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Discovering Finale Ligure
A place of captivating beauty only one hour away from The Mall Sanremo

It is the oldest district in Finale Ligure surrounded by medieval walls. Its noble origin is clearly visible in the frescoed facades of buildings such as Palazzo Cavasola and Arnaldi. On the western walls, the village can be accessed through the 15th-century Porta Testa gateway. Close to it, there is the convent building of Santa Caterina dating back to the second half of the 14th century, today a lively contemporary cultural centre. Inside you will find the chapel of Santa Maria degli Oliveri with its magnificent collection of frescoes, two Renaissance cloisters, the Basilica of San Biagio – one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Western Liguria with the bell tower built on top of the tower of the city walls – and the Archaeological Museum of Finale. Instead, its nearby Aycardi theatre dates back to the Napoleonic period and is located in the square of the same name facing the so-called “Loggia di Raimondo”.

Overlooking the village is Castle Gavone with its characteristic “diamond tower”, and the castle of San Giovanni, built by the Spaniards in the 17th century with its magnificent tenaille. In the hills of the nearby hinterland, appreciated by climbing and trekking enthusiasts, there are also elegant stately homes such as the 19th-century Villa Gallesio-Sanguineti all’Aquila.

Another splendid example of Baroque architecture is the Basilica of San Giovanni, very close to the sea. Its majestic façade looks onto a wide road full of ancient noble palaces. It was built to replace the ancient early Christian and Medieval church, Pieve del Finale, whose remains are preserved beneath the current church of the Capuchin Fathers.

Not far from the basilica is also another large Spanish fortress of Finale Ligure: Castelfranco with its large corner bastions. The Spaniards also built the beautiful triumphal arch located on the seafront in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, erected in honour of Margaret of Spain.

It is here that we can find the prestigious Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria, one of the most important monastic centres in Liguria with works by the Della Robbia family.

(photo. Georgia De Lotz, Jan Kopriva)

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