Lake Como’s churches and abbeys

By Vacanze Lago • on September 12, 2014

Lake Como has been the  transit  area between Italy and the Northern part of Europe throughout the ages and with this also one of the main “Faith Routes” that brought the evangelization from Italia to the Northern part of Europe. Around Lake Como there are ancient monasteries and abbeys in the most remote and tranquile positions, that certainly are worth a visit.

Not to be missed :

Abbazia di San Nicolò, Piona – Colico :

This 11th century Abbey is situated in the northern area of the lake and stands at the foot of Mount Legnone.  You can see beautiful frescoes inside the abbey and also the Romanesque cloisters in the quadrangle.  Liquers and herbal medicines (known throughout Italy for their healing powers) have been produced by the grey friars for over 150 years.  It is possible to reach it on foot but it may be easier to go by car (although the roads are a bit on the narrow side!). Don’t miss a boat trip to Piona Abbey!

Chiesa di San Pietro al Monte e Oratorio di San Benedetto – Civate :

This is a place of worship of considerable artistic interest at European level.
The church of S. Pietro al Monte in Civate together with the chapel of St.Benedict’s and a few rooms is all that remains of an ancient Benedictine monastic complex.
It is situated in an isolated position at an altitude of about 650 meters and it can be reached by walking for about an hour along a path through the woods.

Chiesa di San Martino – Griante Cadenabbia

San Martino is a small church perched on the mountain side above Griante. It’s official name is “Santuario Della Madonna delle Grazie di San Martino”, but most everyone simply refers to it as San Martino. If you are in, near, or even just passing through Griante and the weather is clear, this is a place you must not miss – not so much for the church, which is pretty, but for the spectacular views of Lake Como that can be enjoyed both on the way up and once at the church. The hike, or more appropriately walk, to San Martino is relatively short at about 45 minutes up from Griante and it’s really worth it!!

Basilica di S. Abbondio – Como :

It is one of the oldest churches of the town Como, built during the second half of the 11th century and an important example of Romanesque architecture. It has five aisles one decorated with beautiful frescos of the 13th century.  One of the remarkable features are the two bell towers.

It is very unique as it was built with black and white stone; on which there are raised symbols.  The architecture of the church includes vaulted arches, columns, apses and even arrow slits.  The design of the church made the ‘Maestri Comacini’ famous.

Abbazia di San Benedetto in Valperlana

The monastic settlement, isolated in the mountains over Ossuccio at the end of the Valperlana, shows a severe church in stone, which is made up of three irregular naves, three apses and a massive bell tower. Nearby there are the recently restored remnants of the monastery. It can be reached only by foot in 2 hours either from Ossuccio or from Lenno.

Santuario della Beata Vergine del Soccorso

This Sanctuary is located 400 metres above the town of Ossuccio and it has always been a popular destination of pilgrims. The main part of the church was built in the 16th century.  To reach this church, follow the path viale delle Cappelle.  On the way there you will pass by fourteen chapels that preserve over 200  statues representing the ‘Mysteries of the Rosary’. You can reach this church within a 40 minutes walk from Lenno or from the car park in Piazza Giovanni in Ossuccio.

But also…

Monastero di Santa Maria del Lavello – Calolziocorte g>

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