The town of Finale Ligure, situated on the western coast of Liguria, was the site of the Del Carretto Marquisate until the sixteenth century. After that, it was under the control of the Spanish Crown (seventeenth century) and it has been an independent territory of the Republic of Genoa for a long time. The three castles were built on the top of Finale hills and they were the symbol of its independence. Gavone castle, established on the top of the historical town, has been the site of the Marquisate since the twelfth century. S. Giovanni castle was built by the Spanish in order to improve the town defensive system in the second half of the seventeenth century. Castelfranco, built by the Genoese in the fourteenth century, was rehashed many times by the Spanish and in the nineteenth century by the Savoia family.
The three castles still recall these historical events and are therefore witnesses of the Finale present and past history. They are the result of the different transformations occurred over the centuries. In recent times, Castelfranco has been opened to the public and today it houses art exhibitions and cultural events. The restoration of the castle is the last step of a long-lasting rehabilitation project history that has been developed since the 1900s, when the Municipality suggested to turn it into a hotel. The article analyses the restoration projects of Castelfranco that have been carried out in the first half of the twentieth century, which had different methodologies and approaches. Though this study the article highlights the perception that the town had about the castle, identifying the changes in the balance between reuse and conservation strategies after the first Italian preservation laws.