Wherever we travel, we are mostly aware of the many types of accommodation on offer. The choice is varied including hotels, motels, B&Bs, guesthouses and monasteries. Sometimes we chose to rent an apartment or house, particularly if we plan to stay in the one area for an extended period of time.
Another wonderful option for accommodation in Italy is to stay in an Agriturismo. Also known as: farm-house accommodation, farm stays, farm holidays, rural retreats
Agriturismo – a combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian – is a style of vacationing in farm-house resorts codified into Italian law in 1985. These agritourismi allow the small farmer to augment the income from the farm, and for vacationers to sample the bounty of a rural life in Italy. Often they have their own vineyards so the wine you may enjoy with your meals is also locally produced.
Agriturismo, farm-house holiday accommodations, can be found in many parts of Italy and are popular with those travelling by car. Agriturismo is a great lodging option for families or groups of friends traveling together and accommodations can range from rustic to luxurious. Most farm houses offer bed and breakfast and some have a swimming pool, restaurant, cooking classes, or other special ammenities.
Agriturismi (plural) are not usually in the centre of town but are found out in the countryside on their own parcels of land. Each one that I have stayed in we needed a car to get to.
Agriturismi (plural) are also a popular place for Sunday lunch. They are a great little getaway for families and friends. It is a wonderful way to taste local foods which are prepared from home-grown produce on the farm or at least locally. Eating at an agriturismo is also a great way to meet up with people away from the busy restaurants and cafes in the cities or towns.
Each time I have stayed in the village of Pievebovigliana we have enjoyed lunch and dinner at the fabulous agriturismo Roccamaia. The welcome we receive when we arrive is like we are coming home. The owner and his wife make the choices for our dishes which keep coming for hours. Each course is washed down with a locally produced delicious wine. At this agriturismo, it is not unusual for the staff including the chef to join in for a song or two. A mid day meal at this or probably any agriturismo is usually a 4 or more hour gustation. And, don’t be surprised if you are offered a small glass of homemade grappa or limoncello before you leave the establishment. And the nicest surprise at the end of the meal is the bill, it is usually very good value.
Our experience with staying at an Agriturismo has always been very enjoyable. The evening meal and breakfast is often a family type affair, other guests and sometimes the family of the owners have joined us.
I initially purchased a book from a tabacchi on Agriturismo. This book listed hundreds of agriturismi around Italy. You can also find them online, just google – Agriturismo.