'Mater Naturae' – Portovenere, Italy - Atlas Obscura

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'Mater Naturae'

Portovenere, Italy

Perched above a grotto, this tribute to Mother Nature looks out into the ocean.  


In the idyllic town of Porto Venere sits a peaceful bronze statue that represents Mother Nature. Her position on the rocky crags above Lord Byron’s Grotto gives her a fantastic view of the Gulf of La Spezia. Despite her windy perch, the sculpture appears serene, contemplative, and infinitely patient. 

Created by Neapolitan artist Lello Scorzelli, this very matronly figure evokes all the best attributes of mothering, nurturing, and abundance. Scorzelli is well-known locally as the sculptor who crafted the pastoral staff carried by Pope John Paul II.  

The nearby plaque reads, “MATER NATURAE — Omaggio a Porto Venere dello Scultore Scorzelli” or “MOTHER NATURE — An homage/tribute to Porto Venere by the Sculptor Scorzelli.”

Know Before You Go

The sculpture is located up the hill from Lord Byron's Grotto and the Church of St. Peter.  

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May 6, 2022

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