Francesco Zannetti received in his youth singing, violin, organ and harpsichord lessons with Giovanni Carlo Clari, the Kapellmeister at the Cathedral of Pisa, even during this time he had jobs as a violinist and tenor in Lucca. From 1757 he studied at the Conservatorio dell Pietà Turchini in Naples. In 1760 he was inducted into the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. From 1762, he was Kapellmeister at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta his home town of Volterra, where he was charged with appearances in his operas, which were incompatible with his position, dismissed. Then from 1762 to 1788 he was director of music at the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia. He was also music director of the Teatro del Pavone and the Teatro dell'Aquilla.