Batterie (military buildings) in Camogli
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Ente Parco di Portofino: Viale Rainusso, 1 - Santa Margherita Ligure - Camogli (GE)
Telefono: 0185 28 94 79
Fax: 0185 28 57 06
Le batterie. Foto di Alberto Girani proveniente dall'Archivio Parco di Portofino Le batterie. Foto di Alberto Girani proveniente dall'Archivio Parco di Portofino

There are some military buildings dating back to the Second World War along the trail that goes from Camogli to San Fruttuoso, past the small village of Mortola, in the small town of Batterie at an altitude of 246 metres.

They can be easily recognised when sailing along the Park area, between the steep faces of the south that border the bays of Cala dell’Oro and San Fruttuoso, 2 km from San Rocco and 4 km from Camogli, above Punta Chiappa.  Before the restoration, the military buildings could only be accessed if accompanied by an authorised guide.

With the development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the ROP ERDF 2007-2013) they will become the protagonists of a walking route, which has been suitably cleaned and lit and explanatory panels and multimedia applications added, that takes visitors through the history of the place and, more in general, Portofino Park with its excellent nature and landscape aspects.

The trail that crosses the area and which reaches S.Fruttuoso is without doubt the most characteristic of the park, and the military buildings that lie in the park are strategic for its use.

During the first phase of the intervention the footpath from Punta Chiappa to the Batterie will be reused, while during the second phase a mechanised system will be developed for those who arrive at the site after disembarking at Porto Pidocchio from the sea passenger service.

The interventions will therefore develop the territory by recovering structures that have been completely forgotten and turning the territory itself into a primary resource.

A little bit of history

The buildings to be restored were built in 1941 by the Royal Italian Army as an anti-aircraft post in the Port of Genoa, but in 1943 they fell into the hands of the German troops.

Today the fire direction structures (visible next to the trail), casemates where the cannons were installed, and an observatory with range finder (at Bricco), a platform for the cannon and some machine guns (the one on Punta Chiappa is easy to see), and a series of sentry posts, together with the military base and living quarters still remain.

The intervention

The restoration of these structures, divided into two phases, will save them from inevitable neglect and, as a result, develop the surrounding territory, preserving the traces of the events that took place there and their significance.

The educational trail begins from an info point, the first approach to the area, with a panel system showing a map that indicates trail progress and the position of the bunkers; in addition there will be some historical information relative to the visit, some information on nature, on the Portofino headland park bearings, and also a possible notice board where information can be placed.

The intervention for restoring the buildings will be carried out using methods that reduce the impact on the landscape, in such a way as to represent an example of ecological sustainability restoration in a park area of excellence. The main element of the park area, namely the greenery, will be protected and supported, leaving it to cross the whole area and continue living.

Nearby

The Portofino Headland shows scenery and landscapes that are among the most famous in the world.
Protected from 1935 with the establishment of the Park Institution, it hosts - in addition to important historical-architectural remnants - one of the highest concentrations of flowers and birds in the Mediterranean.
The best way to admire the wonders of the Park is to cover the tight network of more than 80 km of marked trails that make it possible to do walks and excursions of different lengths and levels of difficulty that connect the different coastal villages (Camogli, San Fruttuoso, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure).

Camogli, already present in prehistoric times, is known for its small port and its villas on the waterfront, which are characterised by lively colours.
In the Medieval village, which grew around the port, it is worthwhile visiting the area called “isola” (island), which is no longer an island but contains the Castel Dragone fortress that was erected to defend against pirate attacks, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, which was restructured during the 17th century in Baroque style.
During the 19th century the shipowners from Camogli invested enormous resources, both human and economic, in the construction of mercantile ships, creating a fleet that was vast enough to give the village the name of "City of the thousand white sailing ships".

Just a short distance from the head village is the bay of San Fruttuoso, where not only the splendid Benedictine abbey from the 10th century, a true architectural jewel that was restored by FAI (Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano - Italian National Trust) can be seen, but also the small and picturesque fisherman’s village behind it and the 16th century Doria tower, commissioned by admiral Andrea Doria and completed by his heirs to better defend the bay from pirate attacks.
As the village of San Fruttuoso has no roads, it can only be reached by sea with boats that depart from Camogli, or on foot along the trails coming from San Rocco di Camogli, Ruta and Portofino.

Oddities

Camogli has been hosting the Fish Fair (Sagra del Pesce) every second Sunday of May since 1952: tourists are offered excellent fish that is fried in a giant stainless steel pan (diameter 3.8 metres, handle 6 metres long, weight 2.8 tons and a capacity of 2000 litres) that is positioned on scaffolding that rises from the depths of the small port.

Just a few metres from the small beach of San Fruttuoso and at a depth of approx. 17 metres is the Christ of the Abyss by Guido Galletti, which was restored in 2003-2004; it is considered as the protector of fishermen, divers and those who love the sea. Copies of the Statue are present in the church of San Fruttuoso and Key Largo in Florida, while the original version in chalk is preserved in the National Museum of Underwater Activities in Marina di Ravenna.

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