Santa Tecla Fort in Sanremo
Corso Nazario Sauro, 7 - 18038 Sanremo (IM)
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Located in the very centre of Sanremo, along the coast and just a short walk from the port, in an area with high potential above all after the creation of the Area 24 cycle path that passes close by, on the old railway track, the Forte di Santa Tecla (Santa Tecla Fort) can be an important centre for cultural activities and a meeting place for the whole city of Sanremo.

During the development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of the POR-FESR 2007-2013), the intention is to restore the Santa Tecla Fort and develop it for cultural and tourist purposes.

A little bit of history

Santa Tecla Fort was built in 1755-56, upon the orders of the Republic of Genoa and following the project of Giacomo Del Sicre and Alberto Medoni, to defend the city after the citizens rebelled in 1753 against the decision to separate Sanremo from Colla (the largest suburb of Sanremo, now called Coldirodi).

Harsh repression followed, with arrests, convictions of exile and capital sentences, forfeiture, taxes, violence and public humiliation.
The Republic of Genoa decided to build the fort, demolishing the thirteen houses of Pian di Nava and encompassing the Torre della Marina (Marine Tower). The first stone was laid on 06 July 1755 but the people of Sanremo, who were against the idea, did not attend the ceremony and did not take part in the construction.
Workers therefore arrived from Civitavecchia, and stones from the ancient Pigna castle, which was demolished in the 9th century by the Genoese general F. Maria Sauli, were used.

The fort has a triangular base, with ramparts at the top; it is a typical example of 18th century military architecture, one of the few remaining in Liguria. It has three floors high: the Commanders living quarters, the warehouses, chapel and cistern are on the ground floor, and on the first floor are the living quarters of the two captains, an area for soldiers, the warehouses and the batteries, two facing land and the remaining one facing the sea.

It could hold 16 pieces of artillery positioned on front bastions and another 5 smaller pieces on the rear bastion. Two companies of 40 men each made up the military force.

During the Napoleonic period, the fort was used for coastal defence: two cannons of 36 mm and two of 24 mm were positioned in it.
After 1815, with annexation to the Kingdom of Sardinia, the fort was no longer used for defence, but it remained as a symbol of the Genoese authority on the western side of Liguria. After the unification of Italy it became a prison, and remained such until the new Remand Centre of Armea Valley was opened.

The intervention

The plan is to restore the Fort of S.Tecla in Sanremo in order to transform the 18th century triangular fort into a new multi-purpose cultural area for the community.
The fort, no longer a prison since the 1990s, remained abandoned until today when, in virtue of the interventions of the Superintendence of the Architectural and the Landscape heritage of Liguria, renovation was started.

Firstly it was made safe and the systems were renewed, the asbestos and also the later additions that did not fit in with the architectural characteristics of the building were removed, and the external front was also renovated, an operation that was necessary for removing any possible element of risk deriving from falling pieces of vertical wall.

The fort, property of the state, but given to the Superintendence of the Architectural and the Landscape heritage of Liguria, has been inserted into the urban fabric of Sanremo, near the sea in direct contact with the historical port, at the end of one of the main road axes, Corso Monbello, in a barycentric position with easy access and with plenty of parking spaces.

The railway line that ran near the main face was recently moved, with the resulting recovery of the ex sediment in order to obtain a very interesting route that would be popular with tourists.
The goals of the project are aimed at preserving and developing the important complex enough to make it an important cultural activity centre where the citizens can meet and which is also attractive for tourists from all over the world.


The city of Sanremo, called the “Città dei Fiori” (City of Flowers), and known worldwide for its Casino, the very famous “Festival della Canzone italiana” (Italian Song Festival) which is held in February, and for “Classicissima”, the classic Milan-Sanremo bicycle race, offers its visitors a Mediterranean landscape and a very mild climate that made it extremely popular for the foreign noblemen who stayed there in the 19th century, such as Alfred Nobel, who built a villa that still has many visitors. Palaces and liberty villas decorate the centre for the same reason.

Flower growing, which blossomed during the last century thanks to the climate and the presence of many important scientists such as Mario Calvino, father of the famous writer Italo, gave the city many very impressive parks.

Sanremo is crossed by the Area 24 cycle path, a long strip that can be cycled along which goes from San Lorenzo al Mare to Ospedaletti, and from which the excavations on Villa Matutia and Bussana in the west can be seen.


A rare, maybe even unique, case: the Santa Tecla fort was built to damage the city rather than protect it.

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