FINALE LIGURE, half an hour from Savona, is a full-on Italian resort, in summer crowded with Italian families who pack the outdoor restaurants, seafront fairground and open-air cinema, or take an extended passeggiata along the promenade and through the old alleys. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable place for all that, with a long sandy beach that stretches the entire length of the town and a busy, buzzy vibe that lasts long into the evening.
At its centre is Finalmarina, with a palm-lined promenade and a small quarter of narrow shopping streets set back from the seafront, focused on the arcaded Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. At the eastern end of town, Finalpia is a small district on the other side of the River Sciusa, with the twelfth-century church of Santa Maria di Pia (rebuilt in florid, early eighteenth-century style) and the adjacent sixteenth-century cloistered abbey at its centre. Finalborgo, 2km inland, is perhaps the most attractive part of Finale, a medieval walled quarter overlooked by bare rock faces that are a favourite with free climbers who gather at Bar Centrale in Finalborgo’s Piazza Garibaldi at weekends. It’s also become a thriving hub for mountain bikers. Finalborgo has quite a chichi air, and is a nice place to eat, shop, wander the old streets, or take a look at the array of prehistoric remains and other local artefacts at the Museo Archeologico del Finale in the cloisters of the convent of Santa Caterina.