Located between Camogli and Portofino, in the province of Genoa, Liguria, you can find the abbey of San Fruttuoso, a Benedictine monastery built in X century that overlooks a small bay. It is one of the places that the FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano has restored and opened to the public, nestled in a protected bay which can only be reached by walk along a very challenging trekking path or by hiring a boat in Liguria. Arriving by sea in San Fruttuoso is an unforgettable experience and you will discover one of the most beautiful jewels of the Riviera di Levante, a place rich in history and culture, not to mention the opportunity to spend a pleasant moment of relax on the pebble beach in front of the abbey.
Camogli to San Fruttuoso by boat
Sailing eastwards whit boat hire in Genoa, the small fishing village of Camogli is definitely worth a visit. The city centre of the village overlooks the Golfo Paradiso and occupies the valley to the west of the homonymous mountain and develops vertically following the morphology of the territory. With its tall houses with colourful facades decorated with the "trompe l'oeil" technique, Camogli will immediately become one of your favourite places. Havea stroll through the narrow alleys, the typical Ligurian streets, until you reach the small port facing the ancient medieval island, where there is the Basilica dating from the twelfth century. During summer it will probably be difficult to find spot to relax on the small beach of Camogli, but with boat hire in Liguria you won't have this problem and you can enjoy the view of the profile of the buildings overlooking the seafront, whose warm colours burn at sunset.
Continue your cruise to San Fruttuoso, but first taste the typical Ligurian focaccia, that is perfect for a snack on the boat too. During the navigation along this stretch of coast, the predominant color will be the green of the vegetation that is reflected in the blue of the Ligurian Sea.
The history of the abbey of San Fruttuoso
Arriving by sea to San Fruttuoso with boat hire in Chiavari, the building that catches your attention is definitely the abbey. Once a Benedictine monastery, later a pirate's hideout and the home of fishermen and then owned for centuries by the princes Doria, a Genoese family, among the most important in the history of the republic: San Fruttuoso is a place that will surprise you.
In the eighth century the church was founded, then it was rebuilt in the tenth century as a Benedictine monastery. From the thirteenth century, the Doria family changed its structure and built the loggia with two orders of three-mullioned windows. Next to the building you will find the Doria tower, dating back to the 16th century and more than twenty metres high.
A visit to the abbey is mandatory, and after that enjoy a break on the beach in front of the building. Snorkeling lovers will be able to take a deep dive when hiring a sailboat in Liguria and discover the statue of Christ of the Abyss, a bronze statue placed in 1954 on the bottom of the bay of San Fruttuoso, within the Natural Marine Protected Area Portofino.
Portofino Marine Park
Continuing the navigation you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Portofino Marine Park, a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts. Since 1935 it protects the beauty of the area, both the sea and the Ligurian Apennines and hinterland. The park protects the area of the promontory that has the same name, in the area that includes the municipalities of Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli. Finally, digging the promontory of the same name, you will find Portofino, a charming town located between the Gulf of Tigullio and the Gulf of Paradise and known throughout the world for its square overlooking the small port and elegant fashion boutiques.
Don't wait any longer and sail chartering a boat in Liguria and you can not only discover the abbey of San Fruttuoso, but continuing with the navigation you can also discover the Cinque Terre National Park by boat and the five charming villages that are part of it.