Buonconvento is a village of just over 3,000 inhabitants located in the province of Siena at 147 meters above sea level at the confluence of the river Arbia in to river Ombrone. Buonconvento is about 30 km from Siena and is still surrounded by medieval walls, built between 1371 and 1385. The medieval village enclosed by walls has a quadrilateral plan and is perfectly preserved. Of the ancient gates remain the monumental Porta Senese.
The village in the twelfth century became an important market place due to its location along the Via Francigena. North of Buonconvento, in the village of Serravalle, where in 1313 died the Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg. Later, in the fourteenth century, Buonconvento increased its strategic importance due to the construction of the city walls by the Republic of Siena. Buonconvento in the late fourteenth century became home to a wide “podesteria” that made it the most important center of Val d’Arbia. In 1480 to the citizens of Buonconvento was granted the citizenship of Siena.
The village has a medieval look with houses and buildings in red brick. The Palazzo Podestarile dominated by the Civic Tower is covered with symbols of power. Buonconvento hosts inside the Palazzo Ricci the Museum of Sacred Art of Val d’Arbia, and at the old barn of the former Tinaia del Taja the Ethnographic Museum of Metayage (Museo Etnografico della Mezzadria). The Palazzo Ricci is a rare example of Art Nouveau architecture. In the Museum of Sacred Art are works of art from the churches scattered throughout the municipality with works of Sienese painting ranging from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, among the artists on display are works by Duccio, Pietro Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro, Andrea di Bartolo, etc.
Among the religious buildings in the medieval village is the church of the patron saints Peter and Paul, a medieval building that was renovated in the eighteenth century in classical style, inside there are paintings by Matteo di Giovanni and Pietro Orioli. The Oratory of San Sebastiano is a XV century building with vaulted ceilings, walls decorated with black and white stripes, and a ceiling decorated with stars. Around Buonconvento there are some interesting castles-farm as those of Castelnuovo Tancredi, Bibbiano and Castelrosi.
Interesting excursion from Buonconvento is the visit to the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Asciano and Crete Senesi. A few miles north of Buonconvento past Monteroni d’Arbia is the interesting fortified farm of Cuna. Further south at about 15 km from Buonconvento you reach the fortified town of San Quirico d’Orcia and the beautiful landscapes of the Val d’Orcia.
Weekly market in Buonconvento: Saturday
Tourist Information Office – Buonconvento
Ufficio Informazioni Via Soccini, 18
Tel. e fax: 0577 – 807181
- AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
- AA. VV. “Buonconvento. Museo della mezzadria senese” 2007, Silvana