Restored over the last few years by the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the Volterraio Fortress, one of the most beloved historical sites of Elba, can now be visited again. The fortress stands out from its 395 meters above sea level. set in the rock from which it emerges as if by magic. The place was chosen by the Etruscans to build the first sighting post and, again in the Etruscan period, the hill was part of an intelligent and efficient system of fortified hilltop villages between which, it seems, communicated by lighting fires. The structure took on a definitive appearance at the end of 1200 when the Maritime Republic of Pisa decided to redevelop it.
In the mid-fifteenth century, presumably around the sixties and in the context of strengthening the defenses of Elba wanted by Jacopo III Appiani, Lord of Piombino, it was enlarged taking on its current shape. In 1544 the fortress was briefly besieged by Khayr al-Dīn and later, in 1553, by Dragut. The military architectural complex performed wide-ranging sighting functions along the northern coastal stretch of the island and towards the overlooking sea. The complex continued to perform its functions even in the eighteenth century, and then became a garrison of the Napoleonic troops at the end of the century. Just in 1798 there was an insurrection against the French military which led to the semi-destruction of the complex, which has since been definitively abandoned. An impregnable fortress yesterday, a suggestive terrace overlooking Elba and the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago today. A breathtaking view shows the profile of the eastern ridge of Elba and on the horizon the slender shape of the island of Pianosa and the austere silhouette of Montecristo. The unique panorama allows you to look at the central part of the island from above with the soft hills, the wide southern gulfs and the inimitable morphology of the Gulf of Portoferraio with the imposing massif of Monte Capanne behind it. Further to the right you can clearly see the wild island of Capraia and, in the background, the snow-capped mountains of Corsica with Capo Corso, stretching towards the north.