Lost Italy

Travelling is about the unexpected. And at the edge of Lago di Varano on the Gargano Peninsula we parked the car, got under the barbed wire and started to explore an amazing collection of colonial styled buildings long empty and decayed.

They turned out to be the abandoned seaplane base –  Idroscalo San Nicola di Varano, also known as Idroscalo ‘Ivo Monti’.  It was built mainly from 1913-15 to defend Italy from Austrian-Hungarian attacks across the Adriatic Sea.

With the end of the ‘Great War’ it’s halcyon days were over. With seaplanes no longer strategically important the base fulfilled little role in WW2 and post war the whole site has needed a new purpose. But plans at resurrecting these wonderful buildings have been scuppered by the recession and the site’s remoteness.

One of the pictures below is a WW1 Regia Marina Macchi L3 landing near the base.


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