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Pineta del Capo and Marabutto

Pineta del Capo in Bordighera Alta is a fascinating green lung located behind Palazzo Garnier, the seat of the Bordighera Town Hall and with impressive views overlooking the sea.

The area winds through secular maquis maritime pines and is one of Bordighera’s most popular areas, for young people in the evening and, especially, by families with young children during the day.

In the area, there is also an ancient powder magazine (marabutto or marabuttu), an Arab-style military building with one of the characteristic cannons that were pointed towards the sea, but not sufficient to prevent the landing of the British at the beginning of 1800. The marabutto has been recently returned to its ancient splendour (2015) and a big shell has been re-applied to one of the windows, a favourite spot for young and old to listen to the sound of the sea

The cannons – of which, as mentioned, only one has been recovered – were positioned to protect the coast from 1783 (two batteries: in addition to Capo, another one is located at Ruota in the Bagnabraghe region). The three pieces near Pineta del Capo, arranged around the Marabutto Powder magazine, were ironically called Butafoegu, Tiralogni and Cagastrasse. These cannons bombarded an English ship on July 14, 1811 and, just over a year later (July 19, 1812), two frigates and a British vessel disembarked nearly 200 men who, to prove their strength, marched on Capo and took the cannons away with them.

[Andrea Moggio]

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