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Can anyone recommend an agroturismo?

Can anyone recommend an agroturismo?

Old Sep 25, 17, 7:40 pm
  #1  
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Can anyone recommend an agroturismo?

No particular region (Ok, maybe North). Never stayed at an agro, but hear amazing things.
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Old Sep 26, 17, 12:35 am
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You are going to have to narrow it down a bit. Italy and Japan are about the same size. This is like asking, "What country Inn (Ryokan) should I stay at in Japan?"

Do some research. When you figure out where you want to go, ask for some feedback.

Last edited by Perche; Sep 26, 17 at 1:45 am
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Old Sep 26, 17, 6:05 am
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This might be a helpful site:

https://www.wwoof.it/en/

Another:
https://www.agriturismo.it/en/
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Old Sep 26, 17, 7:18 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post
This might be a helpful site:

https://www.wwoof.it/en/

Another:
https://www.agriturismo.it/en/
Thank you!
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Old Sep 26, 17, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post
This might be a helpful site:

https://www.wwoof.it/en/

Another:
https://www.agriturismo.it/en/
Have you actually done this? Beware. The first website you listed I would not recommend. There are programs that make you think you are going on a trip to "volunteer" to take care of the elephants in India, or cheetahs in Africa. It's not volunteering for anything. It's just another way to market a trip.

WWOOF is supposed to be a World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers, and you go there as a volunteer to help them with the organic farming.

I just signed up to be a host for people who want to help me on my organic farm in Tuscany. I do not own a farm, and I live in San Francisco. To be a host it just asked for my first, middle, and last name. I wrote that my first name is, "No," my middle name is, "Lo," and my last name is, "So."

No Lo So means, "I don't know" in Italian.

It asked for a password of at least six characters. I wrote 1234567. It asked for the location of my farm. Even though I said it was in Tuscany, I gave them the address of an island in the South Pacific.

It then asked me four screening questions; 1. Have I ever been convicted of a felony. 2. Am I a sex offender. 3. Have I ever been convicted of a drug related crime. 4. Have I ever been convicted of causing emotional or physical injury to a person.

They didn't do a background check of my answers because as soon as I hit the send button I was accepted as a WWOOF host. It didn't even ask me if I have a certified organic farm, it just said, "Welcome as a WWOOF Host," and asked for my credit card information for the $50 annual dues to be listed on their website as a host. Of course, that's where I stopped.

It's like people who pay $500 a day to "volunteer" in Africa and and spend a few hours a day cleaning the the doo-doo from the barns of captive elephants, and throwing pieces of horse meat to lions in cages, thinking they are actually volunteering to help the animals in Africa. It's a smart marketing tool.

After passing screening to host people on my non-existent organic farm, I checked what it would be like to be a customer instead, wanting to volunteer on a WWOOF organic farm in Tuscany. They offered me the name of a place for 268 euros per day, but said I could only stay there it if I send in my credit card info to pay the $50 annual "donation" to become a WWOOF volunteer. So I checked the place on TripAdvisor and it's a regular B&B listed at the same price. And I wouldn't have to do things like pulling weeds to make me feel like I'm a volunteer, I could just go outside and sit by the pool all day.

So I changed my mind and wrote on their website that I wanted to volunteer on an organic farm in Albania, and it was the same spiel. In other words, these are just regular rentals, using supposed organic farming as a marketing tool. It even says on their website that if you have an organic farm in a country that doesn't have a WWOOF Office, you can, "be an independent WWOOFER," just send in the fifty dollar donation to be listed on our website as a WWOOFER host. No one inspects them to see what the place actually does. It is like Viator, or Craig's List. It's just a website for people to pay to sell their stuff on a website.

It's an AirBnb alternative with a different marketing scheme. You can pat yourself on the back by telling yourself that you are contributing to organic farming, while paying $300-500 per day to spend a few hours a day pulling weeds. The owner might let you ride around on a tractor, while pointing out a few things about the plants.

