When I arrive in the Como area I finally leave the cold behind. The loneliness of the switchbacks and the winding roads of the previous days are replaced with gentle ups and downs that caress the lake; snow becomes rain. A right turn at the Morbegno’s junction and about ten kilometres later Lake Como appears.
Perched on a ridge of hills at the bottom of Mount Narro, wrapped in silence, The “Acquafredda” Abbey in Lenno shows itself, my first Cistercian destination. I knock on the large wooden door that protects the inner courtyard. Surprisingly, and contradictory to what my sources told me, there is are no monks at the front door, only a guy with an I-pod, headphones in the ears, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, asking me if I’m up for the barbecue. It appears that there is no longer any trace of the Cistercian monastic community; in fact, the abbey has been for sale for about half a decade.