Tuscany isn’t all about about art and architecture. In order to get a complete Tuscan experience, don’t overlook its stunning countryside. A great way to experience the slow pace and natural beauty of Tuscany is to take a few days off the beaten track and stay on a farm. Most farms in Tuscany are perched on hills and produce wine and/or olive oil, whilst few rear animals.
The term agriturismo was coined in the 60s, but the movement didn’t pick up until the late 80s. In order to offer farm stays, farmers and their families have to comply with certain state and regional guidelines.
The food provided to guests must either be produced on the farm or locally sourced. Owners should showcase their production through tastings or tours of the farm. Cultural and sport activities should be offered to encourage visitors to discover the local area and surrounding countryside. Farmers must use and/or renovate pre-existing farm buildings to host guests.
The agriturismo movement has had a vastly positive impact on rural areas. Not only has it brought more work to these often abandoned areas, it has helped to promote local traditions and products. It is also a way to stop mass development and preserve the untouched beauty of the countryside.
Many farms have also become farm parks which give children from the cities their first real look at farm animals. Farmers show them how a farm is run and how food staples such as cheese, oil or bread are made.
Though farms stays started off as a very basic and cheap type of hospitality, most agriturismi now offer high end services and very comfortable lodgings.
Agriturismi have a great reputation for their traditional and genuine food which makes them very popular with the locals. Many Italians enjoy a weekend lunch or dinner surrounded by the peace and quiet of the surrounding countryside.
Tuscany is the Italian region with the most agriturismi in Italy so you’ll be spoilt for choice! Here are a few websites that specialise in farm stays in Tuscany:
Farm stays in Italy are usually in beautiful stone buildings that date back centuries and have been carefully restored. They are full of charm and history. Because of their surrounding land and typical wine production, many castles in Tuscany have been converted into agriturismi. If you’ve always dreamed of spending the night in a Medieval fortress, this could be your chance.