A seafaring suburb but an expert in flying
What it is and where it is
Along with Finalborgo, Finalpia and Varigotti, Finalmarina is one of the four districts of the municipality of Finale Ligure, dotted with elements that trace the different eras of life in the maritime village: from medieval tradition to the centuries-long domination first by the Spanish and then by the Genoese. And so it is that one finds oneself admiring the Castelfranco fortress, stately palaces and Baroque churches, first and foremost the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, Finale's patron saint. Then how can we not mention the Marguerite Arch of Spain: erected in 1666 to celebrate the passage of the princess, today it seems to be the centerpiece of a skilful scenography open to the sea.
Why it is special
Finalmarina's buildings tower above a sea that is blue and irresistible, even to them. This is how they gradually slope toward the beach, in one of the most beautiful promenades in Liguria. To go from the old village to the bathing areas, one only has to cross a picturesque avenue adorned with palm trees, and immediately one finds oneself in a sparkling atmosphere, where the air is pervaded by the scents of the sea, the beaches are clean and accessible, and the waves sing their melody.
Not to be missed
Every June 29 the feast of St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen and sailors, is celebrated with bonfires on the beach and a grand procession. The heavy statue of the saint is carried on the shoulders and danced by fishermen, who go barefoot for the occasion and wear a cerulean-colored rough cloth habit. They arrive as far as the Blacks' beach and the Whites' beach for the Salutation to the Sea, but the most important moment is the return: weary from the long journey, the bearers race up the steps and down the central nave of the church as if in flight. The silence of the crowd is surreal. They will breathe a sigh of relief only when St. Peter has stopped in front of the altar and turned to look at them: if he is straight, proud and on axis, there will be a fishy year.
A bit of history
Several archaeological finds on the heights testify to the presence of Paleolithic hunters and gatherers, and ranchers and farmers in later eras. With the Roman conquest in 181 B.C., the first settlement was born facing the sea, on the present territory of Rione Marina. From the Middle Ages onward, Finalmarina came under the rule of the Del Carrettos, the Genoese (creators of the fortress of Castelfranco on the Gòttaro), the Spanish and again the Genoese. It was then annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia. In 1927 it was united with Marina, Borgo, Pia and Varigotti to form the municipality of Finale Ligure.
In the twentieth century Finalmarina was known as the City of Flight: Officine Piaggio, later Rinaldo Piaggio SpA, a leading manufacturer of large aircraft and important executive jets such as the legendary P180, was born and prospered here. The headquarters of the Piaggio Aereospace plants, this is the name of the company today, is located in Villanova d'Albenga. Piaggio in Finale Ligure was also responsible for the production of Rolls Royce Viper thrusters, used on the Italian Air Force's Frecce Tricolori. Since 2014, Piaggio's Finale plants have ceased production.
To make travel arrangements
Discover places and related research