Origins of the name
The history of this evocative place has very ancient roots: tradition passes on that in the 8th century A.D. the martyr Fruttuoso, during a dream, chose and pointed out to Prospero – the bishop of Tarragona fleeing from Spain – the bay as a place to bring his relics to safety. Here, the church was founded, then rebuilt in a Benedictine monastery in the 10th century.
The Doria Family
Since 1200, the powerful Genoese family of the Dorias took an interest in the abbey offering to the monastic community the necessary funds to expand the abbey in exchange for granting a burial ground where to lay the remains of the family members. The sea façade with gothic lofts and irregular arches was constructed with stone from the mount.
On the eastern side of the church, stands the Torre Doria built in 1562 in defense of the village. On the facades of the tower, named after Andrea Doria, the emblem with the imperial eagle of the homonymous family is visible. In 1983 the whole complex was donated to the FAI.
Interesting is also the story of Maria Avegno who sacrificed her life to save the soldiers of the English steamship Croesus shipwrecked at the entrance to the bay.
The Cryst of the Abyss
Also the sea facing San Fruttuoso reserves exciting surprises, thanks to the presence of the Cristo degli Abissi. On the initiative of the diver Duilio Marcante and the Genoese entrepreneur Giacomo Costa, the statue of the Christ of the Abyss was lowered to the depths of the bay, 17 meters deep.
The idea comes from the tragic death of Dario Gonzatti, a friend of Duilio Marcante, in the backdrops of Portofino. To remember his friend, Duilio Marcante wanted to think of a symbol that protected all those who dive in these depths. The architect was Guido Galletti who employed 260 kilos of bronze in a statue of 2.5 meters in height. Restored in 2003, the statue was then positioned under water on July 17th, 2004 at a lower depth than the one before.