Towards the south, about a mile from the coast, the spiral profile of the Gallinaria or Gallinara stands out. The island which for its particular naturalistic, environmental, historical and archaeological value determined the establishment of the Gallinara Regional Natural Park in 1989, owes its curious name to the presence of wild hens that populated it in Roman times, as evidenced by Varro and Columella in some writings of the II and I century BC. With its 11 hectares of surface, the Gallinara is represented on the geographical maps as a barely visible point, but it is the only true island of Liguria (the others - the Tino, Bergeggi, the Palmaria - are, in comparison, simple rocks still linked to the mainland by an umbilical cord that here, however, the bite of the currents has severed neatly). The Gallinara Island Reserve Multimedia Center has been active since 2013 and allows a very interesting virtual tour of the island.


Submerged wreck

A Roman cargo ship was found in the depths around the Gallinara island in 1950: the first discovered and explored on the seabed. His load of amphorae , registered and brought to light in the following nine years with the help of a salvaged ship, the Artiglio, is now housed in the Roman Naval Museum , still located in Palazzo Peloso Cepolla , in the heart of the historic center of Albenga. .

The recovery, the first example of underwater archeology in Italy, was wanted and completed by Nino Lamboglia , an extraordinary scholar with a degree in archeology who focused his interests in particular on the city of Albenga and here he founded, in 1932, the Ingauna Historical Archaeological Society. which from 1947 became the International Institute of Ligurian Studies.

Visit the Roman Naval Museum

Submerged Christ

On 29 September 1998 a statue of Christ the Redeemer was placed in the depths of the Gallinara. The bronze monument, located in the bay of Punta Falconara of the island, has become a destination for divers , in particular for lovers of archaeological underwater routes . The statue is 18 meters deep and the vertical descent into his arms is suggestive and without difficulty.
On 12 June 2011 Centro Idea Blu organized, in collaboration with HSA Italia, the laying of a plaque in Braille language carried out by a group of four disabled people, including a blind person, escorted by the 5th diver group of Genoa and by the Commander of the Port Authority of Alassio.

Scuba diving

Underwater activity, due to the presence of unexploded war devices on the seabed and due to the presence of a wreck, is allowed only if accompanied by local guides from the affiliated diving centers. The island has two diving spots: Christ the Redeemer or Punta Falconara and Punta Sciusciau .

The island is not accessible to tourists , as it is detrimental to the integrity of an environment that has developed away from all human conditioning, this guarantees the status of a small naturalistic paradise in many ways yet to be discovered. Through the service of private companies it is possible to approach the island without obviously docking.

Outdoor activities

    The hermitage of San Martino

    Fascinating and secluded site, by its very nature, it has generated several legends, the most famous of which concerns San Martino di Tours . The Saint, fleeing from Milan due to the persecutions of the Arians, chose the island as the seat of his hermitage between 356 and 360 AD.

    In the fourth century AD, just to pay homage to the holy hermit, the Benedictine monks built and dedicated an important abbey there, whose possessions also extended on the mainland as far as Provence and Catalonia. In 1866 the island was sold to private individuals, who built modern buildings on the ruins of the abbey. Of the presence of the holy hermit there remains a cave on the western side where, presumably, Martino found refuge.

    The path of the Saints Martini



    The Mediterranean scrub

    In December you can admire the bellflower which has the color of the sky and the sea; the vermilion strawberry tree, the myrtle sacred to Venus, the delicate hairy and marine cistus. All these shrub species that characterize the "Mediterranean scrub" share some peculiarities: low growth, resistant stem and stiff and leathery leaves that make them capable of tolerating the brackish winds that blow from the sea.

    Among the various shrub species of the "maquis" foxes, badgers, wild boars, hares, hawks, buzzards, starlings, magpies, blackbirds find nourishment and shelter, accompanying the passenger who can sometimes startle with their sonorous and noisy presence.