Visit Mestre’s forts

Visit Mestre’s forts Mestre’s defence forts were built at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.  Visiting them is a chance to get off the beaten track, to see a part of Venice that is usually forgotten.  It exhibits both historical, architectural and botanical aspects of Venice rarely seen by tourists.

The chain of forts, built originally to protect Venice from land attack began with Fort Marghera in order to protect the rail connections to and from the city.  Fort Manin was built as a support and to consolidate Fort Marghera.

Five forts, built at the beginning of the nineteenth century were considered the front line of defence. These were:  Fort Pepe, the Forts Cosenz and Mezzacapo on the Dese River and the forts in Carpenedo, Tessera, Brendole and Fort Tron.

Fort Marghera
It was designed by the Austrians and built by the French between 1805 and 1809 in order to block access to the lagoon from the Salso Canal.  In 1848 it was taken by Venetian patriots as a strategic defence against the Austrians.  Today its 485,125 square metres are under construction with plans for a museum and cultural exhibition centre.  The land is an important botanical reserve.

Fort Gazzera
This fort was built in Gazzera between the Marzenego River and the smaller Dosa River between 1883 and 1887.  Its main aim was to protect access to Mirano, Castelfranco and the rail connection to Treviso.  In the end it was never used for military purposes because its position and armaments were deemed inadequate almost immediately.  For many years it was used as an arms deposit until it was closed down in 1980.  It is surrounded by a deep ditch which can only be crossed by bridge.  Today it is the centre for the Museum of Art and Local Traditions.

Fort Carpenedo
The fort was built in the years between 1887 and 1890.  It is similar in design to Fort Tron and Gazzera and follows an important communication line between Treviso and Trieste.  Points of interest are the large entrance gate built in Istrian stone and the coat of arms representing the royal family of Savoia.

Fort Tron
It was built in the same period as Carpenedo to protect the rail lines to Padua and Rovigo and entry points to the Brenta Riviera.  It is most interesting for its gardens which today are a protected natural heritage park for the Venetian province.

Fort Tessera (Fort Rossarol)
This is the most original fort.  It was built in 1907 in two levels with a central earthen tower and four wells. It has a 14 metre long machine gun look out built 2 metres under the central part of the fort.  On  the bottom floor of the fort are storage houses and soldiers’ living quarters.

Useful information:

Fort Marghera
Address:  Via Fort Marghera – 30173 Venice
Telephone:  (39) 041 5319 706
Open for visits:  Sunday and on appointment

Fort Gazzera
Address:  Via Brendole, Mestre-Venice (on the outskirts of Mestre between Gazzera and Chirignago)
Telephone: (39) 041 910021
Open for visits:  first Saturday and Sunday of every month and on appointment.

Fort Carpenedo
Address:  101 Via Mallon - 30174 Mestre, Venice
  (39) 041 5352 041
Guided visits:  First Sunday of every month.  Tel: 348 2305814
Visiting times:  Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 12.30, from 3.30 to sunset.  Closed Mondays.

Fort Tron
Address:  Via Colombara – 30175 Marghera, Venice
Open for visits:  first Saturday and Sunday of every month.

Fort Tessera (Fort Rossarol)
Address:  Via Pezzana – 30173 Tessera, Venice
Open for visits:  on appointment.



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