Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buonconvento, history, Harry VII, Dante

We do our 'thing' just driving into the next town, and we drive into history.

Here in the main street of the small town of Buonconvento, mid-siesta, as much history as the great city of Siena or hilltop Orvieto. The name of the town means 'good meeting place'.

Here is the town hall, with plaques. Which hint at local attitudes as well as recording and remembering major events.

This plaque reads
(I endeavour to translate formal language of the 1920s):

during the sixth centenary of Dante 1921
that here on 24 August 1323
the [Holy Roman] Emperor of whom Dante
expressed the magnificent vision
of a pacified and unified Italy.

This next says:

This marble stone
sculpted in recognition
by the municipal government of Buonconvento
and recording the venturous generation
(hard to understand this flowery bit)
the immortal name
First King of Italy
whom the civilised world proclaims
Father of the Country.
Solemnly posted, 24 September 1882

... and this below records (summarised here) that

at 11.55 on 25th March 1860
the results of the plebiscite in Tuscany were announced in Florence:

Total voting: 368,445
In favour of union under a constitutional monarchy: 366,571
In favour of a separate kingdom: 14,925
Null: 4,949

This is a town that would seem to have had
a commitment to unity and against papal rule
from the time of the Guelphs and Ghibellines to contemporary...

You could not live here daily without some sense of history
vastly longer than white Australia imagines.

Go here to read about the wars and processes of Italy's unification.

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