An historical-military heritage
A widespread museum in which you can experience the Great War through pictures, relics and buildings giving a new life to the past.
You have surely noticed the historical buildings distributed along the peninsula. They are military fortifications erected to defend the city of Venice during the Great War.
Barracks, telemetric towers, bunkers, forts and coastal batteries are a precious architectural heritage that reveals us the historical-cultural identity of Cavallino-Treporti.
A ride through the Fortifications
Cavallino Treporti is a real open-air museum.
Departure from the sluice-gates of Cavallino towards Punta Sabbioni, then we continue along the coast up to the Radaelli Battery.
We are certainly not experts. We therefore invite you to read the books written by Furio Lazzarini (Historical Consultant of the Municipality of Cavallino Treporti), but, we still want to share with you a bit of the buildings’ history that you will see along the path.
A ride between history and nature to do with your family!
The sluice gates of Cavallino
When the sluice gates were built, the islet that stood there at the time, housed a building used - at the beginning - as a station for the payment of duty, and Inn. During the Great War the building was used a military post. Nowadays it houses the “Locanda alle Porte 1963”.
The Telemetric Towers to catch sight of the enemies.
Departing from the sluice gates of Cavallino, along the Via del Casson and then along the street on the Pordelio Canal, you will notice - on your left side - a series of towers that stand out among fields and houses. They are telemetric towers, observation posts where the soldiers could sight the enemy army. Then after calculating trigonometrically the distance of the targets, they transmitted the data to the various coastal batteries deployed in the territory.
The Telemetric Towers you will find in the area are:
- Riding along the canal up to the Forte Treporti: Torre Vignotto, Torre Sassonio, Torre Ca’ Bodi, Torre Ca’ Padovan, Torre Crepaldo, Torre Lio Grando.
- Riding from the Forte Treporti to the Radaelli Battery: Torre Hermada, Torre Ca’ Savio, Torre San Marco and Torre Scarpa.
Forte Treporti, better known as “Forte Vecchio”.
Once arrived in Lio Grando, you can admire the Forte Vecchio, erected by the Austrians between 1845-1851, on the ruins of an earlier French fort. The Fort was built to protect the mouth of the port of Punta Sabbioni and to defend the city of Venice. Two different telemetric towers were built during the First World War.
The Coastal Batteries
Once received the coordinates from the telemetric towers, the batteries could fire the shots with a high precision. While the telemetric towers were placed on the side of the lagoon, to be less visible to enemies, the batteries were mainly placed along the coast.
The three Batteries Amalfi, San Marco and Radaelli were built at the beginning of 1900, and were particularly active in the terrestrial front of the lower Piave, above all during the Austro-Hungarian offensive, in summer of 1918. Thanks to their more powerful armaments, with a much longer range, they could easily hit the targets.
The Pisani Battery, instead, was not active on that front, during the Great War, because of the shorter range of its howitzers, while, during the Second World War it was an active anti-aircraft artillery post.
The project “Via dei Forti”- born from the awareness that our territory is rich in historical evidences - has the aim of enhancing the history of the locality linked to the Great War.
A place of history and culture that includes, in the 13 km of coast, about 200 fortifications among telemetric towers, bunker, powder magazines and war shelters.
Today the Vettor Pisani Battery is the heart of “Via dei Forti”: seat of a Museum and real incubator of cultural events.
Not to be missed
- The Pisani Battery, built between 1909 and 1912, was named after the Supreme Venetian Commander that defeated the Genoese Fleet of Pietro Doria in the War of Chioggia, towards the end of the 14th century. The Battery was opened to the public in 2017 and is today venue of exhibitions spaces.
- The Amalfi Battery, built between 1915 and 1917, took its name from the homonymous cruiser sank by an enemy submarine on July 7th, 1915.
- The Radaelli Battery: was named after the patriot and General Carlo Alberto Radaelli, it is situated on the most eastern part of the littoral. It was mainly active in the Austro-Hungarian offensive in the summer of 1918.
- The San Marco Battery, built between 1909 and 1912, took its name from the Patron Saint of Venice - and together with the Amalfi and Radaelli batteries - was particularly active in the battles of the land front of the Lower Piave, especially in the summer of 1918.
- Forte Treporti, better known as “Forte Vecchio”, erected by the Austrians between 1845-1851, on the ruins of an earlier French fort. The Fort was built to protect the mouth of the port of Punta Sabbioni and to defend the city of Venice. Two different telemetric towers were built during the First World War.
Besides the coastal batteries, it became necessary to build also other military buildings as headquarters, guardhouses, barracks, storehouses and depots, gunpowder magazines, ammunition dumps and telemetric towers.
- The Caserma “Mandracio”, was the first barracks built in Cavallino Treporti, in 1911.
- The Caserma Ca’ Pasquali, was also built in 1911 and is known for the telemetric tower in its centre.
This is only a little taste of the treasures of our peninsula.
We suggest – of course – to take the opportunity to see for yourself these fragments of history that enrich our lands.