Buonconvento is an agricultural village on the Via Cassia in the province of Siena in Tuscany. It lies south of Siena itself and is one of the most centrally located communes in the province. The town is characterised by the 14th-century city walls built during the reign of the current provincial capital.
Buonconvento travel guide
Tourist information: The tourist office is inside the Museo della Mezzadria Senese. Hours: Wednesday till Friday from 09:00 till 13:00, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 till 13:00 and from 15:00 till 18:00.
Town hall: Via Soccini, 32 – 53022 Buonconvento. Phone: +39 0577 80971.
Railway station: There is a railway station in Buonconvento. This is on the route between Siena and Grosseto.
The most prominent attraction in Buonconvento is the parish church SS. Pietro e Paolo. Built in the 12th century, this church was restored in 1705.
The Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia displays paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Pietro di Lorenzetti, Sano di Pietro, and others.
Events and festivals
In September, the sagra della Val d’Arbia takes place in Buonconvento.
A brief history of Buonconvento
Buonconvento’s history is mainly marked by the period when the town was part of the Republic of Siena. Consequently, almost all important buildings in the town date back to that medieval period.
Buonconvento originated as one of Siena’s most important forward defence points. This was due to its strategic location along the Via Francigena, which was then an important thoroughfare in the region.
Originally Buonconvento did not have a fortress wall, but from the moment it was erected the town immediately became an important trading centre, taking over from nearby Percenna.
Consequently, in the 13th and 14th centuries, Buonconvento was successfully besieged several times. In 1312, the city was occupied by the Count of Luxembourg and Emperor of Holy Roman Empire, Henry VII, who would breathe his last here on 24 August that year. (The lion on Buonconvento’s coat of arms is claimed to have been borrowed from Henry).
Later occupiers were the mercenary Uguccione della Faggiola (in 1315) and the army of Perugia.
In 1366 it was the turn of the Republic of Siena, which immediately had the very well-preserved rampart built around the city. In 1380, citizenship of Siena was granted to the inhabitants of Buonconvento.
From 1571, the Podestà (somewhat similar to a mayor, but much more powerful) had its seat in Buonconvento. This office had control over a large territory, which also included the current municipalities of Murlo and San Giovanni d’Asso.
A number of splendid medieval buildings, including the Palazzo Pretorio, still bear witness to this era. Other monuments include the Santi Pietro and Paolo Church, the Oratory of San Sebastiano, the Palazzo Ricci Socini and the medieval villas scattered across the town’s territory.
How to get to Buonconvento by car
As the town lies along Via Cassia, it can be reached from Florence and Rome as well as from Siena by this road (SR2).