San GIiuliano Fort 1818/1832

It stands in Albaro, enclosed between the blocks of flats and in a secluded position; it is visible only from Via Gobetti and partly from Corso Italia.
It is the starting point on one side of the line that ideally connects the forts of S. Martino, S. Tecla, Richelieu and Ratti, and on the other side of the coastal batteries towards Genoa.
Both during the naval bombardment of 1684 and during the blockade of 1747 and 1800 the city was vulnerable from the sea side; and if to the west the defence against landings was provided by the hills above, to the east the city was more defenceless. In 1746 the batteries were: Malapaga, Carignano, Cava, S. Giacomo, S. Margherita, in defence of the port there were pieces on the docks, at the Darsena, on the Molo Vecchio and at the Lanterna. In 1747, all these batteries were rearranged and reinforced with parapets and thrones, mainly by the architect Ricca. But it was the eastern side that often posed problems, since the free passage of warships allowed the Austrians to refuel in Albaro throughout the siege and the transfer of artillery to where it was most needed. In 1748 the batteries of S. Nazaro and S. Giuliano were built.
Around 1770, based on Codeviola’s designs, a new and better equipped battery was built at S. Giuliano, near the villa of the Magnifico Sopranis, supported by a small redoubt. The construction of a real fort began in 1818 and was completed in 1832. It was originally conceived as a structure barely protruding from the ground and surrounded by a wide and deep moat similar to the fort of S. Martino, so as not to offer a target to naval artillery.
The fort had two gates: one upstream, the present one, and the other facing Genoa. A square building stood inside, perhaps the primitive 18th century redoubt. The barracks face the upstream side, which is more protected, and is a body formed by two bastions on a height of three floors. The bastions on the sea side and towards Sturla were equipped with large earthen parapets behind which the guns were placed; the sixteen-pounders were aimed at the countryside, the heavy ones towards the sea. A later modification demolished the old fort, leaving a large open space.
In the 1849 revolt, it was occupied by insurgents but was handed over to the Piedmontese by the commander of the garrison. “On the 8th of April, in the company of his lieutenant N.N., he went to speak with Alessandro La Marmora in Sturla and then returned to his troops not with honourable agreements but at the head of two hundred Piedmontese to whom he handed over the fortress, forcing his soldiers to leave dishonoured and without arms. (1)
Unique among all the forts, it has continued to be used for military purposes up to the present day, undergoing continuous adaptations.
The main façade today overlooks the cut in the hill made by the tracing of via Gobetti, so that the fort, which previously just overhung the ground, now seems to have been placed on a rise. On the façade opens the door served by a drawbridge still in operation, the masonry has been recently and poorly plastered, with little taste covering the stone wall surface, the arches and the window openings and the brick corners with a single greyish crust.
The Genoa and Sturla sides are fairly intact, although smothered by buildings. One can note the large marble gargoyles protruding almost a metre beyond the masonry on the southern side.
With the opening of Corso Italia, one can see the breaches made in the walls for cutting purposes; an underground corridor emerging from the embankment and which was to serve as an anti-landing sortie is also visible.
(1) The Genoese uprisings of 1849.

Forte San Giuliano

(Taken from “Fortificazioni campali e permanenti di Genova” by R. Finocchio, Valentini Editore)