Set back from the glittering Ligurian Riviera is Finalborgo, a medieval town circulated by solid, imposing walls that protect and guard a historic center rich in history and culture.
People here tell how these ancient walls offer a protective, almost cuddly feeling, and honestly, it is hard to refute this claim.
Incorporated in the circuit of the Borghi Più Belli d’Italia (Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages), Finalborgo is a hamlet of Finale Ligure, one of the liveliest towns on the Riviera di Ponente (Western Riviera), and is undoubtedly the romantic heart of this area.
Every street, square, and corner hides architectural treasures, which may be a magnificent palace, a monumental church, or one of the abundant slate details, including gates, columns, and decorative elements, that adorn historic buildings.
But Finalborgo is not just a bastion of the past; in fact, it is a place where historical splendors coexist harmoniously with a vibrant and pulsating present, characterized by a myriad of people of all ages, and a wide variety of stores, craft stores, and cafes.
While the hamlet of Finalmarina, also part of Finale Ligure, attracts tourists who love the sea, Finalborgo has been able to distinguish itself not only by its very rich cultural heritage but also by the countless outdoor activities available in its surroundings.
Don’t be surprised if during a stroll through the intertwined streets of the old town you come across cyclists getting on a mountain bike looking for an ice cream shop to rest after a long ride or free climbers gathering to share tips on the next climb.
Welcome to Finalborgo, a place where historical heritage blends gently with a lively atmosphere and where the beauty of Liguria is revealed in every detail. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through time, culture, and adventure!
What to see in Finalborgo
Image of traveling through a land poised between sea and mountains. Imagine passing through olive groves, vineyards and medieval villages, all set in the unique landscape of Liguria.
Finalborgo is one of these hidden gems, ready to reveal its secrets.
Collegiate Church of St. Blaise
The Collegiate Church of San Biagio is one of the main attractions in the village of Finalborgo. Located in the heart of the medieval town just a short walk from Piazza Garibaldi, this charming church dates back to the 12th century, offering visitors a journey back in time through history, art and spirituality.
Externally, the building has a simple and austere facade, typical of Ligurian Romanesque architecture. The entrance is topped by a beautiful portico on which rests a small rose window that illuminates the interior of the church.
Once inside, you will immediately notice the three-nave basilica floor plan, while the frescoes, which date from different periods between the 14th and 15th centuries, will catch your attention for their charm and intense color. One of the most important frescoes is the “Crucifixion with Saints” by Ligurian painter Teramo Piaggio, a work that skillfully demonstrates remarkable attention to detail and the emotional expressions of the characters.
The Collegiate Church of San Biagio also houses a number of ancient tombstones, including that of Marquis Del Carretto, the local lord of Finalborgo, and other members of the local aristocracy, which testify to the importance the church has assumed over the centuries.
Another fascinating detail of the church is the bell tower, which stands, flanking the facade, with its mullioned and three-mullioned windows, and its ornamental battlements. As Romanesque in base as the church itself, parts of the bell tower were added over the centuries, embellishing it with Gothic and Renaissance details.
St. Catherine's Monumental Complex
The St. Catherine Monumental Complex is an important historical and cultural landmark located in the charming town of Finalborgo. Founded in 1359, the St. Catherine’s Monastic Complex is embellished with beautiful Renaissance cloisters.
Today, it houses the Finale Archaeological Museum, an important museum created in 1931 that presents a wide range of archaeological collections, the result of more than a century of research conducted at numerous sites in the Finale area.
In addition, the convent church has been converted into an auditorium, embellished with 15th-century frescoes. In addition to this, the former convent of St. Catherine’s also houses a conference hall and serves as an exhibition space in the adjacent Oratory of the Disciplinants.
In summary, the St. Catherine Monumental Complex represents an invaluable heritage for Finalborgo, combining art, history and spirituality in a single, evocative place.
Walls of Finalborgo
The walls of Finalborgo are one of the hallmarks of this charming medieval village in Liguria. Originally built in the 12th century to protect the city from enemy attacks, these historic fortifications embrace Finalborgo telling a centuries-long story.
The walled perimeter includes a series of towers, bastions and gates, each of which once played a specific role in the city’s defense system. Prominent among these is the Royal Gate, the main entrance to the village, an imposing stone structure that still stands proudly defending the historic entrance.
The entire wall is walkable, offering visitors a spectacular view of Finalborgo’s historic houses, narrow alleys, and picturesque squares. During the walk you can admire the intricacies of the medieval defense system, as well as enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding Ligurian mountains.
Over the past centuries, the walls of Finalborgo have undergone numerous modifications and renovations, as a result of various conflicts and changes of dominion. However, they have shown extraordinary resilience, withstanding the wear and tear of time and continuing to fulfill their symbolic role as guardians of the city.
