The Ferale Rock

The area of La Spezia is a great attraction for divers thanks to its numerous diving sites that allow visitors to explore and discover the local seabed. The Scoglio Ferale (literally, the Feral Rock) is a massive ancient rock recognizable by a 2-meter-high cross on its top.

This rock is also called “Roccia Gagliarda” (literally, the robust rock) by the locals because it is located in a sheltered position from the south-west winds. This name, however, may also be explained according to an old legend. The Countess Gagliarda, in love with the young Leandro, while traveling from La Spezia to Tramonti in order to reach her lover, fell off her boat and drowned in the sea right in front of the Scoglio Ferale. The legend says that on full moon nights, the outline of her boat sailing through the gulf can still be see.

If you dive, you will spot underwater inlets reaching up to the shore and surrounded by tufts of oceanic Posidonia, a seaweed this this area is very rich in. If you venture out to explore the seabed, you will notice the shades of colors of the area: from rocks covered in orange sea sponges to the multicolored Leptogorgia. The bottom of the shallow, about 24 meters below the surface, is covered in encrusting sponges.


Scoglio Ferale, La Spezia

Interesting facts

The Feral Rock


The Feral Rock takes different names according to the different areas of the Gulf. Scoglio Ferale is the official name indicated on nautical charts and pilot books, while “Rocca da Gaiada” (literally, Gaiada Rock) is used by the people from the city district of Biassa, to remind how this rock courageously resists west-south winds.
Since ancient times, this area was said to be very dangerous, as the stormy sea would crash ships into the rocks. The legend has it that fires were lit up on the top of the rocks to draw in ships deceitfully and when these got stuck into the rocks, bandits would rob them.