Agriturismo Vacations in Tuscany
Tuscany has become a very popular holiday destination in recent years, but with an ever increasing number of tourists descending on the region, it can be difficult to find a way of getting a genuine Tuscan holiday experience. One of the best ways of doing this is by going on an Agriturismo Vacation.
What is Agriturismo?
The word “Agriturismo” is a combination of agriculture and tourism. The concept is that people who run working farms offer accommodation to visitors.
This accommodation can be a room within the farmhouse on a bed and breakfast basis, an apartment attached to the main family home, or even a completely separate house. The term Agriturismo is legally protected in Tuscany so booking a vacation in this type of property guarantees you the authentic experience on an Italian farm.
In the Tuscany region, this generally means staying on a vineyard or olive producing farm.
Benefits of Agriturismo
An Agriturismo vacation guarantees you an authentic Italian experience. It is however a completely different experience from staying in a hotel or even a villa, and the standards of accommodation can vary dramatically between different establishments.
Some of the accommodations are basic but clean, other accommodations are more luxurious. Some Agriturismo accommodation even come with a swimming pool and other luxury touches.
The benefit though is the price as staying in an Agriturismo is often far cheaper than a hotel, bed and breakfast or even in other types of self -catering accommodations.
Although most Agriturismo vacations are on a self-catering basis, most will offer the option of having meals made for you by the owners of the farm. This guarantees you a tasty, well-cooked meal at a fraction of what you would pay for it in a restaurant.
Some farmers will even happily welcome you into their kitchen to watch them cook, or give you basic instructions on how to make traditional Italian fare.
The other major benefit of an Agriturismo vacation is being able to get involved in the day to day running of the farm. How much visitors will be able to do will depend on the individual farmers and the time of year when you are visiting, but most farmers who have signed up to the Agriturismo scheme have done so because they are passionate about what they do and want to share this with visitors.
And what better way to learn the winemaker’s craft or the history of olive oil making than direct from someone involved in the industry? Getting to know the locals will also give a far better insight into the way of life than just going round the main tourist sites, and it will also improve your language skills.
Disadvantages of Agriturismo
Disadvantages of this type of vacation are few, but there can be quite a wide range of quality of accommodation and facilities provided. It is therefore important to do your homework and research the different places rather than just booking the first Agriturismo you come across.
Morag Peers the author of the “Agriturismo Vacations in Tuscany” is an avid traveler who regularly writes on topics like eco tourism and green travel.