What is an agriturismo?
Let me get straight to the answer:
The agriturismo is a farm that rents a few rooms, cabins, units or just part of the main house to tourists.
However, this is not the main income of the farm.
By law, agriculture or wine production has to be.
They have to serve breakfast and dinner (where available) only with products locally made.
You may, however, experience the noise from the working environment (tractors or animals).
The agriturismo is a fantastic option, but double-check the accommodation to avoid disappointments.
So far I have never experienced any sort of noise in any agriturismo that I have visited
Usually the accommodations are far enough from the working fields
In fact, lots of big wineries, especially in Tuscany, have refurbished the own farms, sometimes even castles, to host travellers.
In this way they have diversified the own income, once based uniquely on a good, or bad, year of wine.
If you are planning a trip to Tuscany, for example, I highly suggest to book at the Agriturismo Il Rigo in the south of the region.
The view of the rolling hills of the Val D’orcia is really unbeatable (see photos here), as well as the interior design, in perfect Tuscan style.
The Viticcio is also a great example of working winery in Tuscany that offers amazing rooms in the beautiful Chianti Area.
It’s a still technically a farm, but fully refurbished to host travellers in a dreamy environment including a pool too (see photos here).
You will get to experience the Tuscan life in style, combining tasting of wine and oil, locally produced.
Agriturismo vs farmhouses
The farmhouse is a farm, with a similar business concept as the agriturismo, however, it may live just of tourism, without any form of agriculture.
In fact, in most cases, you will not have animals or tractors around.
The trick is that there is no obligation to serve local food (most do it anyway, cheaper and much better quality) and they usually pay more tax (rooms are more expensive).
The farmhouse is more of a hotel/motel accommodation but in the countryside
A great example of a farmhouse is the Palazzo dei Diavoli, just outside Montepulciano in Tuscany.
It’s a actually a small producer of a local boutique wine that you get to taste of course.
The Palazzo dei Diavoli is a great value place with a spectacular view of the rolling Tuscan hills (see photos here) and spacious rooms with typical Tuscan style interior.
Agriturismo vs Hotel
The hotels are usually in the city/town/villages.
They are super practical because you can visit all the attractions without the need of a car or any public transportation.
You can also opt for an AirBnb style or a holiday house.
I would, however, suggest having lunch and dinner at the restaurant or agriturismo, to have the real local experience.
What is an agriturismo – 2 insider tips
Here are a couple of valuable quick tips you may want to keep in mind if travelling in Tuscany:
- if you don’t want to rent a car then book your stay in towns, main villages or Florence itself. If you book an agriturismo you will be most probably stuck there without a car. And if you are looking just for a romantic stay it may be actually a great option. From every town, you can always organise a day trip to the countryside and the wine regions.
- if you rent a car, you have more options to build an itinerary in Tuscany. I would only suggest avoiding Florence by car. You will have a headache driving around. There are other towns with ZTL (the centre is limited only to the locals). However, once you book the hotel, you can contact them and they will send you a special permit that you can use for your stay. Usually, the traffic in Siena, Pisa or Lucca is not that mad but keep in mind the streets can be quite narrow (especially in Lucca).
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