Scuba Diving in Il Cristo degli Abissi, San Fruttuoso Bay, Liguria Italy

Skill level:
Beginners and advanced
Maximum depth:
10 to 30 m/32 to 98 ft
Access :
From shore
Located in Liguria, between the picturesque villages of Portofino and Camogli, San Fruttuoso Bay is a pearl situated in a deep bay with amazing blue waters, the magical abbey of San Fruttuoso, a church and a small sandy beach. As it is within the Portofino Natural Park and the Portofino Marine reserve, this place offers the visitors a scenery of great beauty both on land and underwater with a wide variety of activities.

The symbol of all divers and one of the most famous dives in the world is located right in front of the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, where a silent figure with upraised arms as a sign of invocation, lies on the bottom of the silent sea. It is a large bronze statue of Christ, placed there since 1954 and is dedicated to the memory of all those who lost their lives in the sea.

“Il Cristo degli Abissi” or else The Christ of the Abyss is a 8.2 ft/2.5 m high statue, based on a large base made out of concrete in the shape of a pyramid that weights 90 tons. The maximum depth of the spot is at 55.8 ft/17 m below the sea level and has good visibility. There are many more interesting things to see on the sandy bottom of the sea such as colorful corals, eels, octopuses and many fish, but the impressive statue is the highlight of this diving location.

Suitable for all divers, this mystical dive can be easily approached from the shore of San Fruttuoso Bay. You can dive there all year round but the best time is during summer. Every year at the end of August, a small ceremony takes place in the memory of all divers and seamen of the world. The ceremony includes the blessing of the waters and when night falls, divers dive with torchlights and place a laurel wreath on Christ’s head.

Note that in order to reach the bay, you can either follow a well market trail from Portofino and through the woods of the National Forest -it will take you about an hour to reach the bay, or charter a small boat from Portofino’s harbor. If you visit the spot for the first time, it is best to book an organized tour with one of the diving schools, operating on the spot. This is a dive that no one should miss!