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Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano

Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano

Gorgona is the smallest of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (2.23 sq km) and is also the northernmost. It is 36 km from Livorno (on which it administratively depends) and has a coastal development of just over 5 km.The mountainous territory, on the western side, culminates at 225 m in Punta Gorgona, while the eastern side is crossed by three small valleys, the northernmost of which descends to the sea at the small beach and the village where the Cala landing place is located. of the Airport.Despite the lack of waterways, the island is self-sufficient thanks to the presence of deep and productive wells. About 10 km of dirt roads connect various buildings and areas intended for breeding and crops.The main center of the island is a small village that crowns the marina. Going inland there are two ancient fortifications: the Old Tower, Pisan, and the Torre Nova, Medici. Interesting is the fortified Church of San Gorgonio, while Villa Margherita, built on Roman remains, today is the seat of the penitentiary. At the top of the island is the complex from the second half of the nineteenth century which originally housed the lighthouse which was abandoned in 1975.There is evidence of the presence of man on the island as early as the Neolithic. In classical antiquity it was already known as Urgo, Gorgon and Orgòn. In 591 A.D. Abbot Orosio founded a monastery there where the relics of San Gorgonio were venerated. The island was then inhabited in a discontinuous manner in the 12th-13th century and subject to frequent barbarian incursions. Monks and small military garrisons resisted garrisoning the island until the seventeenth century. After a period of neglect in 1869 the penal colony was established, which is still an active prison.