Porto Nuovo, AD 1811

Porto Nuovo 1811: lo Sbarco
Porto Nuovo: The Landing AD 1811
Next edition: to be announced (event last held in 2013)
Portonovo, Ancona (Marches region)

a great Napoleonic weekend to rediscover the attempted landing of the Royal Marines in the beautiful Portonovo bay near Ancona along the amazing and colourful Conero Riviera of Marches region, simply Italy in one place…

Geographical, cultural and historical context

Portonovo (once known as Porto Nuovo), is a charming hamlet of Ancona (just about 10 km from the capital city of Marches region) and a famous Adriatic seaside-resort located along the Riviera del Conero, a marvelous territory stretching from Ancona to Sirolo, passing through Numana, Camerano and the fascinating hinterland with Osimo, Loreto, and the Land of Castles. Portonovo lies at the foot of the northern slopes of Monte Conero, a 572 m high promontory covered by a dense shrubland made of the typical Mediterranean scrub. Monte Conero, the only coastal high point on the Adriatic sea between Trieste in North-eastern Italy and the Gargano massif in Apulia region of southern Italy, is a National Park boasting many trails with breath-taking panoramas, beautiful coves, amazing snow-white gravel and rocky sand beaches in front of a crystal clear sea with its incredible shades from turquoise to cobalt blue.

The surroundings of Portonovo provide many chances to explore the local history and traditions, as well as important archaeological and historical sites, like the medieval church of Santa Maria built by Benedictine monks in 1034, the Clementine Tower (from the name of Pope Clement XI) erected in 1716 to stop the raids of the Adriatic pirates, and finally the "Napoleonic fort", a rare example of coastal fortification. In year 1810 the Viceroy of Italy and Commander of the Army of Italy, General Eugene de Beauharnais (1781-1824 AD, son of Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814 AD) and stepson of Emperor Napoleon), ordered the building of a coastal defence system consisting in forts and batteries aimed to protect the southern flank of Ancona from possible attacks by the English vessels and to prevent their harbouring in safe coves and landing in search of fresh water supplies from local springs, important and rare natural resources, such as the Portonovo spring, which was mapped on charts of that time and sought-after by the sailors. The fort, fully restored in the 1960s, is now home to the Hotel Fortino Napoleonico, one of the hotel facilities in Portonovo Bay.

Event description and programme

The yearly event takes place along Portonovo’s Bay of Calcagno to commemorate the time of the Napoleonic Adriatic Campaign and the second Battle of Lissa, from the name of a Croatian island (Vis in present-day), located off the coast of Split and at that time an important military base used by the British Navy to raid against shipping convoys, towns and forts along the Italian coasts. The naval battle, fought on 13 March 1811 between the British vessels and a French-Italian fleet sailed from Ancona to invade and capture the island ended with the victory of the British Navy which confirmed its dominion over the sea, and soon after, on May 2nd, even counter-attacked trying to land in Portonovo. But the local French-Italian garrison, despite suffering several losses, managed to reject the raid and to save the local vessels thanks to the deployment of the costal heavy artillery and the support of the courageous Napoleonic corsairs from Ancona.

Besides the landing reenactment with British vessels and marines attacking the Napoleonic fort, the rich programme provides also guided tours at the historical camps, living history displays offering a deep insight into the 19th century military and civilian daily life, as well as dance performances in period dresses and uniforms, several cultural and recreational events including lectures, exhibitions, and historical banquets.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Comitato Promotore "Porto Nuovo 1811"
E-mail: portonuovo1811@yahoo.it
Web: http://portonuovo1811.jimdo.com

Ancona City Council / Comune di Ancona
Address: Largo XXIV Maggio,1 - I 60123 Ancona, Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)71 2221 - +39 (0)71 2224343
E-mail: urp@comune.ancona.it
Web: www.comune.ancona.it

Accademia di Oplologia e Militaria di Ancona
Address: Palazzo Bottoni, Via Cialdini 26, 60122 Ancona, Italy
Tel.: +39 347 3363793
E-mail: oplologia@yahoo.com
E-mail: accademiadioplologiaemilitaria@yahoo.it
Web: http://oplon.jimdo.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/accademiaoplologiamilitaria/

Visit Ancona Tourist portal
E-mail: visitancona@gmail.com
Web: http://www.visitancona.com/en/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VisitAncona-247285082007867/

Portonovo Bay Consortium the official website of Portonovo bay
Consorzio La Baia di Portonovo scarl
Address: c/o Hotel La Fonte, Loc. Portonovo, 60129 Ancona, Italy
E-mail: info@baiadiportonovo.it
Web: http://baiadiportonovo.it/en/Default.aspx
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/consorziobaiadiportonovo

Image: Comitato Promotore "Porto Nuovo 1811"
Text sources: Comitato Promotore "Porto Nuovo 1811", Wikipedia, Accademia di Oplologia e Militaria di Ancona, Ancona City Council, Visit Ancona Tourist portal, Portonovo Bay Consortium

Portonovo on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:





Exploring Portonovo, the Riviera del Conero and Ancona:





in memory of Franco Sestilli

Remembering Franco Sestilli, Founder and President of the Accademia di Oplologia e Militaria, President of the Porto Nuovo 1811 Committee, passionate historian and military history researcher, a gentle and helpful person, brilliant creator and tireless promoter of the Porto Nuovo 1811 historical reenactment.



Image credits: Porto Nuovo 1811 Committee


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