Abbey in Portofino
The Borgo di San Fruttuoso is essentially an age-old fishing hamlet, a compact cluster of houses encircling the Abbey. Alongside these houses, you’ll find a handful of quaint eateries that serve local delicacies. While the village lacks any striking architectural landmarks of remarkable significance, its ambiance becomes truly special if one has the good fortune to explore it without the presence of large tourist crowds.
The Abbey of San Fruttuoso can be reached by sea or with a 2-hour trek approximately. Daily boats from Camogli (active all year) or from Recco, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Chiavari and Genoa (seasonal service).
Abbey of San Fruttuoso
The Abbey of San Fruttuoso, positioned on the seaside and encompassed by the verdant woods, stands as one of the most renowned symbols associated with Liguria’s natural beauty. This location, owing to its challenging accessibility, has upheld its untamed and captivating allure throughout the ages.
Originating from the efforts of Greek monks in the 10th century, this monastic complex underwent modifications at the onset of the 11th century under the guidance of Adelaide of Burgundy, the widow of Emperor Otto I. Subsequently, it came under the stewardship of the Benedictine monks. Thanks to the contributions of the Genoese Doria family, the complex underwent multiple expansions: a sea-facing loggia was added in the 13th century, a reconstruction of the upper cloister occurred in the 16th century, and a watchtower was erected in 1562. In 1983, the Doria Pamphili family generously donated the edifices and land to FAI, an organization committed to preservation, which currently safeguards them and facilitates public access.
Prominent among the significant chambers are the medieval church and the “public” church, the latter obtained by raising the medieval structure subsequent to the monks vacating the abbey. Noteworthy features include the apse positioned closely against the rock, the dome adorned with Byzantine motifs, and the ancient octagonal tower.
In the lower section of the cloister rests the sepulchre of the Doria family, featuring seven tombs crafted from white marble and grey stone.
Christ of the abyss
II Cristo degli Abissi is a bronze sculpture positioned at a depth of 15 meters on the seabed of the San Fruttuoso Bay within the protected marine natural area of Portofino. Embarking on a dive to observe the statue up close is an undeniably thrilling experience. In fact, diving enthusiasts even partake in underwater weddings adjacent to this remarkable sculpture. During tranquil sea conditions, the statue is visible from the water’s surface, allowing snorkelers who are unable to dive to catch a glimpse.
Crafted by Guido Galletti, the sculpture was submerged on the seabed as a result of an idea put forth by Guido Marcante, an Italian pioneer in underwater swimming. The intention was to commemorate the passing of diver Dario Gonzatti, who tragically lost his life in this area.
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Visiting San Fruttuoso
January, February, November and December: 10 AM – 3.45PM every day except non-holiday Mondays
March and October: 10 AM – 3.45PM every day
April, May and second half of September: 10 AM – 4.45PM
From June to mid September: 10 AM – 5.45PM
Last admission: 45 minutes before closing time.