Casa de Mar, San Fruttuoso

San Fruttuoso, Camogli, Italy


A fisherman’s cottage on an exceptional medieval abbey site in a tiny and exclusive cove on the Portofino Peninsula.

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Beds 2 Single, 1 Double

4 nights from
£996 equivalent to £62.25 per person, per night

Part of 'an asset of inestimable beauty'

Perched high above the abbey roofs, this little house looks out over the blue Mediterranean. It has its own seaward terrace and a small garden. Casa de Mar is modest in size and character, but the wider setting gives it the greatest distinction - of history, architecture and natural setting. The site is managed by our partners, the Fondo Ambiente Italiano (FAI), who count San Fruttuoso 'an asset of inestimable beauty.' We entirely agree.

Privileged tranquillity at the end of each day

San Fruttuoso nestles among pine trees and olive groves between a little beach and the Capodimonte mountains, near Genoa. The stylish resorts of Portofino and Camogli are not far away and a regional park surrounds the cove, with beautiful coastal walks in all directions. The bay is accessible only by sea; day visitors come to appreciate the abbey, eat at the taverna, and flock to the small beach in the summer, but at the end of each day, the regular boat service from Camogli and Portofino takes away all but the lucky few who live here, or who stay in Casa de Mar.

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

San Fruttuoso is nestled among the pine trees and olive groves between a little beach and the Capodimonte mountains, near Genoa. Portofino’s regional park lies inland, and the stylish resorts of Portofino and Camogli are not far away, with beautiful coastal walks in all directions. The small beach is popular in the summer months and can get busy.

The cove is accessible only by boat. The public boat service from Camogli to San Fruttuoso is Golfo Paradiso, Linea Blu and the journey takes about 30 minutes. From the UK fly into Genoa, Pisa or Milan and hire a car or take a train or taxi to Camogli, where there is a regular boat service to San Fruttuoso or one in high season from Portofino. Once the last boat leaves at night guests can enjoy the tranquillity of the cottage and the beachside restaurants serving Genoese and Ligurian cuisine.

Having gone through various incarnations – a Benedictine monastery, a pirates’ den, a humble home for fisherfolk and then, for centuries, the property of the mighty Doria Pamphilij family – the Abbey of San Fruttuoso is today a unique place. Set merely metres from Casa de Mar this makes a fascinating place to visit. Opening days and hours vary depending on the time of year and can be found on the FAI website.

If you are interested in something a little more extreme, the area offers very good diving. Just off the shore, 17 metres down, stands a 2.5 metre bronze statue of Christ offering a benediction of peace, with his head and hands. Christ of the Abyss was submerged in 1954, various other casts of the statue are located in other places worldwide, both underwater and in churches and museums.

There are several restaurants located in the bay, open during the day.

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Clear directions
What you need to know about this building
  • No
  • San Fruttuoso is only accessible by boat.
    If you are travelling by car you will need to park in Camogli, from where you catch the boat. There are public car park spaces in Camogli.  But during the peak season parking can be difficult and we would recommend arriving by train.
    The public boat service from Camogli to San Fruttuoso is Golfo Paradiso, Linea Blu and the journey takes about 30 minutes. Please check time table here

    There is also a boat from Portofino during high season.
  • The nearest railway station is in Camogli.
    By train you can reach Camogli railway station from Genova Piazza Principe railway station (about 50 minutes). From Milano Centrale railway station (about 180 minutes) with a change at Genova Piazza Principe railway station. Or from Pisa airport (about 180 minutes).
    Please check timetable at
  • No, if you are leaving your car in Camogli you will need to use public parking. During the peak season parking can be difficult and we would recommend arriving by train.
  • Casa de Mar is equipped with a heating/air conditioning system. 
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.  There is also an electric oven and a two ring hob.
  • There is one shower room.
  • The approach to the building is up steep uneven steps.
  • There is a roof terrace and a small garden.
  • Basic starting provisions such as milk, coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper and soap are provided.
    There are no shops or services of any kind in the hamlet and you will need to bring supplies with you or travel by boat to Camogli to buy supplies.
    Most shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 12.30pm and from 4.30 to 7.30pm. Some may be also open on Sunday. If you are arriving by air too late to be able to shop, the FAI staff may be able to arrange some basic provisions before you arrive.
  • There is a free wi-fi connection on the beach.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

Spiritual home for monks, haven for pirates

San Fruttuoso abbey was founded in homage to Fructuoso, first bishop of Tarragona in Spain, and his deacons Augurius and Eulogius. The trio were burned at the stake in the Tarragona amphitheatre in 259 CE during the Roman persecutions.  In the early 8th century, Prospero, another bishop of Tarragona, escaped another threat, the Arab Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. He fled by sea with fellow monks, bringing the relics of the three sanctified martyrs with them.

