After Italy had surrendered to the Allies in September 1943, the German Navy took over Italy's largest naval base at the town of La Spezia. To the south of the city, on the island of Tino, a gun battery was set up to protect the entrance. The Germans chose to rapidly reinforce this battery by replacing the existing guns with four 152 mm. guns and at the same time they started to cast bunkers.
The naval base was originally built by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1862 but was heavily bombarded by the Allies during the war so consequently lost its original structure and historic importance.
The island of Tino is uninhabited and was incorporated into UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997. It is a military area which can only be visited on special trips twice a year.
© Picture by Ray Clark