PhotoHunt "Public": Remnants of World War II on Venice's Lido

I went for a more historical approach than an aesthetic one for this week's PhotoHunt.

Here on Venice's Lido, the entire barrier island is dotted with small but imposing World War II bunkers. For years, they remained where they were, I guess because they were too difficult to tear down. Or perhaps during the Cold War the military thought they might still come in handy someday. Anyway, nowadays, they can't be removed, from what I understand... Nobody seems to know exactly the reason why, but many are still owned by the state and maybe it's because by now they are presumed to be of historical value, no matter whether the property they are on is public or private.

Why private? Because after the war, there were a lot of squatters who took over abandoned shelters, and over time a number of these habitations became permanent, even after times had gotten better.

So, here are a sample of a couple of these structural remnants of World War II...

At left, at the San Nicolo end of the Lido by Pachuka Beach is this charming little bunker. (Notice the new fresh paint and stucco!)

Most impressive, and really good for thinking about the tension between this week's PhotoHunt theme "public" and private, I think, is what had been the barracks for some of the sailors who had manned these bunkers!

It's in the "Ca' Bianca" neighborhood of the Lido, and has the unused bunker pictured at top on one end and now the great pizzeria "Cason" on the other.

In between, you can barely see still the words painted on the bunker end of the building: "OBBEDIRE. CREDERE. COMBATTERE." These were by-words of Fascism in Italy from the 1920s to the '40s: "Obey. Believe. Fight."




















Best of all, I think, is the house that's in between. On the wall, you can still make out the words "è stato e sarà".


The very kind lady who lives there told me the rest of the saying, which has since been covered up with whitewash: "Il nostro destino è stato e sarà sempre sul mare." (Translated: "Our destiny has been and always will be on the sea.") The words were meant to inspire the barrack's sailors who were guarding the coastline.

And there you have it for this week's PhotoHunt: "public" and private. (In fact, as one last nice touch, you can see the sign to the right of the doorway which now reads "Private Property"!)



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8 comments:

hip-chick said...

Wow! That is so interesting. To make something so pretty out of what was once so ugly. I love the quote as well. The human spirit is so amazing.

And Miles To Go... said...

i LOVE that last photo. Such texture and so much going on in it. Great take on this week's theme.

A. @ A Changing Life said...

I love history so this is fascinating. We have a lot of remnants of WWII here in the south coast of England.

Luna Miranda said...

the last photo is beautiful! very interesting history...there's an island here called Corregidor, the whole island is a war memorial.

Annie said...

Fascinating post! I usually think of bunkers as being underground so these are surprising. I love that colorful house too!

Happy PhotoHunting!

Sreisaat said...

Interesting piece of history! I find the last photo is very charming. Could've been a postcard photo. How are you enjoying your weekend?


Sreisaat Adventures

Sreisaat said...

Interesting piece of history! I find the last photo is very charming. Could've been a postcard photo. How are you enjoying your weekend?


Sreisaat Adventures

Heart of Rachel said...

This is a very interesting post. History may not always be filled with happiness but the memories always find a way to live on.