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The fortress of the Annunziata in Ventimiglia

From military stronghold to important location for the city.

This small stronghold was originally part of the system of fortifications built by the Savoy government to strengthen its western border, after Ventimiglia was chosen as “a military location” in 1814. It was

connected to the overlying Forte San Paolo, built in the thirteenth century by the Genoese after the conquest of Ventimiglia, by a series of walkways, now no longer visible as cut across by the modern road, but well documented by the projects of the time. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, then a young lieutenant of the Savoy Engineers who stayed in Ventimiglia between 1828 and 1829, and King Carlo Alberto, who arrived in the city on April 2nd, 1836 to check the works, also oversaw its creation.

The small military stronghold, which preserves the name of the sixteenth-century Franciscan convent on which it was built between 1831 and 1837, occupies a stunning position overlooking the sea of Punta Rocca, which offers an exciting view that extends to the east, up to Capo Sant’Ampelio in Bordighera, the southernmost tip of Liguria and, to the west, towards the French Riviera, up to the Esterel mountains and the islands of Hyères. In addition to the “Girolamo Rossi” Archaeological Museum, that, with the recent expansion and new equipment is today one of the largest archaeological museums of Liguria, the fortress of the Annunziata offers a whole range of other areas, including the magnificent terrace, intended to host events, concerts, exhibitions, meetings, presentations, thus virtuously modifying the original grim use as a military stronghold into that of a “Fort and open square for the city”.

[Alessandra Chiappori]

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