Connecting Austria with the Friulian plateau and consequently with the sea, Val Fella was since the antiquity a strategic point of the north-eastern Italian Alps and the nearby village of Chiusaforte played a defensive role. Here the Italian Army built up at the beginning of the XX century a fort on the near located Col Badin, a small summit with a great panorama upon the Julian Alps. The fort was then particularly important during the WWI. After the Caporetto rout, the Italian troops quartered here tried to stop the Austrian Feldjäger, were however defeated immediately in October 1917. Forte Badin was used then in the postwar period as barrack and training place, then slowly dismissed. Only about a decade ago, as the Municipality of Chiusaforte became the owner of Forte Badin, local authorities started wondering about reparing these buildings and using them for cultural and educative purpose. That's why a massive restoration project of the original structure of the fort took place under the supervision of a team of venetian architects. Forte Badin was so transformed in an innovative Museum on WWI, providing also accommodation possibilities.
If every new initiative and space devoted to WWI should be welcomed, the Great War Museum of Chiusaforte deserves a special mention, since the restoration intervention show a peculiar awareness of “time feeling”. The buildings intended to the reception of the visitors (mainly the civil parts, such as the dormitories, where info point and cafeteria are placed) were accurately renewed. In the other edifices (namely those used for war necessities) the intervention was instead limited in “stopping” the degradation process. That's why graffiti and traces of soldiers who stayed at the fort from its construction, then during the Great War, up to its abandonment in the late Sixties were preserved together with the calcareous incrustations and the erosion or the water infiltration.
Due to some bureaucratic setbacks, the Museum has still a restricted accessibility. However, you can get further information on the Museum and forthcoming opening time at the municipality of Chiusaforte.