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Varignano Fortress, Grazie - Portovenere, Italy

Varignano Fortress opens for the first time in 300 years

An exciting and unique occasion will take place on the weekend of 25 and 26 March 2017 in the Gulf of Poets: Varignano Fortress will open its doors to the public for the first time in almost 300 years!

The Fortress of Varignano was erected in 1724 under the rule of the Republic of Genoa. It was used initially as a storage area for goods and as a lazzaretto, or quarantine station for maritime travelers. In 1808, it was converted into a military station under the Napoleonic regime. Eventually it was also used as a high-security prison and a military hospital. In 1862 and 1867 it hosted Italian general and nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of Italy’s “fathers of the fatherland”, who was cured there.

Varignano Fortress, Liguria - Xylography from 1889
Xylography from 1889 depicting Varignano Fortress. Source: enotrius

More recently, the fortress was used as headquarters of the Marine Military and as a training ground for underwater incursions. Today, it hosts the COMSUBIN Diver and Raider Command Group, the elite commando frogman force and one of the Italian special forces.

Thanks to the network of events known as FAI Spring Days, organized by the National Trust of Italy (Fondo Ambiente Italiano – FAI), civilians and tourists will be able to explore this important piece of local history.

Fortezza Varignano, Porto Venere
The Fortress. Photo by Davide Papalini (ShareAlike 3.0)
Will you be in the area on 25-26 March 2017? Make sure not to miss this special occasion! Fortezza di Varignano is located in the Le Grazie fraction in Portovenere. Here you can also visit the Roman Villa of Varignano, which hosts an archeologic museum.

 

Source: Città della Spezia

Featured photo above by Paolo Grassi

GrandHotelPortovenere

Seafront hotel with the best views of the Gulf of Poets in Liguria. Explore this beautiful Italian region with Discover Portovenere Blog.