I believe that some people have been connected to well meaning "hosts" and spread some fertilizer, and listened to someone speak about organic farming for an hour before being sent out to mow the lawn, and had a good experience, but this is not agriturismo in Italy, it is just another way to market a hotel, a B&B, or a spare room.

You can actually stay at a real farm and help harvest olives to make olive oil, or to harvest or take care of grapes for winemaking, and do lots of great things, but you can't just trust a website like WWOOOF that says it can set you up to work next week at an organic farm in Zimbabwe, Togo, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, or Bulgaria.

Although one cannot stay at the place in the website below, there are many farms like this that OP could be looking for. They are abundant in Italy. People will not do other people's research from scratch, they can only help. This is not a travel agency that does trip planning. OP needs to figure out where he wants to go, select some places to stay and how to get there, and people will offer opinions to help him stay on track. http://www.mozzarellamamma.com/2016/...man-winemaker/

Last edited by Perche; Sep 26, 17 at 10:52 pm
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Old Sep 26, 17, 1:53 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
Have you actually done this? Beware. The first website you listed I would not recommend. There are programs that make you think you are going on a trip to "volunteer" to take care of the elephants in India, or cheetahs in Africa. It's not volunteering for anything. It's just another way to market a trip.

WWOOF is supposed to be a World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers, and you go there as a volunteer to help them with the organic farming.

I just signed up to be a host for people who want to help me on my organic farm in Tuscany. I do not own a farm, and I live in San Francisco. To be a host it just asked for my first, middle, and last name. I wrote that my first name is, "No," my middle name is, "Lo," and my last name is, "So."

No Lo So means, "I don't know" in Italian.

It asked for a password of at least six characters. I wrote 1234567. It asked for the location of my farm. Even though I said it was in Tuscany, I gave them the address of an island in the South Pacific.

It then asked me four screening questions; 1. Have I ever been convicted of a felony. 2. Am I a sex offender. 3. Have I ever been convicted of a drug related crime. 4. Have I ever been convicted of causing emotional or physical injury to a person.

They didn't do a background check of my answers because as soon as I hit the send button I was accepted as a WWOOF host. It didn't even ask me if I have a certified organic farm, it just said, "Welcome as a WWOOF Host," and asked for my credit card information for the $50 annual dues to be listed on their website as a host. Of course, that's where I stopped.

It's like people who pay $500 a day to "volunteer" in Africa and and spend a few hours a day cleaning the the doo-doo from the barns of captive elephants, and throwing pieces of horse meat to lions in cages, thinking they are actually volunteering to help the animals in Africa. It's a smart marketing tool.

After passing screening to host people on my non-existent organic farm, I checked what it would be like to be a customer instead, wanting to volunteer on a WWOOF organic farm in Tuscany. They offered me the name of a place for 268 euros per day, but said I could only stay there it if I send in my credit card info to pay the $50 annual "donation" to become a WWOOF volunteer. So I checked the place on TripAdvisor and it's a regular B&B listed at the same price. And I wouldn't have to do things like pulling weeds to make me feel like I'm a volunteer, I could just go outside and sit by the pool all day.

So I changed my mind and wrote on their website that I wanted to volunteer on an organic farm in Albania, and it was the same spiel. In other words, these are just regular rentals, using supposed organic farming as a marketing tool. It even says on their website that if you have an organic farm in a country that doesn't have a WWOOF Office, you can, "be an independent WWOOFER," just send in the fifty dollar donation to be listed on our website as a WWOOFER host. No one inspects them to see what the place actually does. It is like Viator, or Craig's List. It's just a website for people to pay to sell their stuff on a website.

It's an AirBnb alternative with a different marketing scheme. You can pat yourself on the back by telling yourself that you are contributing to organic farming, while paying $300-500 per day to spend a few hours a day pulling weeds. The owner might let you ride around on a tractor, while pointing out a few things about the plants.

I believe that some people have been connected to well meaning "hosts" and spread some fertilizer, and listened to someone speak about organic farming for an hour before being sent out to mow the lawn, and had a good experience, but this is not agriturismo in Italy, it is just another way to market a hotel, a B&B, or a spare room.

