At about 10 km from Loano there is Finalborgo, a delightful village that is just a few steps from the sea and enchants with its beautiful views, the alleys and squares and the atmosphere of other times you breathe. Let’s discover together something more about this charming village, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy.
A bit of history
The name derives from Burgum Finarii, which means a border land in Roman times.
The origin of Finalborgo dates back to the twelfth century and is led back to the control of the then Marquis Enrico I del Carretto called Il Guercio, although recent archaeological studies have shown that it was born a few centuries earlier.
The town develops a few kilometers from the sea for defensive reasons, or to protect itself from the landings of the Saracens, who lorded along the coasts.
The walls are built on the east, south and west sides, while the northern region was naturally protected by the mountains; subsequently on the top of the Becchignolo hill Castel Gavone was built from which the Del Carretto family, from around 1300, ruled Finalborgo. In this phase many buildings are built including palaces, fortifications, churches, castles and a convent. The walls were destroyed by the Genoese in 1449, who tried to conquer the area and to which the Del Carretto always tried to escape but were then rebuilt three years later.
From 1598 to 1713 we witness the Spanish domination phase, so the marquisate throughout the 1600s became a strategic area for the control of the north. The Spaniards put in place a real strengthening of the defensive structures of Finalborgo, with a strengthening of Castel Gavone and the construction of the Fort San Giovanni.
In 1713 the village passed under the command of the Republic of Genoa and this puts an end to the prosperity phase known under Spanish rule. Symbolic fact that encloses the end of an era is the destruction of Castel Gavone operated by the Genoese in 1715.
In 1740 Finale remains involved in the Austrian succession struggles that sees Austrian, Piemontesi (people living in region Piemonte in northern Italy) and English sides against the Bourbons, French and Spanish.
In 1748, with the peace of Acquisgrana Finale, it was definitively placed under the control of Genoa, until 1795 when the arrival of the French ended the marquisate. Later it will follow the fate of the Ligurian Republic, the Savoy and the Kingdom of Italy.
What to see in Finalborgo
Enclosed between fortifications interspersed with towers and with openings at the gates, walking its streets by a sense of security and protection. We suggest you let yourself be guided by the narrow alleys that open onto squares adorned with jewels made of Finale stone, or slate, which are made up of columns, doors and decorations. Finalborgo is a lively place, where it is pleasant to get lost looking the numerous and interesting shops. The center is then overstated by palaces of the ‘400 and the Renaissance.
Collegiate Basilica of San Biagio: the current building was built in the seventeenth century and contains interesting works such as sculptures by the Bocciardo brothers, “The martyrdom of Saint Catherine” by Oddone Pascale and the “Madonna delle rose” by Vincenzo Tamagni.
Convent of Santa Caterina: built in 1359 and completed later with two Renaissance cloisters, and today it houses the civic museum.
Court Palace: it was the seat of the Del Carretto government; built in the early fourteenth century, it was then renovated in 1462. The palace was later revisited in 1781, when Finalborgo was under the control of the Genoese Republic. The most interesting part is undoubtedly the façade, thanks to the fifteenth century pictorial decorations.
Palazzo Ricci: acquired and renovated by the Ricci family of the same name, it became the seat of the municipality; formerly it was the palace of Cardinal Carlo Domenico Del Carretto.
Finalborgo is a small town full of history and charm, where it is nice to walk along the narrow streets, visiting the shops, admiring the historic buildings; we are sure that a visit will not disappoint you.