A little excursion into the history of our coast through fortresses, batteries and telemetry towers
You will certainly have noticed all the historical buildings that stand out along our peninsula or that crouch hidden along the coast. They are military fortifications built to defend Venice during the Great War.
Stationed throughout the whole area, the barracks, telemetry towers, bunkers, fortresses and batteries are a precious architectural wealth that runs through the entire peninsula telling of an important aspect of the historical and cultural identity of Cavallino-Treporti.
Cycling through the fortifications
Starting from the gates to Cavallino towards Punta Sabbioni and off along the coast to Batteria Radaelli
I’m not an expert so for a more detailed explanation I’d recommend reading the texts by Furio Lazzarini (History consultant for the Municipality of Cavallino-Treporti), but I want to share these points of interest that touch each other along this path with you and introduce you to this setting.
There is a path through nature and history that I love following by bike, starting from the gates to Cavallino to Punta Sabbioni and then back along the coast.
„Cavallino-Treporti is a true open air museum"
The gates of Cavallino
When the gates of Cavallino were built, the little island created was home to a building initially used as a customs station and inn. During the period of the Great War this building was used as a military garrison. It now houses the “Locanda alle Porte 1963” inn.
The telemetry towers
For spotting the enemy in the distance
Leaving the gates of Cavallino and carrying on along Via Casson and then along Via Pordelio, you will notice a series of towers on your left that stand out among fields and houses. They are the telemetry towers, stations from where the lookouts could spot the enemy army, calculate the distance and send all the data to the batteries stationed throughout the territory.
Also known as Forte Treporti
When you reach Lio Grando you can admire Forte Vecchio. It was built between 1845 and 1851 to protect the mouth of Punta Sabbioni port and defend Venice’s lagoon. The two telemetry towers, on the other hand, were built during the first world war.
The telemetry towers along the path:
from along the canal to Forte Treporti -> torre Vignotto, torre Sassonio, torre Ca' Bodi, torre Ca' Padovan, torre Crepaldo, torre Lio Grando
from Forte Treporti to Batteria Radaelli -> torre via Hermada, torre Ca’ Savio, torre San Marco e torre Scarpa.
The coastal batteries
After receiving the coordinates from the towers, the batteries launched the artillery strikes with great precision
While the telemetry towers were in a more internal and well camouflaged position, to be less visible, the batteries were mainly stationed along the coast.
The Amalfi, San Marco and Radelli batteries, built at the beginning of the 1900s, were particularly operative on the land front of the Basso Piave area. Thanks to the armoured 360° rotating towers, equipped with cannons with an extremely long range, from these batteries it was easy to hit the enemy’s infantry and outposts.
But the Batteria Pisani couldn’t actively fight on the Basso Piave front during the First World War due to the reduced range of its cannons, whereas in the Second World War it was an active anti-aircraft artillery station.
This is a little taste of the wonderful treasure that we guard in our peninsula. My suggestion is to seize this opportunity and to come and admire these fragments of history that enrich our Cavallino-Treporti.