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San Fruttuoso Abbey

San Fruttuoso Abbey

A corner of paradise round the coast from Portofino

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Abbazia di San Fruttuoso eng
Overview

This one-time Benedictine monastery dates from the year 1000, but over the years it has also been a pirates’ cove and a fishing village: a true oasis in a scenario that is already in and of itself unique, amid the earth and the woodlands of Mount Portofino and the blue sea of eastern Liguria.

Donated to FAI by Frank and Orietta Pogson Doria Pamphilj in 1983

Skirting the National Park that leads from Camogli to Portofino, San Fruttuoso Abbey seems for all the world like a miracle, nestling in a little creek and protected by a 16th-century tower – a fine example of a piece of architecture successfully integrated into the natural context. And yet the very inaccessibility of the site and the presence of a source of fresh water rendered it, in the 8th century, an ideal location for the foundation of a church. It is said that it was the martyr St Fructuosus himself who chose the bay, appearing in a dream to Prospero, Bishop of Tarragon, who was fleeing Spain to escape the Moors, and was searching for a place in which to safeguard the ashes of the saint. Rebuilt in the 10th century as a Benedictine monastery, from the 13th century the abbey’s fate became intertwined with that of the Doria family, who renovated its design, adding the loggia with two tiers of three-light windows and transferring here the family burial ground. In 1983, the family decided to donate the entire complex to FAI.

The re-birth of this complex has been ongoing since then. The site plays host to two very different buildings, both requiring constant care. April 2017 saw the conclusion of the final restoration works, which involved the overhaul of the water source next to which the bell tower was constructed. The monastery, with its cloister and the Doria tombs, the primitive church and the parish church, the archaeological remains and the little village...only a visit in person can allow you to discover the authentic soul of this place lapped by the crystal-clear sea, which now offers visitors the option of staying in the guest accommodation – ideal for those who want to get away from it all like never before.

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Visitor information
Opening hours

San Fruttuoso Abbey is open all year round with the following opening hours:

January, February, March, October, November and December: 10am - 3.45pm

April, May and the second half of September: 10am - 4.45pm

June, July, August and the first half of September: 10am - 5.45pm

Last entry: 45 minutes before closure

The opening hours may be subject to change based on the weather and the sea conditions, and are also dependent on the hours of the scheduled boats to and from Camogli.

The abbey will be closed to the public on non-public-holidays Monday in the months of January, February, November and December.Extraordinary opening on 24th and 31st December. Closed on 25th December.

How to get there

On foot
You can reach the abbey by taking the trails within Portofino National Park. For more information: www.parcoportofino.it

By boat
From Camogli (service runs throughout the year) or from Recco, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Chiavari and Genoa (services run seasonally). For more information: www.golfoparadiso.it, www.traghettiportofino.it, www.battellierigenova.it

Tickets

FAI members: free entry*

Adults: €7

Children aged 4-14: €3

Children aged 0-3: free entry

Students aged 25 or under: €3

National Trust members*, those with disabilities + 1 companion: free entry

Family: €17. Allows entry at reduced rates for family groups composed of 2 adults and 2 children (4-14 years of age). Free entry for any additional children in the family group.

School students: €3 per student

FAIr Play Family: €1.00 on top of the cost of the entry ticket.

Run until you lose your breath, discover secret passageways, find the perfect place for a somersault, listen to the sounds of nature: there are a total of 60 activities on offer through the “FAIr Play Family” project, which invites children aged 5-12 to discover the interior and exterior of the property in an original, creative way, stimulating their imagination and curiosity. It is a playful, unconstrained approach that is also respectful to both art and nature, with a view to ensuring that the visitor experience is educational for the younger generation, who after all will be the future “custodians of Italy’s beauty”.

*with the exception of specific events, when the additional event charge will apply.

During events the price may be subject to change.

Guided Tours
  • Guided tours are available for groups (maximum 50 people). Tours last one hour:
  • Visit in Italian: €100
  • Visit in a language other than Italian: €170
  • For information and bookings: fai.sanfruttuoso@fondoambiente.it
  • Guided tours are also available for schools. For more information: www.faiscuola.it
  • FAI has also put together a day-long visit for groups, which allows visitors to discover the abbey and its surrounding area: Great Italian families: Doria Pamphilj – from Genoa to San Fruttuoso
Shopping

Purchases from the bookshop make a tangible contribution to supporting the work of FAI.

Accessibility

Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.

The site is challenging to access for those who have difficulty walking. Contact the abbey for more information.

Guest accomodation

Stay in a typical Ligurian house

Immerse yourself in the nocturnal magic of the waves, let yourself be caressed by the peaceful breath of nature, visit the sites of ancient pirate raids, savour the silence between the olive trees – these are just some of the evocative experiences you can have by staying in the Guest Accommodation of San Fruttuoso Abbey in Camogli (in the province of Genoa). The Guest Accommodation (“Foresteria” in Italian) is a delightful base from which to get up-close and personal with nature, and it really is like nowhere else on the planet. Staying here helps to support FAI and, in the process, to protect Italy’s art, nature and landscape.

The building

The apartment can sleep up to four people. It plays host to a fully fitted kitchen, a double bedroom, a room with two single beds, a bathroom, a lounge, a sea-view terrace and a small garden.

Worth knowing

The village has no shop and no facilities of any sort, and so once the last boat leaves, you find yourself immersed in entirely natural surroundings. The scheduled boat service to and from Camogli (TMT Golfo Paradiso (+39) 0185 772091) may be suspended due to the weather and the sea conditions.

For information and bookings

In Italy: Landmark Trust, tel. (+39) 041 5222481 or mail landmarktrust.italia@gmail.com

In the UK: Booking Enquires tel. (+44) 1628 825925 or mail bookings@landmarktrust.org.uk- www.landmarktrust.org.uk

The Landmark Trust is a UK-based charity that is committed to safeguarding ancient buildings of cultural interest, infusing them with a new lease of life as exceptional holiday accommodation accessible to everyone. In the wake of the partnership launched for the management of the guest accommodation at the Villa dei Vescovi (Padua), the management of the accommodation at San Fruttuoso Abbey has again been entrusted by FAI to the Landmark Trust. The aim is to ensure the highest standards of service, leveraging the Trust’s 50 years of experience.

Useful advice

We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.

Parking

No parking available.

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