The Fronti Basse on the Bisagno River formed part of the last section of Genoa’s city walls to be built, in 1632, which were known as Le Mura Nuove. These constituted the stretch that was supposed to cross the flat area (hence the name Fronti Basse or Low Walls) in the direction of the mouth of the Bisagno, sandwiched between the hills of Montesano and Carignano and opposite the hill of Albaro.
Their complex structure occupied the areas of the present-day squares Piazza della Vittoria, Piazza Verdi and Stazione Brignole.
The Fronti Basse contained the two main gates to the east of the city: Porta Pila, the most impressive, and Porta Romana.
Forte San Martino
Situated in the district of the same name, the fort lies on the hill of Papigliano and has been completely absorbed by the city. Unlike Genoa’s other military buildings, Forte San Martino, the most modern of those built in the early decades of the nineteenth century, does not sit in a dominant position atop the hill but instead is embedded within it and completely surrounded by a moat which today is hidden by vegetation. It is now state property.
Forte San Giuliano
Forte San Giuliano is situated on the coast in Genoa’s Albaro district, between Punta Vagno and the small promontory of San Giuliano, a short way from the abbey of the same name. Together with the coastal battery known as Batteria del Vagno, it formed a defensive front along the coast to the west of Genoa against potential enemy landings or naval bombardments.
Today it overlooks Corso Italia. However, before the coast road was built (work began in 1908), Genoa’s coast between La Foce (the river mouth) and San Giuliano consisted of sheer cliffs over the sea which could only be reached via the narrow crêuze or paths which from what is now Via Albaro descended steeply towards the sea. Since 1995 it has been the provincial headquarters of the Carabinieri of Genoa.
Forte Monte Guano
The fort can be reached by heading along Via Monte Guano from the Santuario di Coronata. It was built around 1880.
The fort and the surrounding area are currently private property.
Forte Casale Erselli
Built around 1880, the fort derives its name from a local farmstead which no longer exists. It can be reached by travelling along Via Erzelli.