Marquisate of Finale

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Marquisate of Finale
Marchesato di Finale
March of the Kingdom of Italy
State of the Holy Roman Empire

Coat of arms

Marquisate of Finale in Liguria.
Capital Finale Ligure (from the 1190s)
Languages Ligurian
Government Monarchy
Marquess Aleramo (first)
Sforza Andrea Del Carretto (last)
 -  Established 967
 -  Acquired by the Kingdom of Spain 1602

The Marquisate of Finale was an Italian state in what is now Liguria, part of the former medieval Aleramici March. It was ruled for some six centuries by the Aleramici branch known as marquesses del Vasto (when they also held the March of Savona) and later Del Carretto, when Savona became a free commune.


The marquisate of Finale originated from the territories donated in 967 to Aleramo of Montferrat by emperor Otto I and was for centuries a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. Anselmo, son of Aleramo, started the line of the marquesses of Savona or Del Vasto. His descendant Boniface del Vasto acquired large lands in Liguria and southern Piedmont. In 1142-1148 his sons divided its patrimony, creating different feudal dynasties. Enrico I del Carretto inherited the march of Savona, receiving its investiture by emperor Frederick Barbarossa on 10 June 1162.

The march of Savona stretched on the Ligurian coast from Cogoleto and Finale Ligure up to the Bormida valley, nearly reaching Acqui. Enrico later also acquired Cortemilia and Novello; the family also boasted rights on the diocese of Albenga and the former marquisate of Clavesana. His control over his lands was however rather nominal, due to the increasing autonomy of cities such as Savona, Noli, Alba and Alessandria from the 12th century. The first member of the family to use the title of Marquis of Finale (a village which the family had fortified since around 1193) was Enrico's son, Enrico II Del Carretto. The name "Del Carretto" derived from a small castle on the Bormida river.

Enrico I, Enrico II and his son Giacomo were Ghibellines (pro-imperial): Giacomo married an illegitimate daughter of Frederick II, Caterina da Marano. After his death in 1265, the family's lands were divided between his three sons. One of them, that of Finale, remained independent for three centuries, before it was absorbed by the Kingdom of Spain in 1602. The other two were Millesimo, whose lords later submitted to the Marquisate of Montferrat, and that of Novello, Piedmont. Despite their sovereignty had obtained the imperial approval, the Del Carretto had to fight for much of their history against the expansion of the Republic of Genoa. In 1385 Genoa obtained the feudal submission of half of the marquisate's lands.

In the 15th century the marquesses remained substantially autonomous, thanks to the support of the Visconti and later the Sforza of Milan. During the Ambrosian Republic, Genoa attacked Finale in a war which lasted from 1447 to 1448, and which ended with the fire of Finalborgo and the complete submission of the marquisate to Genoa. In 1450, however, Giovanni I del Carretto was able to reconquer his capital. Finale remained independent in the 16th century, in which it was a loyal ally of admiral Andrea Doria. Genoa invaded its lands again in 1558, taking advantage of the protests of part of the population due to the economic difficulties caused by the Franco-Spanish war and the harsh government of Alfonso II Del Carretto. After a short return of the marquis, there was another revolt, encouraged by Spain, which wanted to gain control of the only Ligurian port not under the Republic of Genoa. In 1598 the last marquis, Sforza Andrea, sold Finale to Philip II of Spain; the agreement became effective after Sforza Andrea's death in 1602.

At the end of the War of Spanish Succession, the marquisate of Finale was acquired by the Republic of Genoa, although it kept its statutes until the invasion of the French Napoleonic invasion in 1797.

Coordinates: 44°10′N 8°19′E / 44.167°N 8.317°E / 44.167; 8.317