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Translated Jeff Matthews

These are carriageways built in tunnels for military purposes. For example, in the course of the First World War, road tunnels, both fixed and in the field, were built to serve military works spread along sectors of the front. Forexample, imn World War I a number of road tunnels were built to serve military purposes, both fixed and movable. Among the most noted was the “Road of the 52 Tunnels”, built by Italian soldiers in 1916 to supply positions on Pasubio (Veneto side); it climbs from Bocchetta Campiglia up to Porte del Pasubio for about 6,330 meters, 2,300 of which are in tunnels (Pieropan G., La Strada delle Gallerie sul M. Pasubio. Passato e presente, Edizioni Ghedina, Cortina d’Ampezzo 1978, p. 23).

At some places along the road there are openings for artillery and at the 18th tunnel there are small shafts that lead to mines that can be detonated in case the road has to be blocked (Gattera C., Il Pasubio e la Strada delle 52 Gallerie, Gino Rossato Editore, Valdagno 1999, p. 30).

During WWII some munitions and arms factories were moved into the Alto Garda road tunnel and equipped with protective and defensive emplacements (Cocconcelli G. D., Tunnel factories. Le officine aeronautiche Caproni e FIAT nell’Alto Garda 1943-1945, Apostolo Editore, Milano 2002).


Padovan Gianluca (ed. ), Archaeology of the Subsoil. Lectures and studies of artificial cavities. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1416, Oxford 2005.

Basilico Roberto et alii, Italian Cadastre of Artificial Cavities. Part 1. (Including introductory comments and a classification), B.A.R. International Series 1599, Oxford 2007.

Gianluca Padovan (Associazione S.C.A.M. – Federazione Nazionale Cavità Artificiali)

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Cocconcelli G.D., Tunnel factories

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