Forte Inglese

A fortress which crossed the centuries and then changing role: today hosts exhibitions and events overlooking an amazing landscape of Portoferraio and its surroundings.

Built on the hill of San Rocco, “Forte Inglese” was realized by Cosimo III Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1700s with the aim of protecting the city of Portoferraio from the ground attacks.

From then on, the fort had a troubled history: Gian Gastone, the last of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, pulled it down, driven by his fear that the fort would have been a danger more than a protection, becoming a weapon in the enemy’s hands.

And so it was: in 1796 English people landed in Portoferraio and took possession of the ruins of the Fort in order to rebuild it (for this reason it was called “Forte Inglese”). In 1802 Napoleon, at that time First Council, ordered to demolish and rebuild the fortress during the general fortification of the city. In doing so, the fortress became a strategic point of protection during his empire.

“Forte Inglese” was turned into a lazaret for typhoid patients during the 1800s and into a prison after Italy’s Unification. At the time of the Second World War it acted as antiaircraft battery base and then as bomb shelter for locals. It also became home for low-income families until the ’80s.

Today it hosts temporary exhibitions and events and it offers an amazing view on Elba landscape.


Opening times

Open during events and temporary exhibitions.

Photo by Gabriele Berti


0565 908231


Via Giagnoni, 5 - 57037