The village of Montefollonico, a hamlet in the Municipality of Torrita di Siena, is located atop a hill between the Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia. Its foundation dates to the around the year 1000, but many artefacts have been found that attest to some kind of settlements in the area as far back as Prehistory.
The name comes from "Fullonico," the first mountain settlement near the Conventaccio (Abbey of Cassinese monks dating to the 8th century) which, taking advantage of a nearby “trench,” engaged in follatura, working and dyeing wool. It’s likely that the inhabitants settled in the mountains in search of protection, and the first fortification dates to the 6th century, when the name changed from Monte a Fullonico to Montefollonico. But at the beginning of the 1200s, the fortified castle, being in a borderland, took on great strategic importance for the Republic of Siena, to whom the town remained loyal for more than a century.
Montefollonico is still today a place of peace and serenity for the inhabitants and a place of tranquil refuge for the few friends that have discovered it. Generally kept off the beaten track, Montefollonico has maintained its image as a small village that measures the seasons with the chimes coming from the bell tower. The historic defense walls, largely surviving, enclose small gems of “minor” architecture: the Church of San Leonardo is one of the most important traces of Romanesque architecture in the Sienese territory; the Church of San Bartolomeo dates to the 12th century and is perhaps the oldest in town; and Palazzo della Giustizia bears an oriole on its façade.