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Giardino Donato di Becco

Donato Di Becco (1280-1348), a notary by profession, stopped at nothing to carry out his duties as the "certifier" of various events and transactions in the first half of the 14th century.  


Significant traces of his activities have recently been uncovered in documents researched by Professor Andrea Barlucchi. In the face of the spreading plague of 1348, Di Becco continued to collect and record the last wishes of the dying. He died as well in the same year, all the while transcribing his clients' wills and testaments in his ledgers.


The personal history of this scrupulous professional sheds a ray of light on a very dark time for both Siena and Asciano.  In just four months time, from May to August, they lost a third of their population. 


Perhaps it was during this grim time that the suburb of Camparboli, with a great number of inhabitants living in wooden shacks and without good hygiene, suffered a sharp decline from which it has never recovered.  


On the other hand, there is no doubt that the plague killed the Blessèd Bernardo Tolomei, the founder of the Congregation of Monte Oliveto, after he rushed to Siena to give a hand to the Benedictine brothers who were busy helping those afflicted with the plague. Tradition has it that Bernardo died of the plague on August 20th and was buried in the city monastery where he had gone. 


Of course, this was not the only epidemic of the plague in our territory.  There was another in 1374, but it is clear from the chronicles of the time that the plague of 1348 was the most devastating of all.

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