Sant’Antonino castle

A fortified settlement in Byzantine Liguria

The Sant’Antonino castle is positioned on a steep hill, between the Aquila valley to the east and the Perti valley to the west.

This hill had already been the base of an important residential settlement dated to between the late Middle bronze age and the Late bronze age (between the 14th and 10th century BCE circa).

In the second half of the 6th century CE, during the byzantine domination of Liguria, on the western side of the hill a first wall with the entrance to the castle, a walkway supported by masonry arches and a large multi-storey square tower, in which there were particular single lancet windows with an internal offset or a “mushroom” offset, typical of the period, was built.

MORE INFORMATION – Sant’Antonino castle

Between the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th century the castles defences were completed with two long curtain walls, that extended along the ridge of the hill. They were interspersed with rectangular towers.

There weren’t any wall structures on the eastern side as the high Finale Stone cliffs constituted a natural defence.

The excavations carried out between 1982 and 1998 by the Archaeological Museum of Finale confirmed the importance of the castrum of Sant’Antonio in the byzantine defensive system in Liguria after the invasion of the Lombards in 568 and their rapid occupation of northern Italy.

This fortified settlement received goods from all over the Mediterranean and in particular from Tunisia, from Spain and the Middle East. Soapstone vessels came from the Alpine region (Val D’Aosta and central Alps), destined to be used for cooking food. The main findings from these excavations are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Finale in Finalborgo.

In the 11th century on top of the hill the byzantine romanic church of Sant’Antonino was built.

The castle is named as the castrum of Perti in a diploma of the emperor Federico I of Svevia in 1162.



How to reach the site

The castle placed on top of the Sant’Antonino hill can be reached only on foot by following the steep and enchanting path that starts from the Valle di Perti between the houses that once belonged to the Massaferro family.


Periodic guided tours are planned for visiting the byzantine castle and the church as part of the “Landscape, Nature and Archeotrekking” project.

Orario di Visita

Calendario delle visite

[ls_content_block id=”7170″]