Marquisate of Finale

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.

Marquisate of Finale

Marchesato di Finale
Coat of arms
Marquisate of Finale in Liguria.
StatusMarch of the Kingdom of Italy
State of the Holy Roman Empire
CapitalFinale Ligure (from the 1190s)
Common languagesLigurian
 Acquired by the Kingdom of Spain

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. Although their sovereignty had obtained 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 ceded to the Republic of Genoa on 20 August 1713, although it kept its statutes until the French Napoleonic invasion in 1797.

List of rulers

Marquis Reign Consort(s) Notes
Enrico I del Carretto1162–1185Beatrice di Monferrato
Enrico II del Carretto1185–1231Simona Guercio
Agata de Geneve
Giacomo del Carretto1231–1265Caracosa Doria
Caterina da Marano
Antonio del Carretto1265–1313Agnese di Valperga
Costanza Ciaromonte
Giorgio del Carretto1313–1359Leonora Fieschi
Lazzarino I del Carretto1359–1392Marietta del Carretto
Lazzarino II del Carretto1392–1412Caterina del Carretto
Galeotto I del Carretto1412–1450Vannina Adornoin exile after 5 February 1449
Giovanni I del Carretto1450–1468Viscontina Adornoin power from 20 December 1450
Galeotto II del Carretto1468–1482Elisabetta Dal Verme
Alfonso I del Carretto1482–1499Bianca Simonetta
Peretta Cybo-Usodimare
first time
Carlo Domenico del Carretto1499–1514also a cardinal
Alfonso I del Carretto1514–1517Bianca Simonetta
Peretta Cybo-Usodimare
second time
Giovanni II del Carretto1517–1535Ginevra Bentivoglio
Alfonso II del Carretto1535–1583his mother, Peretta Cybo-Usodimare, and uncle, Marcantonio Del Carretto Doria, exercised a regency (1535–46)
Alfonso II exercises power (1546–58)
marquisate occupied by Genoa (1558–64)
Giovanni Alberto Del Carretto di Gorzegno rules in Alfonso II's name (1564–66)
marquisate ruled by imperial commissioners (1566–1602)
occupied by Spanish or German troops (1571–1602)
Alessandro del Carretto1583–1596also abbot of Buonacomba
in exile throughout his reign
marquisate ruled by imperial commissioners (1566–1602)
occupied by Spanish or German troops (1571–1602)
Sforza Andrea del Carretto1596–1602Faustina Sforza di Caravaggioin exile throughout his reign
marquisate ruled by imperial commissioners (1566–1602)
occupied by Spanish or German troops (1571–1602)
Filippo I d'Asburgo1602–1621Margherita d'Austria-Stiriareceived imperial investiture on 4 February 1619
Filippo II d'Asburgo1621–1665Elisabetta di Borbonereceived imperial investiture on 19 February 1639
Carlo d'Asburgo1665–1700Maria Luisa di Borbone
Maria Anna del Palatinato-Neuburg

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