Fort Montecchio-Lusardi

Colico, Italy

Fort Montecchio-Lusardi is a military fort situated in Colico, built between 1911 and 1914. It is the only Italian fort from World War I which has been preserved intact with its original weapons. The main function of the fort was to control the roads of Spluga, Maloja and Stelvio, in case the Central Powers decided to invade northern Italy, violating the neutrality of Switzerland.

The fort was one of the strongholds in a complex barrier system which extended up to Monte Legnone, though it remained inactive throughout the World War. During the World War II the fort also never entered a major action: the only gunshots were fired after the fort was occupied by the partisans, at a German column that marched along the opposite bank of the lake. The fort was later used as a weapons depot and eventually transferred to the state property.

Attractions in fort are four French 149 mm guns, with a range of 14 km, each rotating inside a cast-iron dome. The fort is divided into two parts: the lower area contains housing and powder magazines and the upper part contains guns. The two areas are linked by a curved gallery.



Your name


Founded: 1911-1914
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anamaria Olaru (8 months ago)
Very cool place to visit and find out all you want about a military fort. Bonus - the place is intact
Jan Skovajsa (10 months ago)
Such a gem! Really Great and educated guide. Tour was provided in english and it s a Fort in The mountains!
acquinfuocata (10 months ago)
One of the best fort, with the cannons still working !!! The guides are very well mannered and you can ask them about anything and they will answer Must visit
Dav Ian (10 months ago)
A special, almost unique - particularly for those interested in wwi and wwii history - spot which is very much worth a visit. Everything is incredibly well preserved as it was at the time. Seeing the cannons with the beautiful lake in the background is impressive... Also, although the fort never saw real action, it played a role in capturing Mussolini in the last days of wwii. Special thanks to our guide, S., that covered history of the fort, anedocts, and she even manned for us one of the xxx tons-heavy cannons :) whose mechanisms appear to be well oiled and perfectly functioning after so many years....
Dj Tra (2 years ago)
It's all right. Nothing to write home about. If you have relatives living inside the fortress and you're going to visit the, then by all means take a look at it. The Tour guid(ess) was excellent and fluently made the tour bilingual in IT/EN. Spoiler: in the end Mussolini dies. So one more star for the fort, that was indirectly resposible for it. At least according to the relatives, that live inside the fortress.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.