The Territory: Provaglio and Provezze
The splendid little 16th century church of the Madonna del Corno stands on a steep-sided outcrop along the ancient road that connected Iseo and Provaglio (Pro Vallis Isei) through the foothills of the mountains. From in front of the church there is an aerial view of the lake, the marshes and the morainic hills that make up Franciacorta. Below lies the monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa, a curtis whose history began around the year 1000. At that time, and for centuries, the Clunaic monks, who owned many monasteries, contributed to the significant revival of our territory by draining its swampy areas. For this reason, each of their monasteries and the reclaimed land became a Franca Curtis or Free Court: a property exempt from taxes. This is the origin of the name Franciacorta.
Let’s return to our monastery and its architectural structure consisting of a church, cloister, Hall of Disciplines, funeral chapel and residential villa.
In the San Pietro in Lamosa complex we can read 1,000 years of history in the architecture and the frescoes of various eras which mark the passing of time in art and in religious faith. Leaving the monastery we come immediately to the Santellone – a small temple containing a religious image at the intersection of three roads.
Passing through the ancient village of Zurane, with the church of S.Bernardo, we reach the hamlet of Sergnana (serenius) on the Roman-Medieval road. The little church of S.Rocco at the entrance to the village, a medieval tower incorporated in a villa, the renovated “Palazzina” with an avenue of mulberry trees which remind us of the importance of silkworm breeding over time, and the “farmhouses with courtyards” make this village a compendium of Franciacorta’s urban history form the 1300s to today.
Continuing towards the centre, past farmhouses and mansions of various eras (Soncini, Scovolo Inverardi, Villa Castelli, Palazzo Franchi) we reach another medieval nucleus: La Badia/The Abbey, also intact in its medieval urban structure.
Then we ascend steeply towards the “Ria”. Four residences make up a hamlet which give us an historical-urban planning insight which it would be difficult to find anywhere else in Franciacorta. La Torre del Palàs/The Palàs Tower (1300) incorporated in other buildings over the centuries to become a house, farmhouse with barns and even a small spinning-mill. The 18th century Villa Gussali-Beretta, residences from the Venetian era (l’Amigu) and farmhouses (Pulaen, Carlecc) all take us back to an ancient world which is still present here today.
Persaga hamlet is worth a visit too, with its little rural church of Santa Maria and Villa Pisa dating from the 1500s.
Finally a unique place: the Badì Estate. From the tower called “The Dovecote” (1400) to the 16th century mansion with its ancient stable in complete architectural harmony consisting of stone columns and brick vaults, and in the tranquility of a landscape without a hint of industrialization, among fields and vineyards, we can rediscover the meaning of universal history and the collective memory of a continent.