Volterraio Castle

volterraio

The Volterraio Castle is the most ancient fortification of the whole island of Elba. The origin of the name is uncertain: this could derive from the Etruscan vultur (vulture) or from the Volterra territory from which came the architect Vanni di Gherardo Rau who in 1281 cured the reconstruction.
The castle was enlarged by the Pisans who used the fortress for defensive purposes. Strengthened in 1440, it is one of the few Elban fortresses ever conquered by the Turkish pirates who raided the Island of Elba several times in their raids. In the hard sieges of 1544 and 1554 many Elba citizens found refuge and shelter behind the mighty walls of The Volterraio Castle. For its strategic position it is visible from almost every point of the island, guarding and defending the whole territory Elba.