Life set in stone and the beginnings of the area

From the sedimentation of the Miocene sea, the Finale stone is formed. Rich in fossils included on it, this rock documents ancient geological eras until the birth of the current landscape.

The Finale Area is famous for a special kind of bioclastic limestone known as Pietra di Finale (Italian: Finale Stone).Indeed, karst has led to the formation of caves and natural sinkholes which have been used by man since time began.

GEOLOGY – Between 28 and 11 million years ago

Inland gorges are towered over by tall rocky cliffs scoured out as water and wind eroded the existing continental shelf formed by the Miocenic Sea. Moulded during the Miocene, between 28 and 11 million years ago, Finale Stone comes from the sedimentation of silt and soil inside a large gulf which was closed off from the open sea by a coastal reef barrier. This sedimentary build-up lay on top of existing Pre-Tertiary and Tertiary Period layers of different rock-types made up of shale, limestone and dolomite. By pushing against each other, the layers formed cliffs falling sheer into the sea.

As the Miocenic sea was populated by the fauna of warm, shallow waters, Finale and Verezzi Stone both contain such ancient life forms as fossils of corals, seaweed (or algae), cockles (or bivalve scallops), comb shells (or pectinidae), cake urchins (or clypeaster) and sea urchin spines.

The presence of sharp fossil teeth shows that these were shark-infested waters. Among other species, traces have been found of the great Carcharodon megalodon shark, that could grow to a length of 25 meters. Findings from the Cava dell’Aquila (Italian: Aquila Cave) include a fragment of jawbone of a blue whale and other skeletal fragments of an algae-eating Sirendae of the water salamanders and manatee family]. These fossils are currently on display at the Museo Archeologico del Finale at Finalborgo (Italian: Archaeological Museum of Finale)

Finale Stone was widely used for building, because it was easy to work and for its delightfully mellow tones of colour which so often occur in the Finale landscape, where natural and man-made elements blend in with each other harmoniously.

More recently, charming landscape and mountain geomorphology overlooking the sea have led to the development of such outdoor activities as climbing and biking for which Finale is internationally known.

In Finale both the natural and the anthropized environment is strongly characterised by the presence of Finale stone. The stone is a bioclastic organogenic limestone, that is partially detrital with shades of colour that go from white to light brown and pink, and has always been used for building.
Within the complex morphology of the Ligurian mountain range, the outstanding beauty of the Finale plateau with its unique Finale Stone outcrop that rises over 400 metres above sea level, creates a sharp colour contrast with the green of the surrounding vegetation.
Finale is a gift of water, as its genesis is strongly tied to water. It all started 28 million years ago, during the Oligocene, when the sea flooded a large coastal depression thereby forming a lagoon.
The main stratigraphic series of the Ligurian Brianconnais zone can be found within the few square kilometres of Finale Ligure. Località Le Mànie features a unique Gneiss outcrop of ancient crystallized rocks that emerged through a tectonic window.

Map of 28 and 11 million years ago