Piazza di Longone and captain general of the Kingdom of Naples.
It was built with the aim of strengthening, along with the Fort of San Giacomo, their defence system from any attacks from the sea.
Between the XVIII and the XIX centuries the fortress suffered many attacks, both from foreign enemies, like the Imperial Army during the Spanish Wars of Succession.and also the French, and from local enemies, when a group of people from Capoliveri organised a protest against the French and attacked and ransacked the building.
In 1848 the lighthouse was built, later classed as fourth category, that is, belonging to the warning type, because the aim was to keep a constant watch on the coast, and above all to notice any enemy ships immediately that tried to come into the port.
In the first twenty years of the 1900s, one of Italy's most famous writers, Raffaello Brignetti, spent his youth at the fort while his father was the lighthouse keeper.
For the artist the island turned out to be a source of great inspiration and his time in Elba remained a happy memory for him.
Today nobody is allowed either into the fort or to the lighthouse because they are both property of the Navy, but from the outside you can admire the breathtaking view of the sea, of Porto Azzurro with Fort San Giacomo further up, and that of Cima del Monte in the background.
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