Against the threat of Islamic, Norman and Greek pirates, starting from the eighth century, or due to conflicts with the Genoese, Catalans, Neapolitans and French, up to the English and Dutch corsairs from the sixteenth century, Elba island is organized with a respectable defensive apparatus, especially thanks to the Pisans and the Lordship of the Appiano. In addition to a system of fortresses, towers positioned on the shore of the beaches and watch towers placed on the mountain, the presence of some fortified churches from the eleventh century until the sixteenth century is very unusual: the church of San Niccolò in San Piero in Campo, the church of Sant’Ilario, the church of San Niccolò in Poggio, and of the church of Saints Martyrs Giacomo and Quirico in Rio nell’Elba.

Main tasks of the research are: study of the transformations of the churches of San Niccolò in San Piero in Campo and of the church of Sant’Ilario, located on the southern slope of Monte Capanne, where was used the construction technique of the granite of the Elba; the way of communicating cultural heritage among scholars or tourists who are fascinated by such structures. Through an initial operation of instrumental survey with 3D laser scanning and drone photogrammetry it is possible to return the current 3D models of the churches. The second step goes on two main directions: on one hand identifying the conservative restoration operations for the fortified churches; on the other hand allowing the dissemination to a wider public of the history of the two fortified churches.