If you want to clear your mind and make your soul a little cleaner all you have to do is take a walk in Val Perlana (even if this sounds like an advertising catchphrase for a famous detergent). Transfer all this to an emotional level and when you reach the monastic complex of San Bene-detto in Val Perlana, both your mind and soul will experience a time of purification that has no equal. The Abbey of San Benedetto at 817 metres on sea level belongs to the municipality of Ossuccio and is the only one at this altitude in the whole area of the province of Como. According to historical sources the monastery was built in 1090 and it was merged with the church built in 1083.

The abbey owned landholdings from Ponna to Osteno and in Valtellina too. Its importance is due to Archbishop Rinaldo’s will to give a new vital impetus to the territory which dominates Isola Comacina from above. In those dark ages the church tower stood like a watchtower to avoid possible raids from Valle di Intelvi. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the decaying abbey was sold to a private. In 1950 religious ceremonies were banned from the church and then resumed in 1958 after some restoration. Restoration works finished in 1997 and gave the Romanic building the ancient charm and the original spirituality back.

This extraordinary “naked stone dream” was realized by the Magister; inside the building there is only one altar whose mess lays on a granite boulder with the inscription of a unit of measure to weigh corn, symbol of religion and people. The bond between people from Lenno and Ossuccio and this house of God (“ca de diù” is a colorful dialect expression referring to a distant and inaccessible place) nestled at the bottom of the valley bottom is still very strong and every year on the 1st of May ( the secular Labor Day which is also linked to the famous Rule of St. Benedict “Ora et labora”) the devotees go to the abbey where the Priests of the two villages alternatively celebrate the holy Mass.

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