La Ciappa or Beach Rock

Beach rock at Ruggia beach
Beach rock at Ruggia beach

Along the coast of Varigotti and along the entire length of the beach between Caprazzoppa and Rio Botassano is clearly visible near the shoreline, when the sea is clear, a rocky platform, commonly called "secca" or "ciappa" and scientifically defined as "beach rock" or "bench". It extends to a reduced depth for a width of about 10 meters, and ends with a sudden jump on the sandy bottom. It is an unusual structure, formed by sand cemented by the waters of submarine springs which, crossing calcareous rocks, have been enriched with calcium carbonate.

The beach rock in its current state protects the beach literally acting as a support; its particular underwater morphology in fact, makes the larger waves "break" offshore arriving on the shoreline with a very low energy. 

At the Bay of the Saracens you can see a good portion of beach rock, on which you can walk, being careful not to slip... and pay attention to sea urchins!