The Black Death brought about the place’s demise. Having little space available, the monks threw their dead into a ditch near the monastery’s drinking water well, spreading the disease among the entire population. Inside the striking basilica-plan Romanesque church, a fresco can still be seen, in which the village seems to float on the water. This is the same monastery mentioned by Archbishop Sigerico as Borgonuovo, the place’s original name. He was the person who “designed” the Via Francigena in 990AD, when he reported the 79 legs he journeyed on his way back from Rome, where he had gone to receive the papal investiture for Canterbury.
The Tuscan section of the Francigena that skirts Monteriggioni is particularly scenic. It’s not hard to walk, covering approximately 4 km. Expect wide swathes of golden wheat, woodland and picturesque glimpses of the castle, which is the traveller’s destination.
If you’re looking for low cost accommodation, you’ll find the municipal hostel Contessa Ava in Abbadia a Isola, which is housed in the monks’ cells of the old monastery, financed by Regione Toscana. Info: monteriggioniturismo.it