One of the oldest abbeys in the area gave the name to the village that developed nearby, whose toponym is either of Etruscan or Roman origin. Of the imposing holy building, once a wealthy landholder only the parish church remains, because the remaining parts of the abbey had been alienated by Napoleon's decree in 1811. Inside the church, there's a noteworthy painting by the local artist Bernardino Santini, which painted the masterpiece ("The Visitation") in 1637.
Badia Agnano is today a nice quiet village, which only in the name reveals the prominent role played in the valley in a distant past.
In fact, the powerful Abbey (Badia) of Agnano was erected right here.
As for the genesis of the name, researchers are divided: there are those who favour an Etruscan origin - the name would derive from Ani, god of fertility - while, according to others, it would originate from the Latin name "Annius" or "Agnus".
Of the original abbey complex, only a few structures remain, namely the church, the parsonage and a smaller chapel, while the remnant has been converted to residential use.
Badia Agnano was founded around the year 1000 AD by the powerful noble family of the Ubertini.
In the early twelfth century, it joined the congregation founded by St. Romuald - the Benedictine order based at Camaldoli.
The ancient abbey church, recently restored, almost certainly belongs to this period: in fact, it consists of a single nave covered with wooden trusses, at whose end stands single simple transept.
Once dedicated to St Mary, as of today, the title of the church is that of the Saints Tiburtius and Susannah. The title change - probably owed to the commendatory abbot Leonardo - took place in the sixteenth century.
The structure is built off well aligned and squared limestone slabs.
The absence of decoration reflects the purely spiritual and austere style of the Camaldolese Congregation.
The abbey was later fortified and the village eventually developed all around it.
In 1431 (in that year it had an abbot and five monks) is described by Blessed Traversari (Prior of Camaldoli) in these words: "a well built, ancient and extremely rich abbey."
A few years later, in 1470, the decline began because of the alternation of a series of abbots and it ended only with the arrival of the future holy bishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo who, in 1564, returned the abbey to the Benedictine order.
Despite the neglect due to the Commandery, in an inventory of 1583, the church is described as well-preserved; following the restoration carried out in 2003 it was brought back to its original splendour.
The inside features a wooden crucifix suspended in the apse and a baptismal font which still features the crest of the Benedictine order: two doves drinking from the same cup.