You can actually stay at a real farm and help harvest olives to make olive oil, or to harvest or take care of grapes for winemaking, and do lots of great things, but you can't just trust a website like WWOOOF that says it can set you up to work next week at an organic farm in Zimbabwe, Togo, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, or Belarus, or Bulgaria.

Although you cannot stay at the place in the website below, there are many farms like this that you should be looking for. They are abundant in Italy. People will not do your research from scratch, they can only help. This Forum is not a travel agency that does trip planning. Figure out where you want to go, select some places to stay and how to get there, and people will offer opinions to help you stay on track. http://www.mozzarellamamma.com/2016/...man-winemaker/
I have googled around for Agriturismos. Definitely not my first rodeo. I respect the opinions of FT members and perhaps one or more of them have stayed at an agriturismo in Italy and could recommend it. Like I said, I do not have a particular region in mind and like you said, there are numerous. So past experiences help to point me in the right direction.
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Old Sep 26, 17, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
Have you actually done this? Beware. The first website you listed I would not recommend. There are programs that make you think you are going on a trip to "volunteer" to take care of the elephants in India, or cheetahs in Africa. It's not volunteering for anything. It's just another way to market a trip.

WWOOF is supposed to be a World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers, and you go there as a volunteer to help them with the organic farming.

I just signed up to be a host for people who want to help me on my organic farm in Tuscany. I do not own a farm, and I live in San Francisco. To be a host it just asked for my first, middle, and last name. I wrote that my first name is, "No," my middle name is, "Lo," and my last name is, "So."

No Lo So means, "I don't know" in Italian.

It asked for a password of at least six characters. I wrote 1234567. It asked for the location of my farm. Even though I said it was in Tuscany, I gave them the address of an island in the South Pacific.

It then asked me four screening questions; 1. Have I ever been convicted of a felony. 2. Am I a sex offender. 3. Have I ever been convicted of a drug related crime. 4. Have I ever been convicted of causing emotional or physical injury to a person.

They didn't do a background check of my answers because as soon as I hit the send button I was accepted as a WWOOF host. It didn't even ask me if I have a certified organic farm, it just said, "Welcome as a WWOOF Host," and asked for my credit card information for the $50 annual dues to be listed on their website as a host. Of course, that's where I stopped.

It's like people who pay $500 a day to "volunteer" in Africa and and spend a few hours a day cleaning the the doo-doo from the barns of captive elephants, and throwing pieces of horse meat to lions in cages, thinking they are actually volunteering to help the animals in Africa. It's a smart marketing tool.

After passing screening to host people on my non-existent organic farm, I checked what it would be like to be a customer instead, wanting to volunteer on a WWOOF organic farm in Tuscany. They offered me the name of a place for 268 euros per day, but said I could only stay there it if I send in my credit card info to pay the $50 annual "donation" to become a WWOOF volunteer. So I checked the place on TripAdvisor and it's a regular B&B listed at the same price. And I wouldn't have to do things like pulling weeds to make me feel like I'm a volunteer, I could just go outside and sit by the pool all day.

So I changed my mind and wrote on their website that I wanted to volunteer on an organic farm in Albania, and it was the same spiel. In other words, these are just regular rentals, using supposed organic farming as a marketing tool. It even says on their website that if you have an organic farm in a country that doesn't have a WWOOF Office, you can, "be an independent WWOOFER," just send in the fifty dollar donation to be listed on our website as a WWOOFER host. No one inspects them to see what the place actually does. It is like Viator, or Craig's List. It's just a website for people to pay to sell their stuff on a website.

It's an AirBnb alternative with a different marketing scheme. You can pat yourself on the back by telling yourself that you are contributing to organic farming, while paying $300-500 per day to spend a few hours a day pulling weeds. The owner might let you ride around on a tractor, while pointing out a few things about the plants.

I believe that some people have been connected to well meaning "hosts" and spread some fertilizer, and listened to someone speak about organic farming for an hour before being sent out to mow the lawn, and had a good experience, but this is not agriturismo in Italy, it is just another way to market a hotel, a B&B, or a spare room.

