Buonconvento, good convents bad friars, between Montalcino and Trequanda
Tourists staying at Fattoria del Colle or those coming to visit the Brunello winery Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino have the possibility of a pleasant and interesting stop in this village where one practically lives the medieval way of life
Between Fattoria del Colle and Casato Prime Donne one finds Buonconvento
by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
<<Buon convento e cattivi frati>> <<Good convents bad friars>> this is the popular saying regarding Buonconvento. The village was on the via romana Cassia later to become the via Francigena, consequently it was a florid transit point, somewhere to stop, and where markets were organized. In 1313 it was the location of an international mystery. At the end of August Arrigo VII Emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire arrived in the area; the Lord was unwell and was scared of being poisoned. He suspected all and sundry and so refused food, butt he medieval gossipers say, the friars were able to poison him however by putting some poison in the host for holy communion. The Emperors body was then buried in Pisa but Buonconvento maintained an unsettling reputation.
The medieval village is intact, with urban vegetable gardens, wells, and narrow paved roads, surrounded by great brick walls. It is these town-walls that are Buonconvento’s distinctive character and what makes tourists stop here. The main road is called Via Soccini and is dedicated to my ancestors Lelio e Fausto Sozzini or Soccini as they were later called. The family’s originated from Percenna just out of Buonconvento, but left their birthplace to travel around Europe in together with the major representatives of the Protestant Reform.
To those visiting Buonconvento I recommend a tasting of freshly baked ricciarelli from the bakers and cake shops. Their aroma is absolutely lovely.