Piona Abbey

Piona Abbey

Colico up to 500 m 5-10 Km 2-4 hours

Along the road ‘Strada Vegia’ you’ll find Piona Abbey, a former Cluniac monastery famous for its beautiful Gothic Romanesque cloister of the thirteenth century. The route offers beautiful panoramic views over the bay of Piona, the Montecchio South and Mount Legnone.

Travel south by car along the SP72 from Colico towards Dorio/Dervio to the starting point. After passing under the railway, you can park on the left of the highway. Walk with caution on SP72 when entering Dorio. Just before the marker that signals the 89 km, turn left uphill on the trail (directions CAI 7 Crottino / Abbazia di Piona) that connects to the road called ‘Strada Vegia’ (the old road) – an ancient route dating back to 1755. The track winds through the woods, on the slopes of Mount Legnone and near the Lake of Piona and still retains some parts of the old cobblestones. A constant up and down between huge boulders and signs of ancient landslides, eventually leading to area ‘Crottino’; here the trail crosses the SP72, continuing on the other side on the concrete steps and ends in front of the church of Olgiasca. Turn right, then immediately left into Via Culmine entering the narrow streets of the old town. The reference to follow is still the CAI 7 Abbazia di Piona / Sentiero Alto (high trail). Cross Piazza San Carlo Borromeo, continuing straight along Via al Pozzo. At the next junction turn right into Via Roccolo, and then on the concrete steps; upon reaching the top clearance, continue to the left until you enter the forest. The path, well marked and bordered on either side by stonewalls, leads to a ruin-hiding place for hunting. Continuing along the path through heather and gorse you can see the wonderful views of the village Laghetto and Mount Legnone. A little further on, at a small trellis, you pass near the summit of ‘Sass Negher’, a natural wall about 60 meters high equipped with different climbing routes. The following descent leads to a turret, the trail leads right passing a building and then widens to an easy dirt path. The reconstructed cave of Lourdes that you pass along the way, provides an opportunity to take a break for a moment of contemplation. The road now meets the fence of the Abbey of Piona: follow it up, keeping to the left until you reach the gate that leads into the parking lot of the monastery and down the sloping asphalt. Continuing to the right you can visit the monastery, while on the left begins the charming cobbled street (CAI 7/A) that leads to the village Olgiasca. After about 800 meters, a CAI signpost indicates, on the left, the path that leads back to the Church of Olgiasca. From here follow the path to return to the parking lot from which you started.
An interesting alternative to the proposed route is to reach the Abbey of Piona via ferry or hydrofoil from Colico and return on foot. For schedules and information www.navigazionelaghi.it

(Text from the Brochure "Colico Outdoor")


Starting point Garavina car park - COLICO
Arrival point Garavina car park - COLICO
Minimum altitude 200 m
Maximum altitude 350 m
Length 7 Km
Duration 3h
Difficulty Easy
Recommended period March - November