You can actually stay at a real farm and help harvest olives to make olive oil, or to harvest or take care of grapes for winemaking, and do lots of great things, but you can't just trust a website like WWOOOF that says it can set you up to work next week at an organic farm in Zimbabwe, Togo, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, or Belarus, or Bulgaria.

Although you cannot stay at the place in the website below, there are many farms like this that you should be looking for. They are abundant in Italy. People will not do your research from scratch, they can only help. This Forum is not a travel agency that does trip planning. Figure out where you want to go, select some places to stay and how to get there, and people will offer opinions to help you stay on track. http://www.mozzarellamamma.com/2016/...man-winemaker/
I have not done either of these. I had looked at the WWOOF site years ago. I don't know what the OP has in mind - does he/she want to get their hands dirty and really do manual labor? Maybe... The 2nd site I just found by googling. I found a different site that was marketed as an agriturismo but it looked like a B&B. I may just give some ideas to the OP to come back with an area they like and how involved they want to be.

When I go back to Italy, I'll have to get your recommendations on where I can pick olives or grapes! It'll probably be the Venice area since I haven't been there yet and that's next on my list.
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Old Sep 26, 17, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by sophiesophie View Post
I have not done either of these. I had looked at the WWOOF site years ago. I don't know what the OP has in mind - does he/she want to get their hands dirty and really do manual labor? Maybe... The 2nd site I just found by googling. I found a different site that was marketed as an agriturismo but it looked like a B&B. I may just give some ideas to the OP to come back with an area they like and how involved they want to be.

When I go back to Italy, I'll have to get your recommendations on where I can pick olives or grapes! It'll probably be the Venice area since I haven't been there yet and that's next on my list.
That sounds great! I hope you get to go back soon!

When someone makes a vague post like, "I'm going to Italy, please plan my trip for me," it hard to answer because it is asking people to do work they could do themselves. If the person hasn't even narrowed down where they want to go, it's not really possible to be of help.

Unfortunately in Italy, agriturismo usually just means staying at a B&B outside of the city, without much agriculture going on, and taking a car back and forth to the city to have something to do. Other agriturismo places are actually nothing but luxury hotels with spas and swimming pools.

Actual small-scale farms exist that one can participate in, but unfortunately in Italy, agriturismo often just means staying at a B&B outside of the city. As you said, it is not clear if the OP wants to stay at a B&B, or they want to get their hands dirty and do farm work for their vacation.

Similar to many things in Italy, when something opens up tourism possibilities, it gets exploited. In the last 20 years every single region in Italy has passed laws to regulate agriturismo, and they vary from region to region. Since there are no agriturismo police, most places just ignore them.

For example, in Tuscany to be a true agriturismo you have to get certified by the CAA and get licensed as a UPI. I'm not going to go into translating that. You must also only serve locally grown Tuscan food in the meals. The only non-Tuscan things allowed would be thing not growable in Tuscany, like chocolate.

You cannot have more than 12 people seated at a time during lunch or dinner. The kitchen must be a residential home, but the person running it must be someone with an IAP license, meaning professional agricultural entrepreneur with a degree in food, wine, or forestry, who then underwent specialized training in food and beverage serving for farm holidays. The place must be in an original building. The owner can update it, but it is against the law to build a new agriturismo.

Just like some things are rated by stars, as in a 3 star restaurant or a 5 star restaurant, or hotel, in Tuscany true agriturismos, (not B&B's claiming to be an agriturismo, like my place in Tuscany located in the South Pacific) have a rating system. They use ears. You can be a one ear agriturismo, but if you are very good, you can be a three ear agriturismo.

And those are just a few of the rules for Tuscany. The rules for every region are different. For example, the area around Venice is much more scrupulous when it comes to food. You can seat 20 people, not 12, but the garbage cans must be the type that you can open with a foot pedal because no one is allowed to touch the garbage can when food is being served.

In Puglia the requirements are almost nil. You just apply to be an agriturismo and pay for the certificate.

