The location is 160 meters above sea level above the Polcevera valley. It is possible to reach the fort by driving along Corso Martinetti and Corso Belvedere, then leave the car here and drive up to the Crocetta fort and in less than five minutes you will be in front of it. Another less known but more interesting itinerary is going down from the Tenaglia side and following the entrenched line protected by a wall built in 1826. Halfway down the wall forms a bulwark on which are the remains of the tower called Granara, also unfinished and transformed into a simple open-air post with the raising of a thin semicircular wall on its foundations. The barrier ends a little further downstream with a gate guarding the “Salita al Forte Crocetta”, which from here becomes a country road leading to Begato. Another access is from Begato via salita V. Bersezio.
The name of the locality derives from a small conventual complex of the Augustinians finished building in 1609. Attached to the convent was a small church decorated with famous paintings entitled to the Holy Crucifix called Crocetta. It turns out that in 1771 were hosted 17 religious. The convent was suppressed in 1798 and demolished in 1815. In the plans of 1747 we see the small religious building completely surrounded by trenches and flanked by two batteries aimed at the Polcevera, the trenches then connected to the Belvedere and from there descended to Sampierdarena. This advanced position, conceived by Sicre, had to be guarded by at least 400 men. During the siege of 1747 the trenches, despite the proximity of the enemies were never engaged in combat. On the contrary, the batteries that targeted the positions and the opposite Piedmontese batteries in Coronata, or the troop movements in Rivarolo, were very active.
During the Napoleonic period, some modifications were made, arranging the ground around the church in a polygonal shape and using the conventual structures as much as possible.
It was also developed a project to build a real fort but was left unfinished.
In 1815, with the annexation to the kingdom of Sardinia began the work of flattening of all the existing works on site to give way to the construction of a fort. A primitive project was executed between 1819 and 1823. It consisted of a structure with a vaguely trapezoidal plan with two semi-baluards on the major side, towards the mountain, and a salient corner towards Rivarolo.
a salient corner towards Rivarolo. The fort was very low on the ground and practically repeated the formula of the Tenaglia of simple embankment with housings hidden behind the thick walls. On the rampart was a horseman protected by a thick earthen embankment, in fact the pieces from this position had to hit the steep slopes of the mountain. The entrance was to the east at the center of the curtain, this gave on a small courtyard, a ramp served to transport the pieces on the embankment.
In 1827, after having widened the access road, it passed to a second phase of the works. The fort was raised another floor and surrounded by a moat 7 meters wide. Consequently, the door that was previously at ground level was moved to the second floor and connected to the road with a drawbridge. It is possible to distinguish
It is possible to distinguish the two phases of construction in the grafting of the masonry and in the type of brick. The main door still opens onto a narrow courtyard, to the right was the guardhouse, in front of the commander’s quarters, sad and dark but with the comfort of a fireplace. At the center a wide corridor leads to the embankment overlooking Rivarolo. To the left is the artillery material deposit and the powder magazine; to the side is the stairway to the upper platform. The entire structure of the barracks is protected by a considerable layer of earth to absorb the force of penetration of the bullets. The thickness of the carryover is 10 meters towards the valley and two meters on the vaults of the top floor. The artillery was placed on the lower embankment, served by the wide corridor for the transport of pieces; on the upper terrace, behind the earthen parapet, was the position for the guns and small calibers.
In 1849 the Genoese surrendered without fighting the Piedmontese of La Marmora, was then used to imprison the rebels taken to Tenaglia, Crocetta, Belvedere and the surrounding countryside.
The fort, little known, presents unusual aspects for the time in which it was made, and already anticipates the defensive techniques; the embankment seen from the valley almost camouflages the structure, making it appear as one with the coast, while seen from the mountain may not differ much from other forts. The portal is framed by two round brick pilasters, the sides of which open the cuts for the passage of the mechanisms of lifting the bridge, in the middle of a square in which was the coat of arms of Savoy, the facade, the sides, part of the moat are dotted with numerous loopholes and gunboats.
A brick curb surrounds the fort at the height of the parapets, also marking the different inclination between the wall structure to shoe and the parapet plumb.
In a small building upstream of the road was the office of the duty of Sampierdarena.
The fort is in a good state of preservation but is closed to visitors.
(Taken from “Fortificazioni campali e permanenti di Genova” di R. Finocchio, Valentini Editore)
(Map taken from “I forti di Genova” Sagep Editrice)