Agriturismos: Italy’s best kept secret.

I was walking through a lovely vineyard with a local vintner enjoying the North Italian sunshine when he stopped and asked me a very abrupt question. “How did you find this place?” he asked me in wonder. At first, I didn’t know how to take his question but then it occurred to me that he simply meant that he rarely saw Americans visit the area. Americans, it turns out, do not know about Italy’s best kept secret: agriturismos!

That walk got me thinking about how to best introduce the agriturismo. Simply put, agriturismos are bed and breakfasts that are on working farms. Oh, don’t be fooled! the word farm can be very deceiving here! Instead of thinking about corn or crops, shift your perspective to vineyards and olive orchards! Italy does that, it shifts your perspective when it comes to the everyday things and makes you take things in through a different lens.

Why are they a great alternative to other lodgings?

Probably the quickest answer is to say price. Most agriturismos charge a mere fraction of their hotel competitor’s rates and often have such affordable pricing that they charge by the couple. But that’s not the only reason to look into this great option.

What can you do there?

While every agriturismo strives to offer you a good relaxing getaway, many offer experiences that are quintessentially Italian. Ranging from simple hiking paths to pasta making, expect a variety of things to try and enjoy. The last two agriturismos we visited offered wine tasting and truffle hunting with the farm dog.

How do I build time into my itinerary for it?

We are huge advocates for using a travel cycle. Consider powering through a few days then using a getaway like an agriturismo as a built in vacation in the middle of your travels. Giving you time to recuperate and get ready for the next leg of your adventure, the stay here is down time well used and so unique to Italy.

Are there any drawbacks?

There are very few Agriturismos available by public transport meaning you are going to need a driver or a rental. That said, some will offer to pick up at a local train station. These accommodations are not in the city center close to the big draws. However, they work really well as a homebase to string together some day trips. Think Sienna, Pisa, and Montepulciano as a good example.

Sometimes, you may wind up in an agriturismo that is not geared toward your tastes and you need to be careful as you choose but considering the amazing amount of choices, you are bound to run into one that feel like a good fit.

Agriturismos follow a lot of rules and may not be able to provide everything you need be prepared for that. For example, the Tuscan area will not serve a Coke Zero but will offer you a local fizzy beverage in place of that. 

rows of green plants

Regardless of the area you want to explore, an agriturismo could be the very thing that you are looking for! There isn’t better service in Italy than an agriturismo!