Staying in an Italian Agriturismo
Is it a hotel? A motel? A bed & breakfast? How about a resort? An agriturismo is actually none of the above. An agriturismo is basically a working farm that also offers accommodations. The term agriturismo, or agritourism, combines agriculture and tourism.
So, you want me to go work on a farm while I'm on vacation? Not exactly. It's all about experiencing rural Italian life and taking in the beauty and serenity of staying on a working farm.
In the mid-1980s, Italian law defined the term "agriturismo" as a method of helping rural farmers that were struggling. The law basically allowed farmers to augment their income by offering accommodations to visitors. Since then, agriturismos have popped up all over Italy. In addition to providing lodging, agriturismos offer an array of unique services like cooking classes, horse backing riding, and wine tours.
Many agriturismos will also offer to host a dinner for their guests for a fee. These dinners have been some of the finest meals we have had in Italy. It really makes for a truly authentic experience.
We have had the pleasure of staying in an agriturismo on our last three trips to Italy. In all three instances, it has proven to be a wonderful experience.
No matter where you are traveling in Italy, you are likely to find an agriturismo nearby. Because they are essentially a farm, many are located on sprawling acres of land surrounded by other farms and offer an opportunity for peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Many agriturismo's have vineyards or olive groves and make their own wine and olive oil.
Before you start thinking that you'll be sharing a room with the farm animals, you'll be happy to know that many of the accommodations are in beautifully restored buildings that have retained their history and charm.
I have found that most agriturismos have reputable websites with a photo gallery for you to check out before deciding whether to take the plunge or not. Speaking of taking the plunge, some even have swimming pools for their quests to enjoy.
If you're looking for something a little different on your next trip to Italy, why not check out an agriturismo for your accommodations? They offer a unique experience that you won't find at a hotel or bed and breakfast.
Ciao for now.
Agriturismo Le Caggiole, Montepulciano
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© 2012 Bill De Giulio