Lazio, the region of Rome, has its own rules. For example, you are allowed to have up to 50 beds as long as you have one bathroom for every four people.

Most places don't bother with all of this certification. B&B's outside of the city just call themselves agriturismo.

Since every area of Italy is unique to its own self, the OP needs to start by figuring out where to go, and as you mentioned, describe what he is looking for.

Last edited by Perche; Sep 26, 17 at 11:01 pm
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Old Sep 26, 17, 8:43 pm
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Let me add to Perche's post that several Agriturismo owners have gotten substantial financial help from local governments to start or improve their businesses. I know of several such businesses around Perugia, which then (I think they're allowed to do so after one or two years, or they're doing it illegally) rent their small houses or cabins or whatever they built not to tourists but to people needing a place for periods of several months (e.g. visiting scholars at Universities, etc.). Others really do rent rooms to tourists but their main business is the restaurant that is attached to the 2-3 available rooms, and which was renovated, again using the subsidies from the Regione or the Commune (in reality: EU funds).

At any rate, the Internet is absolutely full (but really, really full) of sites offering agriturismo possibilities. I agree with those who said that one has to do some research before asking for help. The North (as per OP) is so diverse both in terms of nature (Val padana vs. Alps), in terms of food, culture etc., and when one starts comparing to the rest of Italy, one gets lost. And it's not only a matter of taste: also think of the financial aspects. What one considers expensive, is cheap to another...
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Last edited by KLouis; Sep 27, 17 at 6:38 pm
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Old Sep 27, 17, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Let me add to Perche's post that several Agriturismo owners have gotten substantial financial help from local governments to start or improve their businesses. I know of several such businesses around Perugia, which then (I think they're allowed to do so after one or two years, or they're doing it illegally) rent their small houses or cabins or whatever they built not to tourists but to people needing a place for periods of several months (e.g. visiting scholars at Universities, etc.). Others really do rent rooms to tourists but their main business is the restaurant that is attached to the 2-3 available rooms, and which was renovated, again using the subsidies from the Regione or the Commune (in reality: EU funds).

At any rate, the Internet is absolutely full (but really, really full) of sites offering agriturismo possibilities. I agree with those who said that one has to do some research before asking for help. The North (as per OP) is so diverse both in terms of nature (Val padana vs. Alps), in terms of food, culture etc., and when one starts comparing to the rest of Italy, one gets lost. And it's not only a matter of taste: also think of the financial aspects. What one is expensive to one, is cheap to another...
Yes. Since agriturismos in the region around Rome (Lazio) are allowed to have up to 50 beds and 13 bathrooms, itís obvious that you would not be staying on a farm.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 9:50 am
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Alla Madonna del Piatto in Umbria near Assisi. One of the owners. Letizia is a friend of friends. It's an Agriturismo, B&B and there is a small apartment to rent as well. Letizia also offers cooking classes. It's not really a working farm experience, but it's not clear if you want to stay on a farm or work on a farm.
http://incampagna.com/
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Old Oct 1, 17, 11:17 pm
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I know you said any area was okay, so this is in the Tuscany region. http://fattoriapoggioalloro.com/?lang=en/ I have not stayed here, but I have eaten two meals there. Both times they were AMAZING, and everyone was so helpful & friendly that we're planning to book a stay there the next time we're in that part of Italy.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 11:34 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by mromalley View Post
Alla Madonna del Piatto in Umbria near Assisi. One of the owners. Letizia is a friend of friends. It's an Agriturismo, B&B and there is a small apartment to rent as well. Letizia also offers cooking classes. It's not really a working farm experience, but it's not clear if you want to stay on a farm or work on a farm.
http://incampagna.com/
Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
I know you said any area was okay, so this is in the Tuscany region. http://fattoriapoggioalloro.com/?lang=en/ I have not stayed here, but I have eaten two meals there. Both times they were AMAZING, and everyone was so helpful & friendly that we're planning to book a stay there the next time we're in that part of Italy.
Thank you both!
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