After taking refuge first in Sardinia, they came eventually to this tiny, secluded cove in remote Liguria at the foot of the promontory of the Monte di Portofino. The monastery was founded to house the relics, and donations of land and wealth soon followed, associated especially with the great Doria Pamphilj family.

However, the abbey’s seclusion represented both haven and threat, and its fortune waxed and waned through the centuries. Only the abbot survived the Black Death in the mid-14th century; through the 15th century the revived abbey became a target for the infamous Barbary pirates from the North African Coast. In 1467, the Pope made the abbey a commendum, a benefice to be leased to the laity for the income. It was mostly held by the Doria, who a created family mausoleum in the abbey in the late 16th century.  In 1561 the Republic of Genoa built the small tower on the most westerly outcrop of the bay, defence against pirates and today an important survival in its own right.

By late 1560s there were no more monks in the abbey. Still under Doria tenure, farmworkers now dwelt in its buildings, living by fishing and tending the olive groves. During the Counter Reformation, and with no resident priest, the church fell into disrepair and lost its furnishings and fittings, and its buildings fell into humbler use.

Then in the late 17th and early 18th centuries came renewed revival, as Abbot Camillo Doria initiated major restoration and refurbishment, including a new high altar for the saints’ relics.  Splendour and spirituality were revived, and the abbey’s seclusion meant it survived the Napoleonic period unscathed. Restoration continued through the 19th century.

The 1849 uprisings in pursuit of democracy and unification brought renewed threat, when the abbey’s main archive in Genoa was sacked and destroyed. The abbey alienated much of its land, releasing it for new tenants, and the village population briefly exceeded 100 souls. Events came and receded: in 1855, the British steamship Croesus caught fire off the bay and was grounded on a sandbank with considerable loss of life of locals and crew alike; in 1860 an attempt by the State to appropriate a third of abbey wealth by the State was thwarted. In 1885, when the last commendatory abbot died, Pope Leo XIII transferred the abbey to a civil parish under the Doria Pamphilj. In 1915, a disastrous flood brought the collapse of the abbey roof and part of the church, requiring renewed restoration from 1916-24.  


Rescued from slow decay to become a desirable destination on the Italian Riviera

In 1983 the Doria Pamphilj family donated the entire San Fruttuoso site to FAI, the Italian equivalent of the National Trust: the abbey complex, the rectory, the Doria tower and a handful of cottages. Between 1985-90, FAI undertook the restoration of the abbey, followed in 1990 by the tower, and from 2001-4 the tombs and other religious buildings.

FAI’s restoration has triumphantly recovered as much as possible of the original medieval fabric, removing backfill and the later, sometimes crude domestic additions. The abbey complex is now open to today's visitors, and includes a museum of finds from the site. The frescoes and early ceramics are especially renowned.

Casa de Mar was restored and refurbished as part of the 2001-4 campaign, and is the only self-catering accommodation available in this tiny settlement. We are delighted to be able offer it to Landmarkers within our wider partnership with FAI, and to play our part in the future of this magical site.

How to get there

How to get there

San Fruttuoso can be reached only by boat from Camogli year-round or from Portofino in high season.
Camogli is 30km south of Genoa, 165 km south of Milan and 145 km north of Pisa. Though it is possible to reach Camogli by car, it is advisable to get there by train. It can be very difficult to find parking in Camogli, particularly in busy periods.
Flights: the best airport is Genoa (about 50 minutes away by road) but you can also fly into Milan (150 minutes) or Pisa (100 minutes).
By train: from Milano Centrale railway station - (about 180 minutes) with a change at Genova Piazza Principe railway station. From Genova Piazza Principe railway station (about 50 minutes). From Pisa airport (about 180 minutes).
From outside the railway station turn right and continue on Via XX Settembre and Via della Repubblica. Soon after the arch turn left and walk down to the port. The jetty for the public boat service is on the right at Via del Porto.
The public boat service from Camogli to San Fruttuoso is Golfo Paradiso – Linea Blu and the journey takes about 30 minutes. You can also use a taxi boat service  costing about 80 euro one way and may be available when the public boat is not in service.

Whilst walking to San Fruttuoso is possible, it is a lovely but sometimes challenging hike, we do not recommend that you plan to arrive by foot.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.