Did You Know That You Can Actually Stay At A Farm In Italy?

Did You Know That You Can Actually Stay At A Farm In Italy?
Spring Landscape in Tuscany , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A stay in a working farm where cows moo and cocks crow at the crack of dawn; or in the home of a vintner, overlooking a vineyard, or in the manor of an olive grower; a countryside cottage in the hills or a beach house where the pounding of the waves is akin to an unchained melody…

Gustasp and Jeroo Irani
July 24 , 2019
07 Min Read

These are the new bolt holes for responsible travellers, who revel in the simplicity and authenticity of staying with a local family, relishing wholesome local cuisine and wines, and peeping into a world so unlike theirs. Accommodation can range from the simple to the luxurious but tends to be atmospheric with low, wood-beamed ceilings, stone archways and commands marvel­lous views. If you wish, you can even take part in the farming operations —picking, preparing and eating the produce—go horseback riding or take a cooking class or two. We mention below some of the idyllic regions where agritourism is an ideal option for the traveller looking for something different.

Umbria
Cosy places in Umbria

Umbria is the fecund fertile heart of Italy where agritourism is catching on. Beyond Assisi and Perugia, Umbria has a wild core with woodlands watered by streams and rivers, and a cuisine that incorporates seasonal produce like truffles, mushrooms and wild asparagus.

Emilia-Romagna
Clear skies at Emilia-Romanga

Emilia-Romagna with Bologna as its capital is another hot spot for farm stays in stone houses set amid rolling hills. This region is a magnet for culinary tourism and farm stays. Get inducted into the gastronomy of Emilia-Romagna; chop and stir with the owner-chef in his fragrant kitchen as he creates gastronomic marvels from his grandmother’s recipes.

Campania
The beauty of Campania

Campania’s tourist honeypots like Naples, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ischia… are skirted by a hinterland swathed in the quiet that lovers and honeymooners seek, and dotted with some romantic rural havens. A farmhouse in the Cilento national park, anyone? Or in a hilltop estate? Perhaps in romantic Sorrento?

Sicily
A market in Sicily

Sicily’s hard, rugged topography is softened by the elusive perfume of orange and lemon groves. Farming and fishing have been the mainstays of the economy here for thousands of years. Stay in a 19th century farmhouse, the home of a noble, a baglio (Italian for farmstead), shaded by centuries-old pines, where farmyard animals roam… Seafood is one of Sicily’s main draws and wholesome dishes are culled from age-old recipes.

Puglia
Colourful landscape in Puglia

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy, is the jealously guarded getaway of the Italians with charming towns like Lecce and the coast with its beaches that flutter like white ribbons along the sea. In its countryside, dotted with olive groves, masserias or large fortified farmhouses or country estates are known for their hospitality, organic produce and gorgeous surrounds.

Tuscany
Sunset at a vineyard in Tuscany

Tuscany, it is believed, was where the agritourism concept was birthed in Italy. In its alluring country side, the doors of red-tiled roof cottages were thrown open to the wayfarer in search of calm. Soon, Italy’s agriturismo system, a network of approved farm stays, got underway. Chianti near Florence has farmhouses on the edge of its famous vineyards; there’s also medieval Siena, and Volterra and Val d’Orcia with soft landscapes and the sun glancing off red-tiled roofs.

DID YOU KNOW?

OLIVE LOVE
The health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil are legendary but there are wannabes and imposters posing as the real McCoy in supermarkets. The real deal is available at agritourism farm stays. Opt for one located in an olive-growing area where the owner makes the oil from hundred percent cold-pressed olives or try and smoke out small artisanal shops, or buy from reputed stores such as Eataly and Volpetti.

These are the new bolt holes for responsible travellers, who revel in the simplicity and authenticity of staying with a local family, relishing wholesome local cuisine and wines, and peeping into a world so unlike theirs. Accommodation can range from the simple to the luxurious but tends to be atmospheric with low, wood-beamed ceilings, stone archways and commands marvel­lous views. If you wish, you can even take part in the farming operations —picking, preparing and eating the produce—go horseback riding or take a cooking class or two. We mention below some of the idyllic regions where agritourism is an ideal option for the traveller looking for something different.

Umbria

Umbria is the fecund fertile heart of Italy where agritourism is catching on. Beyond Assisi and Perugia, Umbria has a wild core with woodlands watered by streams and rivers, and a cuisine that incorporates seasonal produce like truffles, mushrooms and wild asparagus.

Emilia-Romagna

Emilia-Romagna with Bologna as its capital is another hot spot for farm stays in stone houses set amid rolling hills. This region is a magnet for culinary tourism and farm stays. Get inducted into the gastronomy of Emilia-Romagna; chop and stir with the owner-chef in his fragrant kitchen as he creates gastronomic marvels from his grandmother’s recipes.

Campania

Campania’s tourist honeypots like Naples, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Ischia… are skirted by a hinterland swathed in the quiet that lovers and honeymooners seek, and dotted with some romantic rural havens. A farmhouse in the Cilento national park, anyone? Or in a hilltop estate? Perhaps in romantic Sorrento?

Sicily

Sicily’s hard, rugged topography is softened by the elusive perfume of orange and lemon groves. Farming and fishing have been the mainstays of the economy here for thousands of years. Stay in a 19th century farmhouse, the home of a noble, a baglio (Italian for farmstead), shaded by centuries-old pines, where farmyard animals roam… Seafood is one of Sicily’s main draws and wholesome dishes are culled from age-old recipes.

Puglia

Puglia, located in the heel of Italy, is the jealously guarded getaway of the Italians with charming towns like Lecce and the coast with its beaches that flutter like white ribbons along the sea. In its countryside, dotted with olive groves, masserias or large fortified farmhouses or country estates are known for their hospitality, organic produce and gorgeous surrounds.

Tuscany

Tuscany, it is believed, was where the agritourism concept was birthed in Italy. In its alluring country side, the doors of red-tiled roof cottages were thrown open to the wayfarer in search of calm. Soon, Italy’s agriturismo system, a network of approved farm stays, got underway. Chianti near Florence has farmhouses on the edge of its famous vineyards; there’s also medieval Siena, and Volterra and Val d’Orcia with soft landscapes and the sun glancing off red-tiled roofs.

DID YOU KNOW?

OLIVE LOVE
The health benefits of extra-virgin olive oil are legendary but there are wannabes and imposters posing as the real McCoy in supermarkets. The real deal is available at agritourism farm stays. Opt for one located in an olive-growing area where the owner makes the oil from hundred percent cold-pressed olives or try and smoke out small artisanal shops, or buy from reputed stores such as Eataly and Volpetti.

 


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