THE FORTIFIED SYSTEM OF PORTO ERCOLE
The imposing complex of the Rocca dominates the town, consisting of the stratification of several buildings of which the oldest 13th century, restructured in the 15th century on the basis of a Vecchietta project, further modified in the XVI under the direction of Anton Maria Lari and Baldassarre Lanci; remains inside a 15th century chapel. The city wall goes down to the sea connecting, through a tunnel, the Rock to the remains of the Santa Barbara bastion, built on the harbor similar to the Fort of Santa Caterina to strengthen the defensive system.
The Rocca is one of the three vertices of the fortified triangle on which the defense of the settlement was organized, connected to the other two by Forte Filippo and Forte Stella, realized with the contribution of military architects in the service of Cosimo I. Forte Filippo, on the hill overlooking the Rocca, was erected on the project of Giovanni Camerini (1558): in a deep moat, it has elongated quadrangular shape, with four powerful unequal and asymmetrical bastions. Of the very original shape is the Fortress Star, southwest of the Rock, facing the Insoluble, a six-pointed stellar plant within a four-pointed bastion.