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Hidden Treasures - Itinerary The Forts of Mount Brione

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When Italy declared war on Austria in 1915, the southern part of Trentino came to be part of the front line. Expecting a new conflict with Italy, the area had been heavily fortified on the austrian starting as early as 1860. In the Garda area five “generations” of alpine forts can be found. The fortification buildings around Riva del Garda include the Tagliata del Ponale, Bellavista Fort, the battery on the shore, the San Nicolò Fort, the Garda Fort, the Midway Battery, the Sant’Alessandro Fort, two mortar batteries on Mount Brione, the Tombio Fort and the two Forts at Nago.


Start: Porto San Nicolò, Riva (Viale Rovereto 110)
End:  Porto San Nicolò
Length: circa 6,5 km
Duration: circa 2h30'
Elevation difference: 310m
Difficulty: medium
Notes: This walk is not suitable for wheelchairs. The area is a natural reserve, please keep dogs on a leash. Take water with you on summer days. 

Texts © MAG Museo Alto Garda

1 The Forts of Mt. Brione

When Italy declared war on Austria in 1915, the southern part of Trentino became part of the frontline. Expecting a new conflict with Italy, the area had been heavily fortified on the austrian starting as early as 1860. In the Garda area five “generations” of alpine forts can be found.

The barrier formed by the Upper Garda Austrian forts straddled a somewhat articulated front, which from the Doss of Torta-Gavardina goes down to the Rocchetta before crossing the plain of the Lower Sarca area and then climbing up the Mount Stivo and Creino, also including the stronghold of Malga Zures, in the Baldo sector: a major barrier against the advance of Italian troops coming down from the peaks of the Altissimo, from Doss Casina and Doss Alto. 

The fortification buildings around Riva del Garda include the Tagliata del Ponale, Bellavista Fort, the battery on the shore, the San Nicolò Fort, the Garda Fort, the Midway Battery, the Sant’Alessandro Fort, two mortar batteries on Mount Brione, the Tombio Fort and the two Forts in Nago.
On the Italian side, there is no permanent fortification along the border, given that the front was rather far from the starting point, and thus is was believed sufficient to exercise direct control of Mount Baldo, along with the support of two large naval cannons installed in Malcesine and Limone to keep the Austrian line under pressure. 
2 Fort San Nicolò

Located at the hillside of Mount Brione, on the port S.Nicolò in Riva del Garda. Built between 1860 and 1862, it was enlarged and renovated in 1911-1912. A fort of the first generation, classed as a valley block: a non-armoured pillbox in fine stonework and lime; during the renovation process, reinforced concrete was used. Its function was to control the lake and the traffic between Riva and Torbole: indeed, it was also a genuine roadblock, insofar as it even had an iron gate which closed the road completely. 
Foto ©MAG Museo Alto Garda
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Official Garda Trentino S.p.A. - Azienda per il Turismo's site:

Riva del Garda (TN) Largo Medaglie d'oro, 5

Tel: +39 (0464) 554444 - Fax: +39 (0464) 025442

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Torbole sul Garda - Nago (TN) Lungolago Conca d'oro, 25

Arco (TN) Viale delle Palme, 1

Registro Imprese Trento, C.F. e P. IVA 01855030225

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