The "Guerra bianca"

The area of the Tonale Pass was, for more than fifty years, the border between Italy and Austria-Hungary and both of the nations fortified the crossing; during the World War I these forts took part in the fighting. Nowadays they are only ruins, destination of trips and guided tours during the Summer.


 

Fort Corno d’Aola

Built in a position overlooking the town of Ponte di Legno some years before the start of World War I, today can be seen only some ruins of its outer walls; while surviving the First War – becoming a summer camp for kids during the ‘30s- it was destroyed by German soldiers during 1945. Easy access granted thanks to the nearby chair lift.

Fort Strino

On the Trentino side of the pass, in the territory of Vermiglio, Fort Strino is the best conserved fortress in the area; the interior, accessible during guided tours, houses thematic exhibitions.

Fort Mero/Saccarana

The Forts Mero and Saccarana constitute an Austro-Hungarian complex built to control the Tonale pass and the area of Vermiglio: the Saccarana designed as an artillery position, and the Mero to guard against infantry assaults; both destroyed to scavenge their materials at the end of the war and now under restoration works.
The ruins of the two fortresses can be seen during the excursion to the Città morta (Dead city), an Austrian military complex. The Fort Saccarana is presently used to host concerts during the Summer.

Paradiso Tunnel

Ascending through the gondola lift for the Paradiso (lit. “Heaven”) pass – a name well known for ski-lovers – it’s possible to visit a tunnel dug by Italian soldiers as a shelter and observation point, where has been set up a multimedia exhibition with sounds and voices of the Guerra Bianca. 

Guerra Bianca museum

A short drive from Ponte di Legno, in the town of Temù, it’s possible to visit the Guerra Bianca Museum: there you may observe an ample exhibit of war relics in addition to recreation of barracks and multimedia supports regarding the “Guerra Bianca” (lit. “White War”, indicating the fighting on the snow-covered peaks of the Adamello glacier).