|Where they are||Portoferraio - Old Part|
|How to get there||Go into Piazza Cavour via the Porta a Mare, then go along Via Guerrazzi (the uphill road on your left). On your left, before the tunnel going downhill, you will see the entrance to the Medicean ramparts.|
|Opening times 2021||from June 26 to August 31
|Ticket prices||Free entry|
|Contact||tel. +39 0565 944024 (Cosimo de' Medici) - www.visitaportoferraio.com|
As you sail into Portoferraio, you can't help but notice the magnificent city walls that seem to rise up from the sea. They are the Medicean ramparts, that the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo l had built as a defence against the Turkish attacks.
Once the construction work on the war defences of Fort Falcone, Fort Stella and the Linguella Tower was complete, Giovanni Camerini started building the ramparts of Fronte di Terra in 1555, going westwards for about 500 metres at the foot of Forte Falcone. On his death, Bernardo Buontalenti took over.
They are on four different levels (the "Veneziano", the "Casino di Mezzo", the "Palle" and the "Cornacchia"), and were a powerful defence against any attacks that may have come from the "Porta a Terra"; they were separated from the rest of the island by a moat that went from what today is the Banchina dell'Alto Fondale to the Ghiaie Beach, thus making Portoferraio an island in an island.
The Mulini rampart, so called because of the two windmills built there, between Forte Falcone and Forte Stella, was built to make the defence from the steep cliffs even better. After Forte Stella, in the direction of the Linguella Tower, another three ramparts were built: the "Pagliai, the "Maggiore" and the San Cosimo.
The whole town was closed off by an enormous wall on the same side as the wet dock where the only way to enter the town was via Porta a Mare.
As time passed, due to wars and the addition of new buildings, what the magnificent Medicean Fortresses represented in the past has now slipped into second place.
Despite this, however, once you are in Portoferraio, if you walk along the streets in the old part where there are less tourists, it will be easy for you to understand the importance of this town built in the XVl century with the aim of defending the Mediterranean.
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