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Back to the medieval times in Finalborgo

3 minutes to read

Finnalborgo is a jewel at few steps from the sea that enchants with its atmosphere of other times. The village is situated in western Liguria, a couple of kilometres inland from the popular seaside resort of Finale Ligure and can be reached on foot as a trip from the resort. The ancient village has a great deal of character as well as a castle and several other historic monuments to see, which all helps explain why Finalborgo has ben listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in Italy'. Its medieval historic area is perfectly preserved, the origin of the village dates back to the end of the XII century, to the epoch of the marquis Enrico The Guercio, but recent important archaeological discoveries seem to predate its foundation for a few centuries. It was the capital of the Del Carretto Marquisate from the 13th century on, always tormented by wars with Genoa and Saracen raids, it was encircled by imposing walls still well preserved and visible. The feeling that still today you have walking among the shops, the loggias and the little squares enlivened by bars and restaurants is a sense of welcome and protection that people must have felt many centuries ago.

The village, surrounded by medieval walls with towers and gates, alternates narrow streets, with beautiful squares, columns, and great monuments. The 15th century and Renaissance palaces ( modified during the period of the Spanish domination) Palazzo del Municipio, Palazzo Cavassola (which hosted Pope Pius VII), Palazzo Gallesio, Palazzo Brunengo in Piazza Aycardi, and Palazzo del Tribunale are a unique heritage. The 17th-century baroque Basilica of San Biagio was built over the earlier medieval church (1372), preserving the apse and the octagonshaped belltower (1463) in late Gothic style. Santa Caterina's church and the Dominican complex were built approximately in 1360, after the death of marquis Giorgio I Del Carretto, when his widow decided to build a noble church to house her husband's body. The convent was then transformed in a prison from 1863 to 1964, but its beauty has remained intact to this day.

In addition to the history, FInalborgo is also a culinary experience, in the village coexist two culinary souls, as to its nature, one linked to the sea and a mountain. In addition to fish dishes embellished with aromatic herbs, many preparations with a basis of vegetables: Ravioli of boraggine, Ravioli of Scorzonera, quiches artichokes based or characteristics courgettes trumpets and rice. The famous and delicious the "fugassin", (focaccette fried) and the panissa. A typical recipe of Finale is that of "chifferi", cakes made with almonds, sugar and orange flowers. Who reproposed in modern times these traditional sweets was Blessed Iron, former sailor with the passion of the pastry art that in 1872 opened a bakery at Finalmarina, still open. The etymology, probably of Arabic derivation (kefir = moon), stems precisely from half moon shape that is given to these delicious pastries made with almonds. It seems that the word seems to derive from the German Kipfel, sweet crescent shaped devised by a viennese baker to celebrate the liberation of the city from the Turkish siege in 1683. Typical cultivation of the place is the orange pernambucco. The local wines are Vermentino, Lumassina, Pigato (white), Rossese and Granaccia (red). Typical Products in addition to wine: craft beer, honey, oil.

The "Viaggio nel Medioevo" festival

Every year at the end of August in Finalborgo there is a famous historical re-enactment called “Viaggio nel Medioevo” celebrating the enterprise of the Marquis Giovanni del Carretto who in a single night reconquered the village and ended the war against the powerful republic of Genoa. : it is a very special event in which the village goes back to its past with ancient crafts, medieval games, old recipes. The festival enlivens the walled village with colorful flags, banners, Celtic music, exotic spices, sword games, dancers, archers and knights. The celebration commemorates the glorious period of XV century, when Marquis John, in just one night reconquered the village and ended the war against the powerful Republic of Genoa. On this occasion you will find handcraft workshops, inns full of customers dressed up with period costumes and streets and squares animated by ladies, knights, medieval Celtic music and buffoons, jugglers and fire-eating shows. It is really an occasion not to be missed. Discover the hamlet in all its magnificence and richness. Once you have come through the doorways you will be easily involved in the atmosphere made of gaiety, music, games, the smell of spices from all over the world and local delicacies.

The author

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

I am Eleonora, from Italy. I share with you a frenetic passion for travelling and an insatiable curiosity for different cultures. On itinari, you will find my stories about Italy.

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