Farnetella has the structure of a fortified medieval village with 4 parallel streets connected with 3 cross alleys. Some traces of the old walls are present but are not easy to see; towards the south-east section, a part of the semicircular defense tower is still visible.
In the historic district, you can find Piazza San Giovanni and Piazza Farnia. The coat of arms of the town is represented by the European oak (Farnia) on a green background.
The origin of Farnetella dates back to the Middle Ages, specifically in the period between the 5th and the 6th centuries. In the early Middle Ages, it was the residence of a branch of the Cacciaconti family.
Farnetella used to be surrounded by high walls that made it unassailable. The centuries-old castle was described as powerful and inaccessible, and was part of the domain of the noble Barotti family which also owned San Gimignanello, Montalceto, and Castiglioni near Rapolano terme. The first document referring to Farnetella dates back to 1175, a certificate with which Siena ordered the Scialenghi counts to return the castle of Farnetella to the historic owners, the Barottis.
In 1271, Farnetella was accused of high treason towards the Republic of Siena for having given hospitality to Ghibellines who had escaped from the town. The punishment was applied, which consisted of the demolition of castles for those accused of treason against Siena; Farnetella was thus razed to the ground by the Sienese troops. In January 1295, the inhabitants of Farnetella sent a plea to Siena, in which they pleaded their innocence. In February 1295, the General Council resolved in favour of the supplicants, allowing them to return to live in the court of Farnetella.
The inhabitants quickly rebuilt the village, probably inspired by the old structure of Rigomagno. In 1324, after the reconstruction, Messer Deo Guccio Tolomei of Siena sacked, devastated and burned it. The inhabitants returned to rebuild their home with a wider circle of walls. In 1554, Farnetella underwent a new assault from a detachment of the army of Charles V.
In the past, Farnetella has been an independent village for a long time, but was annexed to the municipality of Sinalunga with the Leopoldina reform of 1778.
For more than two centuries, the village of Farnetella has organized the Infiorata. This event consists in creating floral carpets and paintings along the streets of the village, using flowers, seeds and leaves harvested by the locals. Traditionally, the Infiorata takes place 9 weeks after Easter Sunday.
During the Infiorata, a parallel festival takes place, combining different artistic genres such as music, art and literature alongside typical food and reflecting the community spirit that's still alive amongst the locals of the village.
Among the impressive structures of Farnetella is its castle.
Construction works began in December 1889, commissioned by Adolfo Ferrari. Ferrari decided to create a large residential building in the style of a castle, that bore a likeness to those of some noble families of Siena and that was equipped with all the modern comforts to make it hospitable for wealthy vacationers.
The project was completed in 1903, but it was a bit too ambitious for the times and put a strain on Ferrari's financial resources, remaining incomplete. Inside, there are numerous frescoes, large pieces of furniture, ceilings, and wonderful wooden decorative details in the dining room done by the Sienese artist, Giovanni Sammicheli.
The church of San Giovanni Battista dates back to 1392 and has undergone various renovations over time, such as in 1869 by Count De Gori and in 1895 by the Ferrari family. Externally, it's bordered by the angular bell tower and the 16th-century travertine portal. The interior currently has a nave vault with an asymmetrical plan.
In Borgo Antonio Ferrari, you'll find the church of the Compagnia Santa Croce. The structure dates back to the 16th century and was restored in 1861 by the brothers. It was formed as a brotherhood for humanitarian purposes, such as the transport of the dead and for spiritual benefits in the form of suffrages.
Heading along the lower road that leads to the town, you arrive at the church of Santa Maria that's owned by a family from the town. It was built in the late 1870s by Saulle Mastioni as an appeal to the Virgin Mary to have a healthy son. The previous children had died at 7-8 years, and after about a year his wife gave birth to Quintilio, "the fifth".