Gavone Castle in Perti
XII century – 1715 CE
The prestigious castle of the Del Carretto family, rulers of Finale
Between the Medieval times and the Modern Age Gavone castle was the prestigious fortified residence of the noble family of the marquises Del Carretto, lords of Finale.
The majestic ruins of the castle that survived the 1715 Genoese destruction still dominates over the medieval town of Finale, todays Finalborgo, from the mountain ridge that separates the Pora and Aquila valleys.
With the Renaissance “Diamond tower” that is characterized by the particular pyramid ashlars “diamond shaped” in Finale Stone the castle testifies the importance of this monument in the history of Finale and in that of Italian military architecture.
MORE INFORMATION – Gavone Castle
The castle, which is mentioned for the first time in 1128, was probably built in the 12th century when the feudal power was organised in Finale.
In the medieval documents the castle is identified with the term of “caminata” that is a fortified residence built with various floors and made with stone and has fireplaces in the residential area. A loggia is present on the ground floor.
During the medieval period the castle gradually grew so to house the various family components that frequently clashed and had violent contrasts.
In the representative rooms the most important deeds of the marquisate took place and in 1390 the existence of a garden called “viridario” with a cypress is mentioned and states that it was close to the “caminata”.
In the 1400s at the height of the Finale war (1447-1450) between Genoa and Galeotto Del Carretto the castle was occupied thanks to the betrayal of Genoese mercenaries. Galeotto managed to escape by climbing down the castle walls and found refuge in France where he died in the seas of Brittany. A few months later the Genoese army also occupied the village of Finale and ordered the demolition of its walls and houses. But in December 1450 Giovanni I Del Carretto managed to reconquer the ancient village and started the reconstruction of the castle and the village.
The 15th century castle was based on an inner courtyard with an ornate colonnade decorated with Finale stone sculpted capitals. A chapel dedicated to Saint George faced the courtyard. This chapel has the image of the saint within the gothic bezel and is dated to 1461. On the northern side of the courtyard a staircase gave access to the upper floor where the residential and representative rooms were positioned.
Around 1490 the castle was equipped with the beautiful “diamond tower” in Finale stone, one of the most original examples of military architecture of the time, the medieval castle has now become a prestigious Renaissance abode.
In the 1500s due to the introduction of evermore so powerful artilleries in the armies of the time the tall vertical walls of the medieval fortification had become extremely vulnerable and exposed to blows from cannons. To protect the central nucleus of the castle a strong external wall was built with four cylindrical towers placed in the corners.
After the sieges and bombardments the castle went through in the second half of the 16th century and the selling of the Finale marquisate to Spain in 1602, the now decadent castle still housed for a while the Spanish governors.
With the purchase of Finale by the Republic of Genoa in 1713 the fate of the castle was settled: the pick and the mines dove into the castle that was reduced to ruins from which material and architectural elements were collected to be reused also for the building, in 1714, of the new church of Saint Eusebius in the close by Perti.
The recent work of restoration, carried out with European funds, intentionally left the signs of the 1715 Genoese destruction thus creating an atmosphere of great fascination.
HOW TO REACH
How to reach the site
Gavone castle can be reached by walking or cycling starting from Finalborgo and then following the Berretta road or along the road for Perti Alta that starts in san Sebastiano on the road to Calice Ligure.
Bookings for tours are available as part of the “Open door Open art” Project endorsed by MUDIF.
Archeotrekking “I Del Carretto e il Rinascimento Finalese”
The visit is part of the project “Archeotrekking finale” promoted by Museo Archeologico del Finale and by Guide association “Finale Natura”.
Guided tour promoted by Centro Storico del Finale
(meeting point:internal court of the Castle)
Calendar of visits