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Foto Dino Zanolin 2016 (C) FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano

FAI UK’s New Year Resolutions… for San Fruttuoso

12 December 2019

For the year of 2020, FAI UK has chosen to support FAI’s restoration of the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, a magnificent Benedictine monastery, and the surrounding olive groves. The abbey dates back to the 8th century and has its own private lodgings in a fisherman’s cottage managed by the Landmark Trust.

Help us to restore a historical abbey and olive groves in 2020!

Looking towards the New Year, FAI UK has chosen to make the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso the object of its donations for 2020. FAI UK chooses to help FAI restorations by focusing on one project per year, usually aiming to support projects in different regions of Italy.

We have chosen the abbey as our next project because we want to contribute to a project in Liguria, and because the property has strong ties with the UK: not only was it donated by an English Naval Officer, but it is also home to the Casa de Mar, a quaint fisherman’s cottage run by the Landmark Trust. FAI UK has also chosen Genova and Portofino as the destination of our September 2020 trip, which will include a visit to the abbey.

The main restoration works will include a project of landscape preservation to help recover the 1.8 hectares of historic olive groves that surround the abbey. The aim is to make 800 olive trees productive again, according to the principles of organic farming. This will involve removing weeds, cutting dry plants and planting new trees, and cleaning the terraced land of the area. The dry stone walls that contain and support the olive grove terraces need to be rebuilt in certain areas, and new fencing will be installed to protect the land from damage caused by wild boars. Due to the remote location of the abbey and the steep slopes of the olive groves, all material needs to be brought to site by helicopter or boat.

If you’d like to contribute towards this project, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to give you all the details.

More about the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso

Nestled on the hillside and surrounded by olive groves, the Abbazia di San Fruttuoso is a magnificent Benedictine monastery that overlooks enchanted views of the Portofino coast.  Constructed over one thousand years ago as a refuge for the Bishop of Tarragon when he fled from the Moors in Spain, it has been the home of bishops, pirates and fishermen. In 1983, it became the property of the English Naval Officer Frank Pogson Doria Pamphilj and his wife, who redesigned the abbey, adding a loggia with two tiers of three-light windows. The couple decided to donate the entire complex to FAI in 1983, marking the beginning of FAI’s on-going restoration project at this magical site.

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