Fort Tenaglia

The site was formerly occupied by Bastia di Promontorio, a fortress that was probably built before 1478; no definite information is available on its original structure. The chroniclers briefly describe it as a bastion; it more likely was a simple tower, perhaps surrounded by walls.
During the construction of the New Walls, the ancient fort was demolished to build a Tenaglia, mere annexe to the wall serving as a battery. The project underwent the first amendment during the Napoleonic period.
Between 1815 and 1830, the extension works began with the construction of large ramparts; since 1831, barracks were dug in the middle of the ramparts, two floors lower. Access to the Fort was obtained by digging a large gallery in the 17th-century walls. Opposite, a small square gave access to the drawbridge, which could only be operated within the walls. The work was completed around 1836. During the uprisings of 1849, due to a betrayal, the complex was seized by the Piedmontese.
The Tenaglia is one of those few Forts which was not abandoned in 1914, although it was probably deprived of all heavy artillery. Around 1938, the Militia completely changed the 19th-century stations, replacing them with four pitches in reinforced concrete for as many pieces of counter-air artillery.
After 8 September 1943, the Fort was occupied by German soldiers; a wing of the barracks was badly damaged by bombings at that time. In 1945, the garrison was one of the last to surrender: while the Liberation in Genoa (virtually) occurred on 24 April, the German soldiers holed up in the fort only surrendered two days later. The Fort was abandoned after the war. As it was not occupied by the homeless after the war and remained uninhabited until the early 1970s, it is not uncommon to still come across ancient evidence of its military past.
Access to the barracks, located in the middle section, is through flights of stairs, which connect the floors below. Each level of the barracks is composed of two long rooms.

Today the Fort is in concession to the non-profit organisation “La Piuma”.


  • Fort Tenaglia
  • Fort Tenaglia - old photo
  • Fort Tenaglia - planimetry