Santa Maria di Finalpia, Abbey of
SANTA MARIA DI FINALPIA, ABBEY OF
A Benedictine monastery established in the 15th century by Olivetan Benedictines (see benedictines; benedictines, olivetan); situated in the commune of Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera, 16 miles from Savona, Italy, on the main Genoa-Ventimiglia railroad, in the province and Diocese of Savona. It was founded by Marchese Biagio Galeotto del Carretto in 1477, near the shrine in which was venerated an ancient painting on wood of Our Lady (Maria di Pia ); and except during the period of suppression under Napoleon (1799–1819), it remained continuously in possession of the Olivetan monks until 1844, when, at the request of King Charles Albert, it passed to the Benedictine Cassinese Congregation. In 1855 it was again suppressed, and it was not until 1905 that the Benedictine monks were able to return. As a center of the liturgical movement, it started publication in 1914 of the Rivista Liturgica, which has been and is still the leading advocate for liturgical renewal in Italy.
The abbey church was remodeled in 1724 by the architect G. Veneziano (Il Fontanetta ) but still retains traces of its earlier Gothic structure. The only remains of the ancient shrine is the fine 12th-century Romanesque bell tower. There are terra-cotta figures by Della Robbia and carvings by Fra Antonio da Venezia in the abbey and the sacristy.
Bibliography: g. salvi, Il santuamario di Nostra Signora in Finalpia, su documenti inediti (Subiaco 1910). l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 1:1143. g. penco, L'abbazia di Finalpia nella storiae nell'arte (Finalpia 1955).