Today we’ve visited a stunning little hamlet in Tuscan countryside, called “Badia a Isola”.
The fields surrounding Badia a Isola were once a large swamp or bog that accumulated rain water from Monte Maggio. ‘Isola’ refers to an island or the only solid piece of land on which the original borgo was built. Now the Abbey is surrounded by flat fields filled with sunflowers in summer, and it is an easy and enjoyable walk from the chariming village of Monteriggioni. The place where the monastery stands – which, as already said, was once surrounded by water – was chosen mainly for its strategic position controlling the Via Francigena, of which Borgonuovo (subsequently Abbadia Isola) already constituted a resting place at the end of the 10th century.
Over the following centuries, one of the main functions of the abbey continued to be that of a hospital or a place of respite and hospitality for travellers on their way to Rome.
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