The hamlet of San Fruttuoso di Camogli starts developing around its Abbey from the Late Middle Ages.
The age-old monastery complex overlooks the main beach and acts as a cornerstone for the houses and most of the restaurants of the hamlet.
Arriving by ferryboat, the position of the pier determinates the natural progression of your visit, that can take more or less one hour of time.
From the centre of the beach you can pass underneath the arches on the Eastern side of the monastery complex, and climb up the stairs to the square in front of the church. The visit to the church is free of charge, while for the Abbey and its museum, both managed by the Italian non-profit foundation FAI, you will have to purchase a ticket (info on http://www.visitfai.it/sanfruttuoso/la-tua-visita/orari-di-apertura-e-info-utili).
The sight of the sea suddenly disappears and San Fruttuoso recalls one of the villages of the backcountry with its houses facing the Abbey.
The commemorative plaque on the square mentions the donation of the monastery complex to the Fai by the Doria family. Passing a bridge and following a trail on the back of the complex you reach some strange machinery, among which the “leafbeater” (battilisca), used to spin the ropes for the traditional tuna fishing nets of Camogli; in the past the nets where made with the long leaves of the Ampelodesmos grass, nowadays they are made with coconut fibre, with a particular technique that involves almost all the inhabitants of the hamlet.
A few more steps up and you will reach the Torre Doria, that can be visited with the same ticket you purchased for the monastery complex.
Walking back, you can take the path on the left that leads to the little beach of the Cheta. Just before reaching the beach you will see the old cauldrons used to boil the fishing nets. Between the green leaves of the holm oaks and the blue sea, you will recognize the House with the Arch (Casa dell’Arco), the very Eastern building of the hamlet.
After passing a mill and the Pink House (Casa Rosa), you can descend to the shore where the Twentieth century painter Rubaldo Merello painted the unequaled beauty and wilderness of the Hamlet.