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Island of Gallinara

Island of Gallinara

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The Gallinara Island takes its name from the wild hens which lived there. It is a small Island placed in the neighborhood of the Riviera di Ponente (Liguria Western Riviera), in front of the municipality of Albenga (in the province of Savona).
It was the place that sheltered St Martin of Tous between 356 and 360, who was escaping from Milan in order to avoid the Aryan persecutions, it became a see of monks and subsequently, of Benedictines. The monastery extended its influence on all the Riviera di Ponente and in 11th century also on Catalonia and Provence, but during 13th and 14th centuries the abbey gradually fell into decay. Nowadays the island preserves the monastery ruins, the 16th century tower and the little neo-gothic church.
The Island, thanks to its rare Mediterranean vegetation and its uncontaminated environment has become a Regional Natural Park.
The Herring Gulls chose this wonderful place to nest without being disturbed, creating in this way one of the greatest colonies in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea. The less steep northern coast used to be a landing place for the Roman ships, whose important finds are safeguarded in the Albenga Museum. Among the luxuriant Mediterranean nature, visitors can find Mediterranean Paleolithic flower species and rare reptiles. The sea environment of the island is still in great measure unspoilt
Sea beds host several interesting and in some case rare species of the Ligurian Sea. The vertical rock sheer on the sea is characterized by formations of Coralligeno, whereas the northern area shows a wide prairie of oceanic Posidonia, a genus of flowering plants. The area surrounding the whole island is a marine conservation area.

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