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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Olga Kondrikova (2 years ago)
Amazingly peaceful place!
Mari Serykh (2 years ago)
Peaceful place
Ion Petrache (2 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 (3 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 (4 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.