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.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.