Christ of the Abyss Portofino is one of the most interesting attractions along this part of the Italian Mediterranean. It is a gorgeous statue that is submerged at a depth of approximately 55 feet in the San Fruttuoso Bay between Portofino and Camogli. For serious divers also interested in underwater photography, you will want to be sure to bring your gear along to shoot what is sometimes casually referred to as the underwater Jesus Statue.
Christ of the Abyss in San Fruttuoso Bay (or Il Cristo Degli Abissi) was crafted by Guido Galletti and submerged to its current depth on August 22, 1954. It is a magnificent bronze work of art that depicts Jesus Christ with his head and hands reaching up toward the surface and the sky, offering a blessing. The statue itself is approximately eight and a half feet tall. It has been one of the central attractions along the Italian Riviera for over a half century, and due to the fact that it was restored in 2003, looks to remain so for many years to come. It was necessary to restore the statue because of corrosion and the presence of crustaceans. Three things were replaced—the anchor, a hand, and the base. The magnificently restored statue was returned to its proper place July 17, 2004.
The underwater Jesus statue is so famous around the world that there have been several replicas produced, some of which are submerged and others of which are above water, most commonly in churches. One such replica exists off of St. George’s, Grenada. The interesting back story is that the statue was a gift from the navy of Genoa to personnel who aided in the rescue of a sinking Italian vessel in these waters. Another bronze replica of the statue was given to the Underwater Society of America in the 1960s. It is located in an area six miles east of Key Largo called Dry Rocks. Another fascinating fact is that you can even view the original clay cast at the National Museum of Underwater Activities in Ravenna, Italy.
In a town that is most known for affluence and upscale shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, Christ of the Abyss Portofino is a timeless and culturally significant attraction. If you are an experienced diver or someone looking to get into the sport, you will find the dive sites off the coast of the Italian Riviera to be amazing.
Although Portofino is typically associated with yachting, high-end shopping, and fine dining, there are a number of cultural attractions that are well worth looking into on your vacation. Diving can be a nice diversion from bronzing yourself in the sun on Paraggi Beach or getting a pampered massage in the hotel spa to get out and see the beautiful coastline and interior. For those who have always had an interest in diving, you may consider taking advantage of diving classes that are available just to be able to see this unforgettable statue.