Alcatraz: what to see on the island off the coast of San Francisco

What to see Alcatraz, like visiting the island, the history of the prison, because they closed, the best times to book excursions, panoramas.

How to visit Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is located off the San Francisco Bay and is part of the state of California in the United States. The name Alcatraz, of Spanish origin, which translated in Italian means pelican, was assigned to the island as it had the characteristic of being inhabited by pelicans.

But what makes it very famous Alcatraz Island is the presence eponymous maximum security prison which has always been very difficult to escape. Taking a step back in history we see that in the 1850s, following the dissemination of research of gold in California, many ships were broken here and why it was built a lighthouse to guide them in the port of San Francisco.

But in 1909 it was decided to build a prison at that point, and this resulted in the need to move the lighthouse in another place. Initially, the prison was used for military purposes but later, in 1934, became a federal maximum security.

In the prison of Alcatraz prisoners were treated very harshly as those who were sent here were considered very dangerous criminals that in several cases had already tried to escape from other prisons. The cells were very small, and put to one detainee. Then there were the isolation cells intended for the most unruly, that stood out for being very cold and dark.
Being able to work within the prison was a privilege granted only to those who if they earned the total respect of the rules of the prison. The prison of Alcatraz was opened in total for 29 years and during this time period there were 26 escape attempts that did not go through.
Inmates who first managed to escape from Alcatraz were Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe that December 16, 1937 were able to cross the bars of a small window of the prison and, protected by the fog, earned the escape by sea to San Francisco.

The most famous case of escape from Alcatraz was one regarding inmates Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin who, with great dexterity, managed to escape by going through the ventilation system, after leaving the mannequins on cots in place to mask more time for their absence from the cells and have more time to earn his freedom.

And ‘This is the true story that inspired the famous movie Escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood as the main protagonist. Because of the high costs, in 1963 it was decided to close this prison until the reopening decades exclusively for tourism purposes.

On the island of Alcatraz is possible to visit the prison of the same name by escurisoni tours booked in advance. They made two trips a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Many tourists prefer the afternoon in order to enjoy the spectacle of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset in the background with the city of San Francisco.

It is the suspension bridge over the Strait of the same name from which it takes its name, which connects the ‘Pacific Ocean and the Bay of San Francisco, a work of engineering among the largest of its kind in the world, almost 3 km long with two towers well each 225 meters above the sea level.