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Why visit Buonconvento in Siena?

In the middle of the Crete Senesi – the famous light-colored hills of Siena, unique in the world for their conformation and chromatic beauty – there is Buonconvento, a little bit so lovely place, so named because in the ancient times, passing travelers were received and welcomed with goodwill and because there lived a relaxed community.

It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is close to other world-famous towns such as Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, and San Quirico d’Orcia. All around the town you can admire fields of sunflowers, vineyards, and roads lined with cypress trees, castles, villas, and centuries-old stone farms, in other words, everything that makes this part of Italy irresistible to the eyes of the most demanding tourists.

Buonconvento is on the ancient Via Cassia, which is why it served the dual function of a resting place and a mercantile village. Many centuries later, during the Republic of Siena, it was a fortified citadel with a purely defensive purpose. In 1371, the small center was completely surrounded by walls, the latter bearing only two entrance gates. In 1559, with the fall of Siena, it passed into the hands of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, at that time led by the enlightened Medici family.

Via Soccini is Buonconvento’s main artery, an elegant white curve that divides the village into two, east and west, with shops and the best places to eat. It is named after an ancient Buonconvento family. And along this road are the most important buildings to visit.

Much of Buonconvento’s architecture is reminiscent of a small Siena, with streets of brick arches, bottlenecks, palaces, and civic buildings with Guelph battlements, Gothic arched portals, and coats of arms, towers, and other medieval decorations. All this makes for a very evocative atmosphere.

The village played a very important role as an administrative and military center during the Republic of Siena. The two gates in the walls – typical of this type of urban architecture in the Middle Ages – had very different fates. The Porta Romana was destroyed by the Germans in 1944, while the Porta Senese, with its heavy wooden doors fitted with iron, is still there, firmly in place.

Author: Eduardo Lubrano
Photo: Gianni Crestani / Pixabay