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San Fruttuoso Abbey

Don’t miss a visit, before or after having a swim in the sea

Patrizio has no doubt: San Fruttuoso is one of the most beautiful places in the world!

While approaching it by boat, watch out for the buoys delimiting the entrance channel. Once you are close enough, you can attach your boat to them. The buoys are there just to prevent yachtsmen from anchoring and the red ones can bear boats up to 24 meters!

When you arrive in San Fruttuoso the first thing you’ll notice is the beach, always crowded with tourists. Anyway, the Fondo Ambientale Italiano, or FAI, (the Italian National Trust) recommends climbing the hill and visiting the abbey and the Doria tower. Patrizio’s guide in the abbey is precisely a representative of the FAI, Alessandro Capretti.

As the story goes, San Fruttuoso, the saint, was martyred in Spain and appeared in his disciples’ dreams, telling them where to bury his remains. Historically monks settled here and founded this monumental complex in 984 because it was close to a fresh water spring, source of sustenance and life. In 1467 the last abbot died and the Benedictine community left San Fruttuoso. Not even Andrea Doria, who received the jus patronatus of the Monastery (an old form of patronage regarding the altar of a church) from Pope Julius III in the mid 16th century, could manage to bring the monks back here.

And later arrived the colonists, that is to say the fishermen. They lived in the abbey until recently, when the complex was donated from Frank and Orietta Pamphili Doria to the FAI. The National Trust has restored it, and opened the doors of this jewel of Ligurian Romanesque-Gothic architecture to the whole community. The restoration has preserved the original wall, made of pink calcareous stones. It’s amazing the way the stone reflects the sunlight.

It’s a very interesting monument, in keeping with the surroundings. Every tourist that comes to San Fruttuoso should visit it. Before or after having a swim in the sea, you can escape for a while the crowd of the beach by coming here to enjoy the silence, the fresh air and the culture of this place!

Watch Genoa Slow Tour full web serie


Cover pic courtesy of Flickr User Miles Heller


Visit Genoa: helpful hints

Italian name: Genova


The Genoa Airport is an international airport, 30 minutes far from the city centre and connected by Volabus (ticket 6€). For transcontinental flight the nearest airport is Malpensa, Milan. From Malpensa, first you have to reach Milan Central Station by train or by bus (the train Malpensa Express leaves every 30 minutes, it takes 50 minutes and costs 13€. The bus Malpensa Shuttle leaves every 20 minutes, it takes 60/70 minutes and costs 10€). Then, there are many trains from Milan Central Station to Genoa, it takes about 1h 30.


The best way to move around Genoa is by bus. Single ticket 1,5€ for 100 minutes ride. There are many types of tickets, full explained on the A.T.M. Website. A characteristic way of transport you should try is the Funicolare di Sant’Anna (single ticket 0,90€).

What to do

Genoa is the capital city of Liguria region, North Western Italy. From Genoa you can reach many beautiful places on the seaside all along the charming Ligurian Riviera, especially the iconic Portofino. But also the city itself, it is very interesting! The area of the Old Harbour, for exemple, where is the huge Aquarium famous worldwide, and where takes place every September the most important Boat Fair in Italy (and in the Mediterranean area at all) called simply Salone Nautico.

Genoa is precious also for its heritage: Le Strade Nuove and the system of thePalazzi dei Rolli are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You should also see the fishing village of Boccadasse. Plan your trip with Italia Slow Tour tips: watch our web serie about Genoa and discover more about this wonderful city.

Where to sleep

The best area to book a place is the centre of the city, since the suburbs are less safe. Another great place to sleep is near XX Settembre street.

Italia Slow Tour

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