|Information Kiosk at the Site
It was on the rugged, heavily forested plateau called the Altopiano that the first shots of Italy's war were fired from Monte Verena's four 150mm guns at 3 a.m. on 24 May 1915. An artillery duel ensued between Verena, located on a commanding 2,015-meter peak above the plateau, and its six sister forts on the Altopiano with the matching seven Austro-Hungarian Forts across the border. Fort Verena — just completed in 1915 — would prove vulnerable to the enemy's powerful 305mm Skoda siege mortars. In June, a single 305mm round hit the magazine and killed most of the artillerymen inside. The guns were removed and the fort limited in its use as an observation post.
|Austrian Officers Inspecting the Fort After Its Capture in 1916
In 1916 when the Austrians launched the Italian Front's largest offensive outside the Isonzo sector, four of the seven Italian forts were destroyed or captured, including Monte Verena. The Altopiano's towns of Asiago and Arsiero were bombarded and overrun as well during the assault. The mountain is now a recreation site in both summer and winter. The views, of course, are great year-round.
|Ruins of the Fort in 2011