Discovering the Ligurian Riviera
January 30, 2022
Finalborgo is a village in the municipality of Finale Ligure, a small jewel of which the people of Finalborgo are rightly proud. That's why we decided to leave for a while the care of our agricultural products to devote a day to the discovery of this special place.
Today we will visit the historic center of Finalborgo and the Fort San Giovanni, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the coast!
Perched on a hill and protected by ancient walls, Finalborgo is able to revive every year to thousands of tourists the most magnificent medieval atmosphere. The one made of castles, fortresses, colorful banners and districts.
At every corner, in fact, one comes across mysterious signs, heraldic symbols and flags that transport one into a distant dimension of time. To bring us back to the present, however, is the incessant swarming of tourists who, even in low season, animate the village. They are mostly young sportsmen, mountain bike and off-road lovers, attracted by the peculiarities of Finalborgo's landscape.
But the streets of Finalborgo are particularly seductive also for those who prefer a slow tourism, enjoy the windows of the many stores in the historic center, taste a focaccia or stop to buy the fresh pasta of the Ligurian tradition.
For lovers of history and art, Finalborgo allows an immersion in the beauty of the past with its palaces, churches, the Cloister of Santa Caterina and the Archaeological Museum of Finale, where you can dive into the various historical phases of the territory.
We decide to leave the farmhouse for a few hours to go to Finalborgo. We leave our car in Via Calice, in the open space where, in low season, it is possible to park for free. Turning our gaze upwards, we notice the Fort San Giovanni towering over the whole village. We walk towards Porta Testa, the main entrance of Finalborgo, from which you can access to the myriad of little stores, bars and restaurants where you can stop to eat or have an aperitif.
Despite the low season and the bad weather, in Finalborgo we find a lot of people in the historical center, maybe also for the presence of the vaccination hub in the Cloister of Santa Caterina.
We proceed towards Piazza Aycardi, where the homonymous theater is located, and then towards Piazzetta Meloria until we reach a caruggio, along the Aquila torrent. From here we walk towards Forte San Giovanni. Built during the Spanish domination in the first half of the seventeenth century with defensive functions, this structure is located on a road that gradually increases the slope as you go up. We did it on foot, but it can be easily covered (if trained) also by mountain bike.
Before arriving at the Fort we stop, from time to time, to admire the view of the village with the horizon that blends with the sea: a real spectacle! Finally we arrive at the Porta della Mezzaluna, where the inscription "1666" stands out, year of the construction of the Beretta road leading to the Fort, during the Spanish domination.
From here it takes another four minutes on foot to reach the destination. The fortress can be visited freely, and offers many interesting views, both from the military historical and architectural point of view. Some stairs lead to rooms - there is even a chapel - and hidden corners from which you can observe the outside, making us understand the strategic importance of this place.
Once we reach the Fort, we explore it far and wide, looking for hidden places, galleries and loopholes, to immerse ourselves in the historical context in which it was created. Fortunately, its purpose today is only to welcome visitors and tourists, allowing them a 360-degree view of Finalborgo!
To learn more there are various information panels that detail the history of the structure, while an old cannon makes a fine show in front of the Fort.
After having visited every corner of the Fort we decide to go back to the center. We pay a visit to the IAT of Finalborgo, the tourist reception office, located in a beautiful historical context.
The church of Santa Caterina, on the other hand, is part of a Dominican complex dating back to the 14th century, and was built by the noble Del Carretto family to house the remains of their loved ones. The most interesting part is the Renaissance cloisters, perfect for a meditative walk, or reading a book under the shelter of the arcades.
Read also - Zuccarello: a village full of charm
From here it is also possible to access the well-known Archaeological Museum of Finale, that we will visit in a second occasion.
Let's take advantage of the visit to the complex of Santa Caterina to walk along the arcades of the cloister. The medieval structure is full of charm and is well suited to accommodate not only tourists, but also students and anyone who wants to spend time in absolute quiet.
Finalborgo is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and among the most visited in Liguria. With this article we have proposed you a personal itinerary, an excursion feasible in a few hours, but we propose to come back soon to show you other beauties (and there are many!) of this special village.
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