The pentagonal Forte Marghera, located between the Venetian Lagoon and the main land of Italy, is the largest and the oldest fort in Mestre, Venice. This huge picturesque fort is the barycentre of fortification of the mainland. Although Austrians laid the foundation of the fort, the French completed the construction work in the early 19th century.
It was not only a safe hideout for the army operating from the mainland and Mestre but also an important link to the interior of the lagoon city. Since it was built in the center of marshes, it was not easily accessible from the Venice side, so the defense fort was a safe place. Earlier boats were the only transportation means between Venice and the fort unlike modern roads winding via Mestre. All natural and historical routes of Venice Lagoon and Mestre hinterland radiate from and converge at the fort. Its unique polygonal bastions built during 16th to mid -19th centuries reflect progressive improvement in construction technique.
A part of the lagoon’s security system and entrenched camps in Mestre, the fort boasts various viewpoints, walkways, driveways and lakes, historical records and a small cemetery. Ammunition stocks, casemates, ramparts and original structure are still preserved. The well-maintained fort houses the Museum of Fortifications and the Artillery Museum. The 2-floor French barracks, constructed during 1805-1814, features decorative elements of Istrian stone, bombproof vaulted ceilings, powder keg and powder magazine. Four Italian barracks of 1890s are covered with reinforced roof.
The Centre for Study and Documentation in the fort focuses on national and European defensive systems. The center collection consists of photographs, reproductions of Venetian fortifications, a digital archive of military architecture and defense systems and associated literature. Visitors can know more about the fortification and defense systems in its study room.
The historical landmark, rich in flora and fauna, is also known as a botanical reserve. The fort opens for public on Sundays and hosts art workshops, social events, cultural programs, exhibitions, trade fairs, guided tours and other programs.
The City of Venice, owner of the fort, planned an extensive restoration and facility-building project to make it more visitor-friendly. A cultural production lab, museum complex, multipurpose area, recreation area and trade show and exhibition center are in the offing.
Hotels in Mestre
Average Price: €77
Average Rating: 8.5
Average Price: €72
Average Rating: 8.5
Hotel Villa Adele
Average Price: €55
Average Rating: 8.8