Piona Abbey is a religious complex on the bank of Lake Como. The abbey is set at the top of a small peninsula, the Olgiasca, which points into the lake, creating an inlet.

The original church of Saint Justina was founded in the 7th century; the ruins of an apse behind the current church of San Nicola belong to this original edifice. A new church was added some centuries later, though before 1138, as testified by an inscription reporting its reconsecration in that date. which was followed - some centuries afterwards - by a priory, with its monastery complex, part of the political-religious network which was led by Cluny and its reform movement.

The location, although away from the main town, was on a military route of critical importance in the wars of the times.

The abbey was built in Lombard Gothic style, with French influences. The church has a single nave, and the edifice dates mostly from the 12th century reconstruction. The bell tower dates from the 18th century. A previous one, with an octagonal plan, was located on the other side of the church.

The apse has internally some depleted frescoes, dating from the 12th-13th centuries, with Apostles of Byzantine style. The cloister has an irregularly quadrangular plan, and has round arches supported by columns with different type capitals. The northern wall of the portico has a fresco with a symbolic calendar, depicting the months and the different works associated to them.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Olga Kondrikova (3 years ago)
Amazingly peaceful place!
Mari Serykh (3 years ago)
Peaceful place
Ion Petrache (3 years ago)
For me it was the best place around the Como lake. Maybe the best place for taking your time and thinking about yourself.
Jessica Shoemaker (4 years ago)
Very beautiful place & worth the twisty-turny cobblestone roads to get there. We biked from the Domaso side of the lake which was an adventure (there are nice bike trails, but you do have to take the main road at times which can get a bit hairy). Very peaceful abbey that seems to be a hidden gem. Great views of Lake Como, nice olive trees, and pretty flowers. Must try the chocolate croissants from the cafe - the are the best we've had in Europe so far! Bathrooms are standard squat toilets (there was toilet paper, but I'd advise having tissues just in case :).
Konrad Florczak (5 years ago)
If you manage to find this place, that definitely requires to have a car or motorbike, you will enter another dimension. To me the greatest surprise of como. The monastery is amazing, very quiet atmosphere, great Park and a fantastic place to have a picnic, on your way to verona for instance. I strongly recommend this place far from tourists and difficult to find.
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