Abbazia di Piona

Lake Como

The Cistercian Abbazia di Piona has a magnificent setting on a promontory stretching out into Lago di Como. There's evidence that a small chapel was built here as far back as the 7th century. The present Romanesque church and its medieval frescoes are attractive, but the star is the irregularly shaped 13th-century cloister; a rich example of transitional style from Romanesque to Gothic, it's an oasis of peace.

The monks who live here today enjoy incomparable views west over the lake to Gravedona and the snowcapped peaks behind it and to the north. A small shop on the grounds sells honey and liqueurs - including limoncello - made by the abbey.

The turnoff to the abbey is located 3km south of Colico. Take the part-cobbled side road off the SP72 road for 2km.

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