The term agriturismo, in its most basic definition, refers to combining agricoltura and turismo (agriculture and tourism). In other words a working farm that offers accommodations to guests. Farms in Italy are recognized for producing wine, olive oil, meat, cheese, Saffron, Rice, Lemons and many more. Although agriturismo is neither a new concept nor a solely Italian practice, Italy has perfected the experience so that guests are immersed in the customs and traditions of Italian farm culture.
Farms in Italy are far different than the types of farms we in the U.S. are accustomed to seeing. The traditional Italian farm was once a place where the farmer grew all he needed to sustain his family. If there was excess, it was sold for spending money. The typical farm in Italy remains 25 acres or less, unlike the American farms that grow hundreds of acres of crops or many head of cattle or livestock.
A Way to Preserve Rural Italy
The practice of agriturismo began as many people in small towns across Italy abandoned their rural life for more modern day opportunities. Large farmhouses, built to house generations of family members emptied out to just a single family.
In 1985, in an effort to breathe new life into these agricultural homesteads, the Italian government officially recognized the concept of agriturismo. This new practice began to revitalize flailing family farms and bring in much-needed income.
Agriturismo has another benefit as well. It allows for the preservation of a way of life that was all-but disappearing 50 years ago. Family farms, rural landscapes, farmhouses and entire communities benefit from agriturismo in Italy.
Today there are around 17,000 agriturismi across the country, the majority of which are family owned. There are many options available depending on your desired level of accommodation. You can find agriturismo that are the pinnacle of luxury, or something a bit more rustic. Rest assured your comfort is first on the priority list, no matter the standard of agriturismo you select. You’ll have a chance to dine on very local farm-to-table food and wine, and you may be invited to take part in some of the meal preparation.
By staying at an agriturismo in Italy you have the unique opportunity to experience rural Italian life that’s rich in culture and authenticity. You’ll spend time getting to know your hosts, the community and farm life as the Italians do it. And you’re doing good! You’re allowing your hosts to preserve a lifestyle that likely goes back generations.
Why Stay at An Agriturismo?
There may be some planned activities or you may opt to choose your own pursuit. Take in the gorgeous views, sip a glass of wine beneath a virtual blanket of stars, hear the sounds of nature, the lowing of a cow, the rustle of the leaves in the breeze and lively birdsong.
Witness a beautiful Italian sunrise and the promise of a day ahead that’s un giorno perfetto.
Agriturismo is so much more than simply combining tourism with agriculture. It’s more than a farm B&B. Agriturismo is the gift of slowing down, relaxing, and realizing how precious and beautiful tradition and culture can be and why we need to preserve this particular lifestyle.