Caprera's Fortifications


Position: you can reach it through trail n. 11, starting from Arbuticci

Fort ‘Antonio Candeo’ was a medium battery built in 1928 to defend northeastern Caprera from ships.

At the end of the bends, the first buildings you meet are the barracks for non-coms and able seamen, the lodging for the Officer in charge and a small construction used as a prison. In the nearby area, there is the dock, as well as the Guardroom, the kitchen and a tank. If you follow the instructions, you will reach post n. 4, which contains the ammunition magazines, then a gallery with few rooms opening and leading to the location of the 152/50 howitzer. The cannon was removed in the 50s, but you can still see the bolts that secured it to the base: it had a bulk of 8 m and its performance was very good, shooting projectiles up to 19 km away. The shooting platform is the entire structure’s peculiarity: two tower-buildings connected and covered by granite for camouflage purposes.

Punta Rossa

Position: you can reach it by car, after crossing the bridge linking La Maddalena to Caprera. You have to go straight and turn on the right at the first intersection, until Due Mari. From here, you can proceed on foot and pass some white houses, up to the entrance gate with the watchtower. 

Punta Rossa is located on a panhandle surrounded by the sea, in the extreme south of Caprera. The first complex you meet is the torpedo post, with different size buildings and huge warehouses opposite the dock. This one consisted of a little harbour used for supplying goods and berths for boats. Once you pass the torpedo post, there is a dirt road until the entrance of the 19th century fortress, with an old iron gate. At the time of building, two imposing shooting platforms hosted two 343 mm howitzers, each weighing 68 tonnes. Going back to the entrance gate, there are various buildings in quick succession: barracks, dorms, a photoelectric station and the kitchens. During the 20s, a new area with four 120/40 mm anti-ship cannons was added. This military facility was used by the Italian Navy raiders until 2010.


Poggio Rasu superiore

Position: you can reach it by car, after crossing the bridge linking La Maddalena to Caprera. You have to go straight and turn on the right at the first intersection, then on the left. At the first crossroad with another paved road, turn on the right again and you will find Poggio Rasu inferiore. From here, proceed on foot and you will reach Poggio Rasu superiore.  

It is surrounded by high defensive walls and a moat, with a drawbridge which is no longer used. To access you need to bypass the obstacle, through the sloping trail on the right, which leads to an opening in the lower area of the barracks. The building works lasted from 1887 to 1893, with an armament of four 280 Krupp howitzers and four 57 Hotchkiss cannons. From the ammunition magazines there are the trails which allow carrying the projectiles to the emplacements, where you can still see the bolts of the cannons’ base. Poggio Rasu Superiore is a popular destination, especially for the awesome view: to the south towards Sardinia’s coastline with Capo Ferro, and below on the amazing Cala Brigantina and, up north, the famous Cala Coticcio. In addition to these, you can also admire the Monaci islets, with the lighthouse on top.


Fort Arbuticci

Position: you can reach it by car, after crossing the bridge linking La Maddalena to Caprera. You have to go straight and turn on the right at the first intersection, then on the left, to the north, until the end of the paved road. Nowadays it hosts the Giuseppe Garibaldi Memorial.

Arbuticci was built between 1887 and 1893, 130 m above sea level, over an area of 25000 m2. It belongs to the highest constructions and thus has a rempart on the sea, a moat, a perimetral wall and the main battery facing the sea, up front. 

At the back and on the side, there are the buildings for medium caliber armament. The aim of this fortification was to supervise the sea area of Bonifacio Strait, in the northern section of La Maddalena Archipelago. During the two World Wars, Arbuticci had two different functions: in WWI its artillery was removed to arm the infantry, while in WWII it served as a food depot and was assigned to a platoon of riflemen in 1942. Once the War was over, the building was abandoned and decommissioned in 2006, to finally become State property. It was restored twice - the last time in 2012 - and it became the current ‘Giuseppe Garibaldi Memorial’. It hosts around 200 pieces including works and documents about the ‘Hero of Two Worlds’, on a single floor.

Messa del Cervo

Position: you can reach it from Arbuticci.

Messa del Cervo was a military building aimed at defending the island both from naval and air attacks. When you get to the site, the first thing you distinguish on the left is the entrance to the ammunition magazine: it is a wide gallery dug under the rock. It is definitely convenient to bring an electric torch to visit it in a safe way. From here you reach the central plateau, but if you do not want to cross inside, there is a trail outside, which surrounds the barracks - where you can read the writing ‘Vincere’ (Let’s win!) -  on the left, and also gives access to the battery. The emplacements are arranged at different heights and each overlooks Corsica, providing a gorgeous view. The raceways, which may seem simple drainage canals for water, are actually a communication plant where electric cables ran, at a few centimetres’ depth and consequently barely protected and constantly at risk of interruption. The fortification had the barracks, kitchens, ammunition magazines and all the shooting platforms grouped in a limited space, so their visit did not take long.

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