If you’re one of those who has always dreamt of a gorgeous beach wedding in the exotic Italian Riviera, it’s time you revamped the dream a wee bit. Imagine how terribly exciting it’d be, not to mention unique, if you and your partner dove to the depths of the sea with a minister in tow to take your vows 😯 All in the presence of an irrefutable witness. The Messiah towering over you, no less!!!
Flabbergasted? 😯 😯 😯 You’d better be! Submerged in the azure waters of the Ligurian Sea is a life-sized sculpture of The Christ, some two and a half metres tall, with its hands pointed heavenwards as if issuing a blessing. Commissioned by the Costa family, the statue was erected on 22 August 1954 in the exact same spot that Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use SCUBA Gear, lost his life in an unfortunate diving accident 7 years earlier.
Christ of the Abyss, as ace sculptor Guido Galletti’s labor of love is famously known as, is quite the tribute of love . Its bronze reportedly has been sourced from the metal of ships that met a fate comparable to the Titanic, and by melting the bells and medals of seafarers, Olympians who shone in water sport events and soldiers who were slain in combats at sea.
With His affinity for the Seas, (Jesus still holds the record for being the only one to walk on choppy waters, He befriended men of the sea during His lifetime and astonishingly converted water into wine), it comes as little surprise that The Christ completed a Golden Jubilee underwater! The figure had to be hauled up in 2003 for extensive restoration. An anchor had uprooted one of its hands while marine flora and fauna had nearly crucified Him yet again!
But He’s back to the place He calls home, all shiny and inviting! Summer’s a good time to visit. The annual Festa del Cristo degli Abissi is observed in the last week of July with a torchlit Mass celebrated on the beach followed by an underwater procession to place floral arrangements as a thanksgiving offering at the feet of the Protector. You could also hop aboard a gondola and peek into the waters for a glimpse of the adoration. How surreal is that?!?
The next time you order a sinful pizza and your affable Italian waiter nods animatedly with a Si, remember there’s more to the word than meets the eye…and ears!!! 😀 You will most definitely need to head to the Si…erm Sea 😀 and invoke all the divine blessings possible to stave off the undesirable effect of those killer calories!!! 😆 😆 😆
What: An 8-and-a-half-foot-tall bronze likeness of Christ
Where: Erected at the 18 metre water mark in the Ligurian Sea off the bay of San Fruttuoso. Between Camogli and Portofino on the Italian Riviera
When: The latter half of July when the statue is commemorated in a grand underwater ceremony.
For Whom: Do you really want me to answer this one? 🙄