San Fruttuoso Bay is a wonderful location set in a small cove of the Portofino promontory, between the lush green of the Portofino Regional Natural Park and the blue of the sea.
This beautiful place, quiet, protected and so difficult to reach was ideal for monks to build a monastery. Here, near the water source that is still visible today, stands the Abbey of San Fruttuoso.
The Abbey was renovated, donated to FAI and opened to the public in 1983.
San Fruttuoso is a must for those who are near Genoa or in the Riviera di Levante during the summer. Reaching it by boat is very simple but, above all, spectacular and exciting.
For the more adventurous it is also possible to reach it on foot through the Portofino Natural Park.
How to get to San Fruttuoso
The easiest and most practical way to reach San Fruttuoso is by sea, with boats that leave all year round from Camogli. In the summer months the boats that leave from Genoa also come into service, Portofino , Santa Margherita, Rapallo, Chiavari, Recco, Chiavari and Sestri Levante .
The most practical train station to reach San Fruttuoso is the Camogli-San Fruttuoso station which is only 500 meters from the pier from which the boats leave.
To get to San Fruttuoso walking, you can follow various paths in the Portofino Natural Park. All the itineraries are well cared for and served by clear signs.
But be careful not to underestimate the effort and commitment required: it is necessary to use suitable shoes, sunscreen and above all keep in mind that the route takes place mainly downhill on the outward journey, but presents an exhausting climb on the way back.
One solution could be to book a return to Camogli by boat, but this obviously takes away half the pleasure of this beautiful ride.
It is not possible to reach San Fruttuoso by car.
What to see in San Fruttuoso
The program of the visit to San Fruttuoso is very simple and usually all visitors move in the same way: First a visit to the Abbey, then a bit of relaxation on the beach and finally a stroll around the village before returning by boat or on foot.
Abbey of San Fruttuoso
The Abbey of San Fruttuoso located on the seashore and surrounded by the lush green of the woods is one of the most famous images for those who think of the beauties of Liguria. This place, thanks to the difficulty of access, has maintained all its wild and enchanting charm over the centuries.
This monastic complex was built by Greek monks in the 10th century, but the structure was modified at the beginning of the 11th century. by the will of Adelaide of Burgundy, widow of Emperor Otto I.
It then passed to the Benettini monks and, thanks to the Genoese Doria family, it was enlarged several times: in the 13th century the building with the loggia facing the sea was added to it, in the 16th the upper cloister was rebuilt, while in 1562 the tower was built. sighting. In 1983, the Doria Pamphili family donated the buildings and land to FAI, which today preserves them and allows the public to visit them.
Among the most significant rooms are the medieval church and the “public” church, which was obtained by raising the medieval building after the monks abandoned the abbey. Also noteworthy are the apse, built close to the rock, the dome decorated with Byzantine motifs and the ancient octagonal tower.
In the lower part of the cloister is the sepulcher of the Doria family, with seven tombs made of white marble and gray stone.
San Fruttuoso beach
Usually visitors arriving in San Fruttuoso allow themselves a few hours of relaxation on the famous beach in front of the Abbey: a narrow strip of white pebbles that plunge into clean and transparent water. Surely one of the best beaches in Liguria with a truly suggestive setting.
Here you can lie on the free beach or rent an umbrella with deck chairs. Attention, there are not many places!
Especially in the summer months this beach is quite crowded. The ideal is to try to arrive early in the morning or wait for the evening and enjoy that magical moment before sunset, when most of the tourists are gone.
Christ of the abyss
II Cristo degli Abissi is a bronze statue placed at a depth of 15 meters on the bottom of the bay of San Fruttuoso in the protected marine natural area of Portofino.
Diving to admire the statue up close is really exciting. Diving enthusiasts even celebrate underwater weddings next to this statue.
The statue, on calm sea days, is also visible from the surface of the water while snorkeling for those unable to dive.
Work of Guido Galletti, it was placed on the seabed following an idea by Guido Marcante, father of Italian underwater swimming, who intended to commemorate the death of the diver Dario Gonzatti, who lost his life here.
To create the statue, medals, elements of ships, bells and the propellers of some American submarines were cast. It is possible to admire a copy of the statue in the church of San Fruttuoso.
Village of San Fruttuoso
The Borgo di San Fruttuoso is nothing more than an ancient fishing village, a small group of houses all around the Abbey. In addition to the houses there are some small restaurants offering local cuisine.
The village has no particular architectural monuments worthy of note, but the atmosphere is unique if you are lucky enough to visit it without bulky groups of tourists.
Where sleeping in San Fruttuoso
In San Fruttuoso there is only one structure that could accommodate you for the night: the Residenza di Charme managed by the FAI, an apartment for up to four people.
If you are not lucky enough to find a place, or if you prefer accommodation close to the services offered by the Ligurian towns, you can opt for nearby Camogli. Alternatively, on the other side of the Portofino promontory, Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo offer much more choice with accommodation of all types and for all budgets: apartments, B & Bs and hotels of all price ranges.
Localities in the surroundings
SAN FRUTTUOSO ACCOMMODATIONS
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