The Gallinara Island Regional Park is concerning this rocky and luxuriant island just one mile off the Albenga beach. It was inhabited since ancient times.
Its name derive from the presence in the roman age of wild hens (galline in Italian) and it is largely mentioned by Latin writers. From documents we know that St. Martin de Tours lived here from 356 to 360 A.C. and the afterwards a community of hermits was founded on the island. A monastery was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Martin and probably run by benedectines after the 8th century becoming so an outpost of Christianity in Liguria. They became extremely rich and powerful to arrive to own large properties in Liguria, Provence and Catalogne. In the 15th century the island passed to the Albenga church and since last century they are private property and on the top the ruins of the monastery has been transformed in a villa. The tower is a classical example of military architecture of the 16th century and it was once included in the coastal fortification system of the Genoa Republic.
The typical Mediterranean flora concerns mostly this island and it is a particular habitat for many species of birds and so the entrance is forbidden unless you have a very special permit. But proper for this reason and in this particular view you can still see all the deep blue sea and all around is a wonderful place for swimming and boating. Very important from the tourist point of view is the beautiful underwater world surrounding the island; which is also a regional protected including the archaeological remains (like the wreck of the 1st century ship of burden lying not far away) and sometimes it is possible to find new interesting roman remains – many of which are visible in the Naval Museum – still nowadays.