This is one of the most unique and special places in all of Liguria and definitely warrants a visit if you are vacationing in the Tigullio Gulf.
The Abbey and Doria Tower
It is tucked away in a tiny, pristine bay between Camogli and Portofino surrounded by lush vegetation . To add to its exclusiveness, you can only reach it by sea or on foot, hiking the near nature trails of the National park of Portofino.
At the docking bay you are greeted by...
...the dedication image of martyr San Fruttuoso
There are several attractions to visiting the place. One is its charming Abbey which has an interesting and rich history from being a monastery to a pirate’s den to a humble fishermen home and then the residence of Princess of Doria.
The recognisable facade of the San Fruttuoso Abbey
with its with triple-mullioned windows
Nowadays, it has been lovely restored and maintained by FAI ( Fondo Ambientale Italiano – Italian Environment Trust) . You can explore the Abbey as well as the nearby watch Tower to get the feel of the history of the place.
The complex also hosts cultural events and shows: the Abbey and the 16th century tower hosts temporary exhibitions and in summer, classical music concerts are performed in the cloister of the Abbey (I Concerti Dell’Abbazia). A special ferry service operates for these concerts.
Another reason San Fruttuoso is often visited is for the famous Christ of the Abyss dive. The dive is not difficult as it takes place in relatively shallow waters but is an experience to remember earning this diving spot worldwide fame.
The submerged Christ of the Abyss statue
The sea waters here are incredibly clear and pristine so do not forget to take your swimming gear when you plan your trip. Luckily, there is a small pebbly beach in front of the Abbey where you can enjoy taking in the sun and dipping into the clear blue waters of the Bay. You can rent deck chairs and sun umbrellas on the beach as well.
The beach in front of the Abbey offers
sunbeds, chairs and umbrellas for rent
Just to the right of the beach in front of the Abbey, tucked amongst the rock there is a small café bar and a restaurant offering food and refreshments. There is another private beach just around the corner from the restaurant.
The small restaurant next to the beach in front of the Abbey
In the pick summer months San Fruttuoso can get a bit busy but it still well worth sampling this idyllic place!
Amazingly, there is an option to stay in San Fruttuoso in a beautiful, recently restored by FAI house. It is located along the path that connects the ancient Abbey and Doria Tower, just a few stones away from the sea.
The small house in typical Genoese style surrounded by olive trees and consists of a living room, fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, one bathroom and a terrace overlooking the beautiful Bay.
One of the charming bedrooms
It can accommodate 4 +1 persons and is ideal for those of you who love a completely peaceful atmosphere and want to spend a romantic holiday in a natural setting of rare beauty and absolute peace.
The rental comes with a change of linens, towels, and a stock of basic food (pasta, rice, tomatoes, crackers, salt, oil, vinegar, biscuits, coffee, instant coffee, tea, sugar, UHT milk, jam, honey, 6 bottles of sparkling water and 6 bottles of plain water). There is no alcohol.
Another of the charming bedrooms
While staying in San Fruttuoso is a magical experience, it is nevertheless not for everyone. You have to know that it is an isolated place and services are limited. In particular:
There are no shops in the village or any type of services such as food, pharmacy, tobacconist, newsagent, public telephones, hospital . You can only get to these services in the nearby towns using the ferry service during the day.
The scheduled ferry services are weather dependent so may be cancelled on the day due to adverse weather conditions.
At the hamlet the only phones that work are the ones that connect to the phone company TIM.
Weekend (minimum two nights): € 600
For each additional night: € 250
A Week long stay: € 1,750
To book and for more information, contact :
FAI - Abbazia di San Fruttuoso
Tel. 0185-772703 – Fax 0185-775883
San Fruttuoso sits in a rather secluded bay and can be reached either by boat or walking the hiking trails from either Camogli or Portofino.
One of the ferries taking visitors to the Bay
During the summer months there is regular ferry service from Camogli (30 minutes), Rapallo (1 hour), Santa Margherita Ligure (45 minutes) and Portofino (30 minutes) but remember that the service is always dependant on the weather conditions.
The small ferry docking station
The captain of one of the ferry boats
Approaching the Bay from the sea is a lovely and rewarding way to arrive in this stunning place. It gives you the chance to admire the stunning coast from afar and take in the full glory of the Abbey.
San Fruttuoso as seen from the ferry approaching the Bay
For details on the timing of boats departing from Camogli, visit www.golfoparadiso.it ; for departures from Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino Mare refer to www.traghettiportofino.it
Passengers enjoying the ferry ride
You also have the possibility to hire a small private boat or take a water-taxi service to and from Camogli (Mr. Andrea Avegno: tel. 333 4352502) or Portofino.
Alternatively, you can reach the place by hiking the trails of the National Park of Portofino. One option is starting from Portofino Vetta, the hike takes about an hour and a half and is challenging.
Or you can start from Portofino Mare. Here the route affords some stunning views of the rocky coast, also has a duration of an hour and a half but has medium difficulty. As with all hiking, it is advisable that you wear suitable and comfortable shoes as well as remember to carry a good supply of drinking water.
Liguria › San Fruttuoso di Camogli
Thank you for visiting our guide… we look forward to welcoming you to Liguria and hope you will love it as much as we do !
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