What to see in Buonconvento
Buonconvento is a charming medieval village located in Val d’Arbia, in the province of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany. Famous for its strategic position between the Arbia and Ombrone rivers, along the via Francigena, Buonconvento has for years been a place of passage, encounters and exchanges between numerous cultures.
Today it is one of the most characteristic medieval villages in Tuscany, with its narrow cobbled streets and typical medieval walls surrounding it. Rich in history and tradition, Buonconvento offers numerous monuments and attractions that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the history, culture and art of medieval Tuscany. Here are some suggestions for what to see in and around Buonconvento.
Buonconvento: places to visit
With its artistic and cultural heritage, the village of Buonconvento, a few kilometres away from the medieval city of Siena, is an unmissable stop for those who want to rediscover ancient medieval traditions. The village, rich in history and culture, offers the possibility of discovering numerous sights and attractions; from the medieval walls and the historical centre to various monuments and ancient buildings. Let’s discover all the places to visit in Buonconvento together.
Town Hall and Museum of Sacred Art
In the historical centre of Buonconvento stands Palazzo Comunale, the seat of the municipality, and the Museum of Sacred Art. A symbol of history and tradition, Palazzo Comunale is one of the most important historic buildings in the town. On its red-brick façade, visitors can spot the 25 coats of arms of the historic magistrates who governed Buonconvento from 1270.
The Museum of Sacred Art is one of the town’s most important museums, housed in the 19th-century Palazzo Ricci-Socini, which was renovated by the Ricci family. Inside you can admire a religious art collection with paintings dating from the 14th to the 19th century from many churches in Val d’Arbia. The Museum is open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Church of Saints Peter and Paul
With its imposing red brick façade, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul stands out among the buildings of Buonconvento’s historic centre. Probably built in 1103, as attested by a stone plaque on the left side of the façade, it is the main church of the village. The red brick façade is built in the typical Sienese Baroque style, while the interior of the church was completely renovated between 1702 and 1705 in the eclectic style typical of that period. Most of the works of art originally contained within it are now on display in the Museum of Sacred Art. Only a few – such as, for example, ‘Madonna Enthroned with Child’ by Matteo di Giovanni – still adorn the interior walls of the church.
The Sharecropping Museum in Buonconvento is a unique museum; in fact, the purpose of this exhibition was to document and revive the rural world that characterised the Tuscan landscape and this small medieval village for centuries, and which has now disappeared. The name indicates the practice ofsharecropping, i.e. when the landowner entrusted his land to a farmer and the fruits of the land were divided in two.
The exhibition is housed in an ancient barn and thanks to period photos, original agricultural equipment, music, films and archive documents, it offers a unique and authentic experience that allows anyone visiting the museum to immerse themselves in ancient traditions that have now disappeared. The cost of the ticket is EUR 3 per person and the museum’s opening hours are Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at weekends from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Castle of Bibbiano
Nestled in the hills of the Ombrone Valley, the Castle of Bibbiano is one of the best-preserved historical buildings in the Tuscan countryside. Located just a few kilometres from Buonconvento, its strategic position offers a breathtaking view of the Sienese hills and the surrounding vineyards. This ancient castle dates back to 850 AD when it was built at the behest of a Lombard count named Guinigi di Reghinari.
Over time it was damaged and restored numerous times. In the 16th century it was bought by Cardinal Raffaello Petrucci who had it restored by Baldassarre Peruzzi, who painted a beautiful Madonna inside the castle. This historic building still retains the typical appearance of a medieval castle, with high walls, a drawbridge and two towers. It is currently a private residence, which is why visitors can only admire the outside.
What to visit around Buonconvento
The marvellous city of Siena, one of the most characteristic and evocative medieval villages in all of Tuscany, is located just a few kilometres away. Famous for its medieval palaces and its Palio, it is a charming town where time seems to have stood still. This is what makes it an unmissable stop for those who want to discover the ancient beauty of the Middle Ages while savouring the typical dishes of Sienese cuisine.