The Sant’Andrea Fort

Forte di Sant'Andrea

Forte San AndreaThe fort is also known as Castelnuovo.  It is built on the island of the same name, a small strip of land that looks across the canal to San Nicolò, Lido.  It is near the island called the Vignole. It was built in 1543 and is a work of art both artistically and in military terms.  It was built on what remained of previous defense systems.

It consists of a central body and an external bastion in which were posted the battalians (about 40 artillery and with various shooting positions).  Together with the San Nicolò fort, to which is was linked by a long chain, it was an important defence system at the entrance of Venice’s lagoon.
ON the lower part of the tower there is a plaque commemorating the Battle of Lepanto, above it is St Mark’s lion.  There is a deck of terrace at the top of the tower which was probably for collecting rainwater but which these days gives the visitor a wonderful view of Venice. An interesting description of the fort comes to us from Giacomo Casanova who was imprisoned there in 1743.

Access to the fort is opposite the bastion.  It is in the canal that separates the island from the island of the Vignole.  Compared to the side that faces onto the lagoon and Lido, this is completely without defence units, probably because it was thought that the artillery defence on the Lido side was so strong.

The first and only canon blast from this fort was on April 20th, 1797 on the eve of the fall of the Republic against the French warship, “La Liberateur d’Italie” that tried to force its way into the lagoon.
There have been numerous restructuring works done on the fort in an effort to stem sinking caused by the strong currents present in that part of the lagoon.  A strong foundation was built to that end which consolidated the entire structure.
At the same time, the island fort was abandoned, covered with undergrowth and without any public boat service for many years. 

In 1996 the province, in an effort to restore the lagoon’s forts, put money into improving the fort to what it is today.
Today, visits can be booked throughare organised the Comitato Certosa e S.Andrea.
Actv public boat services can be taken from S.Pietro di Castello in Venice or from the boat stop at the Vignole.
 
Useful Information:

Address: Isola di Sant’Andrea – 30100
Telephone: 041 2413717, 3683206846
Hours: by booking only
Email: comitatocertosa@infinito.it ; certosaisland@yahoo.it
How to get there: boat rides can be organised with the Comitato Certosa e S.Andrea  from Actv boat stops San Pietro di Castello or the Vignole. From the Fondamente Nuove take line 13 to the Vignole.
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