Porta Carretta Town Gate in Finalborgo

A Prestigious Fortified Gate to Borgo del Finale Town

In the Middle Ages whoever arrived in Finalborgo from the coast, came to the imposing defences of the Porta Carretta Town Gate – once a tall tower surmounted by battlements.

This turreted gateway was built by Giovanni I Del Carretto in 1452, after the village was torn down by the Genoese a few years earlier. The medieval ‘bridge of fish’, as it was called in 1463, stood next to the tower, of which nowadays only an abutment exists.

MORE INFORMATION – Porta Carretta Town Gate in Finalborgo

This medieval, “a cavaliere” turreted town gate [t.n.: ‘a cavaliere’ means ‘in knightly fashion’, where a large circular tower rides a pyramidal barbican created by the corner of two intersecting curtain walls just like a knight mounting on his steed] led straight into the main road of Borgo del Finale, now called via Torcelli. The tower therefore opened out on two sides, through a well-preserved pointed archway to the left. Interestingly, the gate itself stood perpendicularly within the tower.

After the opening of the seventeenth-century Royal Gate into the adjacent town walls, the structures of the original gateway were repeatedly and widely altered, so much so that the medieval tower was also used for housing purposes.

The original masonry wall made of large blocks of carefully-squared Finale Stone is still visible to the west of the tower. Indeed, the blocks of Finale Stone constituted both the corner/key stone and jamb/pier of the pointed arch set within a decorative moulded frame. The archway has now been cut into by the opening of a large window.

A marble bas-relief once stood above the gate depicting the Triumph of the Del Carretto Family. Nowadays, the piece is on the inside of the town walls in the nearby Piazza San Biagio (Italian: Saint Biagio’s Square).

Finally, the eastern facade of the gate overlooking the Aquila Stream still bears traces of past frescoes.

HOW TO REACH

PORTA CARRETTA TOWN GATE

How to reach the site

If driving from Genoa, Turin or Milan, you can get to Finalborgo from the A10 motorway exit in Feglino, if arriving from any other direction, exit the A10 motorway in Finale Ligure. A bus service is available from the railway station in Finalmarina.

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