Today, these historical artifacts not only add charm to Finalborgo’s urban landscape, but also offer valuable insight into its turbulent and glorious past. They represent an important historical and cultural heritage, which contributes to making Finalborgo one of the most fascinating medieval villages in Italy.
The Palazzo del Tribunale is one of the most representative monuments of Finalborgo, a famous medieval village in Liguria. Located on the picturesque Court Square, the building is easily recognizable by its ochre-colored facade, topped by the Court Tower, visible from many parts of the town.
Built in the 15th century, the Palace of the Tribunal originally served as the center of judicial and administrative power of the marque of Finale, owned by the Del Carretto family. The palace, in fact, housed the political and legal destiny of the village, with the presence of the courtrooms and government offices.
The building features Renaissance architecture, with a facade composed of an interesting set of round-headed openings, Renaissance mullioned windows with two lights and Gothic three lights. An interesting detail is the ancient sundial located on the facade, an element that adds special charm to the entire building.
In the center of the palace, there is a characteristic inner courtyard, surrounded by porticoes on two sides, ending with the aforementioned tower. This tower, also known as the Tower of the Lords, is the highest point in the entire village, and offers a breathtaking view of the rooftops of Finalborgo and the surrounding Ligurian hills.
Today, the Court Building no longer fulfills its former legal function, but remains a historical and cultural landmark of the city. Exhibitions and events are periodically held inside, enlivening city life and making it a gathering place for tourists and citizens alike.
Castel San Giovanni
Castel San Giovanni is one of the most emblematic places in Finalborgo. This ancient castle, located in a dominant position over the village, represents an important symbol of the lordly power of the past.
Also known as “Rocca di San Giovanni,” the castle was built in the 12th century and was the stronghold of the Marquis Del Carretto family. It was involved in numerous wartime conflicts during the Middle Ages and the modern era, playing a pivotal role in the defense of the Marca Aleramica of Finale.
The imposing fortress, despite many battles, changing historical events and the passage of time, still stands in all its majesty today. Its elevated position makes it a privileged vantage point, offering breathtaking views of Finalborgo and the surrounding hills.
Today, Castel San Giovanni is a popular tourist destination and a favorite venue for cultural events, performances and entertainment moments. It can be reached on foot via a scenic trail that starts from the village and ascends the hill, offering a beautiful nature and history trail.
The Aycardi Theater is one of the cultural landmarks of Finalborgo, the famous medieval Ligurian village. This historic theater, located in the heart of the village, is a meeting place for lovers of art and entertainment.
Built in the 19th century and opened in 1853, the Aycardi Theater is named after the then mayor of Finale, Carlo Aycardi. The construction of the theater marked an important step forward for the cultural life of the village, providing a stage for theatrical performances, musical concerts and various other artistic events.
The structure features elegant neoclassical architecture. The exterior of the theater features a simple but elegant facade, while the interior is an architectural gem. The theater can accommodate more than 200 people, arranged on stalls and gallery.
With its large stage and hall decorated with stucco and frescoes, the Aycardi Theater offers an intimate and evocative atmosphere that makes each performance a unique experience. The performances, which range from theater to music, lectures to cinema, succeed in touching the audience’s strings, enriching the cultural life of the village.
Where to sleep in Finalborgo
Finalborgo offers a wide range of accommodation options for every type of visitor.
You can find cozy and comfortable accommodations, from elegant boutique hotels to quaint vacation homes, farmhouses surrounded by nature and family bed & breakfasts. If you prefer a more independent and home-like lifestyle, there are many rentable apartments.
Each option has its own unique charm: some boast splendid views of the historic village or the surrounding hills, while others allow you to fully experience the medieval atmosphere of Finalborgo, being located within the ancient walls.
Generally, all of these accommodations are equipped with modern amenities and offer personalized services that will make your stay as pleasant as possible.
Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a break from everyday stress, you are sure to find the right lodging option for you in Finalborgo. Remember, wherever you choose to stay, you will have easy access to the beauty, history and charm of this charming medieval village.
How to get to Finalborgo
If you travel by car, you can use the A10 highway, exiting at Finale Ligure.
Finalborgo is located about 3 kilometers from the highway exit. Parking outside the walls is often the best choice, as the village is closed to traffic.
For those who prefer the train, the reference station is Finale Ligure Marina, which is on the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway line. Many Italian cities, such as Milan, Genoa, and Turin, have direct or one-way connections to Finale Ligure. From the station, you can walk to Finalborgo in about 20 minutes or by local bus.
For international travelers, the nearest airports are Genoa and Nice, both well connected to Finale Ligure by train or bus.
Once arrived, the discovery of Finalborgo can easily begin on foot, getting lost in its fascinating medieval alleys, discovering a past rich in history and charm.
LODGINGS IN Finalborgo
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