Liguria - San Fruttuoso

San Fruttuoso

If you are following my recommended itinerary, you'll be arriving to San Fruttuoso from Portofino. You can take the boat from there or you can hike through the hills. Of course, if you prefer, you can also arrive from the other direction, from Camogli, either by boat or hiking. It is not accessible by car or train.

The hamlet of San Fruttuoso has a stunning location, in a hidden bay of the Portofino promontory, surrounded by the hills and forests of the Portofino Regional Park, far away from everything. The Abbey of San Fruttuoso of Capodimonte was built by Benedictine monks in the 10th century. Later, it was owned by the Doria family, the tombs of some family members can be found in the crypt. The Doria also built the square watch tower in the 16th century to defend San Fruttuoso.

Today, the abbey is the property of a national conservation fund (FAI). The nice stone building is standing right on the beach. However, for centuries there was no beach here so the boats were moored right under the arcades. Today, you will also see some fishing boats there. There is a tiny fishing village near the abbey, some trattorias and two beautiful beaches with crystal blue waters. If you would like to visit the abbey and the tower, there is an entrance ticket of a few euros. Opening times change throughout the year, so please check at the local tourist offices when you are in the region.

There is another interesting sight at San Fruttuoso, just off the coast. It's the Christ of the Abyss (Il Cristo degli Abissi), an underwater bronze statue of Jesus Christ. The 2.5-meter tall statue was put in the sea on August 22, 1954 and is still standing there, about 15 meters deep. It's a popular site for divers. The dive is fairly easy but if you don't dive, you can try snorkeling or you can take a boat out there on a calm day and look at the statue through the water. A replica of the statue can be seen in the church of San Fruttuoso. As I don't dive, I don't have a photo of the statue but watch this beautiful video instead.

To finish your circle around the Portofino peninsula, take the boat or hike to Camogli. If you would like to hike this section, I recommend that you get a hiking map in one of the tourist offices in the area. There are more trails between San Fruttuoso and Camogli. The coastal path towards the Batterie is only recommended to expert hikers as there are some difficult and scary sections where you have to hold on to chains. You should avoid this part if you suffer from vertigo but go for it if you love adrenalin.