'EXVALSE', 'Operation/Project co-financed by the Tuscan Por Fesr 2014-2020'

Download Area

Local ambassador stories: Frederic e Sandrine, Farnetella (Sinalunga)

From Paris to Farnetella for a radical life change: Frederic and Sandrine, Parisians by birth but Farnetellese by choice, tell about their choice to live in Valdichiana Senese

From the Ville Lumière to Farnetella, a jewel of a village in the Sinalunga area: an extreme turn Frederic and Sandrine Leroy decided to take on their journey after an event that shook them deeply.

"The unfortunately well-known attacks in Paris shocked us, leaving us with a constant fear. My grocery store, where I sold both French and Italian food and wine products, was right next to the first restaurants and bars hit by the terrorists. It was terrible to live through those moments, and the fear that had been unleashed in us made us realize that we should live differently. We needed a better quality of life, Paris had started to be cramped, and so we decided to make a radical change" -Frederic says.

The transition from the hectic life of the city to the quieter life of the village is linked, yes, to the search for a better quality of life, but also to the desire to establish personal relationships with the locals, the neighbor or the shopkeeper around the corner. Activities that in small towns are the norm but that in a city as big as the one where the Seine flows are unthinkable: "In Farnetella we go to drink coffee at the neighbor's or we go to chat in the square, all activities that in Paris you cannot do. There is a fantastic human relationship here, and it is another plus point for our decision that we have never, not even for a moment reconsidered" -Sandrine says smiling.

The rolling hills of the Valdichiana Senese and Sinalunga have always appealed to Frederic and Sandrine, who, before moving here permanently, were already well acquainted: "We came here looking for a house because we already knew this area having come here on vacation for many years. We did not even try to look for housing in France, we looked directly in Italy, in Valdichiana Senese. Here the food is good, the life is real and authentic, and then there is always sunshine! Farnetella is high up, it's surrounded by olive groves and vineyards-it's the perfect place to live."

Farnetella is a small jewel hamlet in the municipality of Sinalunga where not even 100 people permanently live. Frederic and Sandrine wanted to be part of the life of this small but united community right from the start, demonstrating how with the spirit of cooperation one can really do a lot: "As much as possible we help with all community initiatives, because we feel part of this group. The Ferragosto Farnetellese is a tradition that has been going on for more than 50 years, and almost every year we enjoy making French cakes for the event. In June, on the other hand, on the occasion of the Infiorata, we try our hand at creating designs with flowers together with the other villagers, and under the Christmas holidays we like to give our contribution for "Christmas at the Windows". It's a really active little hamlet, and we like to get involved and do our part. Farnetella is home"-they explain.
Frederic then adds contentedly, "I also joined the board of the Farnetella Polisportiva and I am proud of that!"


Frederic and Sandrine, residents by choice of Farnetella