Piona Abbey: a timeless gem on Lake Como

The historic and spiritually significant Cistercian Abbey of St. Mary of Piona, commonly known as Piona Abbey, lies amidst the serene beauty of Lake Como in Lombardy.

With its picturesque setting and rich history dating back centuries, Piona Abbey is a testament to the region’s enduring legacy of faith and culture.

The Abbey of Piona, or Priory of Piona, is a timeless gem of Lombard Romanesque architecture. 

Situated in the municipality of Colico, it can be visited all year round!

Piona Abbey: Its Existence Through History

The significance of Piona Abbey extends beyond its stunning natural surroundings. 

The origins of Piona Abbey can be traced back to the early medieval period. Founded in the 7th century by Benedictine monks in honour of Saint Justina, the abbey has played a crucial role in the region’s religious, cultural, and social fabric for over a millennium

In the 12th century, Piona Abbey underwent a period of expansion and renovation, resulting in the construction of its iconic Romanesque church and cloister. We know this thanks to an inscription from before 1138 that provides evidence that a new church was built on this same site.

These architectural masterpieces, adorned with exquisite frescoes and intricate carvings, reflect the artistic and spiritual richness of the medieval era.

Throughout its long history, the Abbey has served as a centre of learning, spirituality, and hospitality, welcoming pilgrims, scholars, and travellers.

The abbey flourished under the patronage of various noble families and ecclesiastical authorities, contributing to the spread of Christianity and the preservation of knowledge in Lombardy.

Piona’s heritage

Piona Abbey’s location, although away from the main town, Lecco, was on a military route of critical importance in the wars of the times.

Despite facing numerous challenges, including wars, invasions, and political upheavals, Piona Abbey endured as a beacon of faith and resilience

In the 19th century, the abbey was entrusted to the Cistercian order, whose monks continued to maintain its spiritual heritage.

How to get to Piona’s Abbey from our Hotel Loveno

Piona Abbey gifts its near-and-far visitors a sense of timeless beauty, surrounded by lush greenery and framed by Lake Como’s azure waters.

Its strategic position offers breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, creating an atmosphere of peace and calmness. 

Piona Abbey and the Surrounding Attractions.

Beyond its religious significance, Piona Abbey offers visitors a wealth of cultural and natural attractions to explore. 

The abbey’s verdant gardens and vineyards provide a tranquil retreat for contemplation and relaxation, while nearby hiking trails beckon outdoor enthusiasts to discover the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Its promontory overlooks the eastern shores of Lake Como and can be reached in different ways:

  • Departing from our Hotel Loveno you can take your car on board in Menaggio and get to Varenna. From Varenna, take the SP72 route to Olgiasca-Piona. 
  •  If you prefer a panoramic route, which is not the fastest, you can circle the northern part of the lake by car and enjoy the views!

For history buffs and art enthusiasts, the abbey’s museum houses a remarkable collection of medieval artefacts, manuscripts, and religious relics, offering insight into the lives of the monks who once called Piona home. 

Additionally, guided tours and cultural events allow visitors to immerse themselves in the abbey’s rich heritage and traditions.

But that’s not all.

The numerous proposals of the area will enchant you. One of our favourites is, without a doubt, the Orrido di Bellano, a trekking lover’s favourite. The Orrido Gorge is located 20 minutes south of the Abbey.

Please read our article to learn more about this fantastic place.

If you want to go north, do not miss the panoramic walk along the lake in Gera Lario. After passing the port, the path gets to the lighthouse, where its remarkable view reaches its peak of depth over the Lario.

We can genuinely say that Piona Abbey is a testament to our beautiful region’s enduring power of faith, culture, and heritage. 

Its past, breathtaking beauty and spiritual significance continue to inspire and captivate every person who has the privilege of experiencing its charm. 

Piona Abbey invites visitors to embark on a journey of discovery and contemplation, where the echoes of the past resonate with the promise of hope for the future.

What are you waiting for? The good season is coming, and Piona Abbey is waiting for you!

Contact us to discover more info@hotelloveno.com.

– Gaia