The Italian Riviera boasts a breathtaking natural beauty that has captured the hearts of tourists for centuries.

Yet, it is beneath the surface of the waters where one of its most stunning secrets lies hidden. Nestled in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Liguria, Italy, a submerged bronze statue called The Christ of the Abyss silently keeps watch over the underwater world.
The Christ of the Abyss, or “Il Cristo degli Abissi” in Italian, is a larger-than-life bronze statue of Jesus Christ that rests 17 meters (56 feet) below the surface in the Bay of San Fruttuoso. Created by Italian sculptor Guido Galletti in 1954, the statue was a tribute to the memory of Dario Gonzatti, an Italian diver who tragically lost his life while diving in the area in 1947.
  Gonzatti’s death highlighted the importance of safety for divers, and the statue has since become a symbol of protection for all those who explore the underwater realm.
Measuring over 2.5 meters (8.5 feet) tall and weighing approximately 260 kilograms (573 pounds), the statue portrays Christ with outstretched arms as if to offer both an embrace and a benediction. The Christ of the Abyss is anchored to the seabed with a concrete base, ensuring it remains firmly in place. The statue’s face gazes upwards toward the heavens, and its serene expression adds an ethereal quality to the underwater scene.

To reach the Christ of the Abyss, divers must venture into the waters of the protected Marine Area of Portofino. This nature reserve, established in 1999, ensures the preservation and protection of the delicate marine ecosystem.
The area boasts a rich array of flora and fauna, which makes the journey to the statue all the more captivating. Divers encounter stunning coral reefs, playful dolphins, and even the occasional sunken shipwreck on their way to the Christ of the Abyss.

The statue has become a site of pilgrimage not only for divers but also for the faithful who seek a unique spiritual experience. Every year, on the last Sunday of July, a maritime procession is held, where a group of boats sails from the nearby village of Camogli to San Fruttuoso. Divers then descend to the statue and place a laurel wreath on its head in a ceremonial tribute. This celebration is known as “La Festa del Cristo degli Abissi,” and it commemorates the bond between the local community and the underwater world.

The Christ of the Abyss stands as a silent guardian of the depths, a symbol of hope, and a testament to the power of human resilience.
For many, the journey to this submerged treasure is not only an exploration of the underwater world but also an opportunity to reflect on the deeper meaning of life. As you dive into the azure waters of Liguria, Italy, let the Christ of the Abyss embrace your soul and inspire your spirit with its captivating presence.