Fort of Gavi
The fort of Gavi is a historic fortress, attested since 973, of a purely defensive type built by the Genoese on a pre-existing castle of medieval origin. Over the centuries the castle took on the appearance of a mighty fortress, the first radical interventions were carried out in 1540 by Giovanni Maria Olgiati, a military engineer in the service of the republic of Genoa, who designed and completely rebuilt the walls, creating new bastions and consolidating the original structure. In the 17th century the fort was further enlarged with the intervention of the Dominican friar Vincenzo da Fiorenzuola, born Gaspare Maculani. The latter, known for being the inquisitor at the trial against Galileo Galilei, was, as well as a religious, a great expert in military architecture. The works for the transformation of the building into a large fortress were carried out between 1626 and 1629, but other interventions followed one another until the dawn of the nineteenth century. On the eastern side, the “reduced” of Monte Moro was built, connected to the fort by a tunnel; inside were built accommodation for soldiers and officers, cisterns, powder magazines, guards and squares of arms, all with the help of the most famous military engineers of the time, from Stefano Scaniglia to Domenico Orsolino, from Pietro Morettini to Pierre De Cotte. In 1859 the ancient Genoese fortress was disarmed and deprived of its historical identity to be transformed into a civil enclosure; during the First World War it became a military prison. In the interlude between the two wars, experimental vines were planted in some embankments of the fortress by the Antifilosseric Consortium. With the Second World War the fort returned to being a place of detention; in 1946 it was handed over to the Superintendence for Architectural Heritage of Piedmont, which since 1978 has started a constant and progressive work of restoration and preservation of this rare example of military architecture.