“Il Cristo degli Abissi” is an extraordinary bronze sculpture depicting Christ in a pose offering peace and protection for those who take the sea, by artist Guido Galletti, and it is dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea. The statue’s hands and head are raised toward the surface (or the sky, when positioned above water).
“Il Cristo degli Abissi” was created by Guido Galletti after an idea of Italian swimmer / diver Duilio Marcante. Placed near the spot where Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use scuba gear, lost his life while on a dive, the statue has attracted over two million divers over the 56 years it has called the sea floor home—many of the visitors go there to celebrate weddings and baptisms.
Metal was collected thanks to various contributions of ship debris, US Navy ship propellers, some Olympic medals etc., and was delivered to the studio of sculptor Guido Galletti. By the end of August 1954 the finished sculpture had been submerged almost 60 feet below the water surface with the help of the Italian Navy.
On July 29th, you can strap on those flippers and put on a mask to join in the underwater procession to the bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss, located almost 60 feet below the surface of the Ligurian Sea. A laurel crown is placed at the base of the statue and mass is held on the beach.
There are two more copies casted from the same molds: one placed in 1961 off the coast of St George in the Caribbean, and one in 1965 in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Florida.
The statue of Christ of the Abyss is placed in the bay near the church of San Fruttuoso between Camogli and Portofino, and can be reached by frequent ferries from both locations.The ferry from Portofino to San Fruttuoso takes about 20 min. Outside of the church, which is worth visiting itself, there is also the copy of the sculpture, for visitors who are not going to dive into the bay.