The Abbey of San Fruttuoso

In the village of San Fruttuoso – in Camogli, in the province of Genoa – the Mediterranean whispers the lyrics of its most celebrated bard. Indeed poet Eugenio Montale, born in Liguria, dedicated a section of his masterpiece, “Cuttlefish Bones”, to “our sea” (as the ancient Romans called the Mediterranean): “At times I’ve lingered in the dark, dank caves, / some vast, some narrow, which absorb your force, / their mouths, seen from within, an architect’s bold outlines / painted in by sky. Up from your breast, / amid a sound of thunder, airy temples soared, / lights shooting from their spires…”

The Abbey of San Fruttuoso of Capodimonte faces this luminous sea. Built by Greek monks in the 10th century, it was rebuilt after one hundred years and renovated over and over until the 16th century.
It is named after the martyr bishop Fruttuoso, killed in Tarragona, in Catalonia, in 259 AD, during the eighth persecution of the Christians, under emperor Valerian. According to tradition, Fruttuoso appeared in the dreams of five monks, telling them where to bury his mortal remains – which rest to this day inside this church.

The abbey and the homonymous village are part of Portofino’s Regional Nature Park, and can be reached only descending a steep track from the mountain above.

Or arriving from the sea. The profile of the Abbey, discovered from the open water, recalls once more Montale’s verses: “Here was the dreamed-of homeland rising from the waves. / Emerging from confusion, here was clarity. / The exile was re-entering his uncorrupted country.”

Photos via:

The Abbey of San Fruttuoso

Camogli (Ge)
Abbazia di San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte Via S. Fruttuoso, 18
+ 39 0185 772703
+ 39 0185 775883


Most Read

After the slopes of the Dolomites, après-ski by LOOX

by Barbara Palladino LOOX is an après-ski hotspot, at the station at the foot of the Obereggen Latemar ski and trekking area in the Dolomites. It...

The wondrous Gothic, medieval frescoes of the Oratory of San Pellegrino

The Oratory of San Pellegrino is located in Bominaco, a hamlet not far from Caporciano, in the province of L'Aquila. It was probably commissioned...

LUMEN: a museum of photography, 2,275 meters up high

by Barbara Palladino On the top of the Kronplatz (or Plan de Corones), near Brunico (Bolzano) – an enchanted place that only the mountains could create...

Sicilian Moor heads: a legend of universal love

by Barbara Palladino “Moor heads” or “teste di moro” are colorful, ceramic vases that represent the face of a man and a woman, with a...