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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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robin (‫Робин / روبن‬‎) (12 months ago)
Quiet spot with the greatest view on Como lake. Free parking nearby, ideal for overnight.
Helen Naug (2 years ago)
If you are Catholic the Mass is beautiful and don't forget to buy some liquori?
Ashlin Galbraith (Ashlin) (2 years ago)
While driving around the Lake Como region we happened to see a sign on the roadway indicating there was an Abbey and decided to stop over to check it out. The view from this edge of the lake was beautiful but the Cluny Abbey of Holy Mary of Piona itself was rather spectacular. Access to the site does require proper attire (no sleeveless shirts or too-high shorts) but it's definitely worth the stop if you have time. There is a lovely courtyard, bell tower, worship building, and a garden so walking through the grounds could easily take a few hours. There is a small gift shop and the nun that was tending to it was nice but there are also plenty of places to just sit and enjoy the gardens if you are looking for some quiet time. Would definitely visit here again.
Daniel Wicker (2 years ago)
Beautiful Place, its worth to walk there, 2.5h from colico.
Olga Kondrikova (3 years ago)
Amazingly peaceful place!
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