This haven of peace and quiet is located on a beautiful green promontory that juts out into the lake. Its famous abbey from the 11th century has become one of the most popular tourist attractions of the lake.
Piona is on the margins of a chaotic world and offers an ideal refuge to relax and savour the tranquillity. Its wonderful location enjoys the array of colours emanating from tre lake, the mountains and the sky.
The Abbazia di Piona
This conventual complex is situated on the small peninsula of the same name in the locality of Olgiasca.
It has a beautiful panoramic view of the lake, mountains and of the towns of Dongo, Gravedona, Domaso and Gera Lario on the opposite shore. The abbey was founded by Cluniac monks in the Middle Ages to defend the area and the boats which were at the time in danger of being attacked by bandits and pirates.
It was secularised in the fourteenth century and detriored through the years until it was closed in the 17th century.
At the beginning of this century it was restored and it has been under the ownership of the Cistercian monks of Casamari, who produce a variety of liqueurs there, among which is the famous “Gocce Imperiali”.
Among the most interesting features of the abbey are: the Romanesque Church of San Nicolao from the 11th century, built on the site of an ancient oratory from the 7th century; a Romanesque-Gothic cloister from the 13th century with beautiful frescoes on the walls of Romanesque-Byzantine intonation.
The bell tower is not the original one, which was destroyed by lightning in the 17th century and stood where the present sacrsisty is.
The present bell tower was built in 1700 with rather poor quality materials.
Only the most recent restorations have rendered the bell tower more elegant. It is formed of a rather uniform structure.
Each side ha slits and bull’s-eye windows which blend in well with the Romanesque style of the abbey.