Farmstays in Italy - agriturismo.it

Old Jan 30, 17, 3:53 am
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Farmstays in Italy - agriturismo.it

When I was visiting Italy last year, I was doing research about hotel/airbnb and various lodging options. During my research I found that Italian government encourage farms to rent out their empty guest houses in exchange for tax deduction. Many of the farms are operational working farms, and some of the places have olive trees, animals, and great breakfast with food from the farm, naturally I was very intrigued.

I did more research and end up liking http://www.agriturismo.it/en/ as the website of choice for the following reasons
-website has an English version
-reviews of properties! Comment from previous guest
-No booking fee, properties pay to be listed
-a form to email the host, that's right no booking fees! You pay once you get there
-a map based search function. Due to limited time we have to choose hotels closer to Venice and Florence, so I was only considering farms that's about an hour from these cities.

I highly recommend staying with a farm in Italy! There were some very beautiful places in the Tuscany that we didn't end up staying at, but would definitely want to try next time. Depending on your preference they can go from pretty basic to pretty fancy. You can get a room for 60-100 Euro for two with breakfast, and dinner can often be added for 15-20 Euros a person including wine. Several Agriturismo offer wine made from estate grapes. We were very surprised by the wine offering since the Agriturismo we stayed at literally had three rows of grapes )) They said they have pigs in the winter and we got very tasty ham with breakfast. Often farms might also have fresh butter, jam, juice etc depending on what the farm produces.

If you are curious to take a look at offerings around Florence: http://www.agriturismo.it/en/map_view/tuscany/florence
Notice that the rate can be per accommodation(meaning per room) or per person. Usually you can add extra $$ for breakfast /dinner as you desire. Try it out as you can! It's quite the experience

A few potential thing to be mindful of:
-the Inn keeper are usually the grandma who speaks only Italian, their daughter/son are usually the ones helping out who speaks English, handles reservation etc. It can take them a day or so to respond to email
-they are professional, the rooms are clean, and we got our breakfast on the time they said it will be served, so no Italian timing there.
-Animals do smell just a little bit, if you are staying at a working farm, be mindful of it, I enjoyed seeing cows and the other animals they keep on the farm though.
-It helps to have a rental car, as some of these places can be harder to get to by public transport. Car rental is not too expensive in Italy, although the toll is for driving, so I do recommend going slower and spending your time in a smaller area. Nothing wrong with a week touring Tuscany ))
-It helps to let them know what time approximately you will be arriving so they will wait outside for confused looking foreigners. If you are wanting to order dinner let your host know ahead of time too so they can cook it /make sure they have enough ingredient etc.
-Download google maps on your phone ahead of time, this is very handy in case you get lost.
-It actually wasn't hard to find both Agriturismos, the directions were fairly straight forward from google maps. We did have to drive on country road but they are mostly well paved.

Feel free to ask any questions, just want to suggest lodging options that are not only beautiful, but shows the real Italian farm life! It makes me a bit sad that both of the Agriturismos were quite empty(we were the only guest) during early June, while tourist hotels in Venice and Florence were fully packed. I would say this is closer to country side bed and breakfast, and I hope some of you stay at an Agriturismo next time you are in Italy!
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Old Jan 30, 17, 12:49 pm
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cool! How do you get around? Do you need a car?
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Old Jan 30, 17, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by travelbarefeet View Post
cool! How do you get around? Do you need a car?
Yeah I would suggest renting a car, Italian countryside is very beautiful If you have been to the bigger cities it can be a nice second trip to do a car trip to see more of the countryside ))

We drove into Florence, parked in the suburb and then walked into city center. For Venice we drove to a train station and took the train in, very relaxing actually!
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Old Jan 30, 17, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by justaagirl View Post
Yeah I would suggest renting a car, Italian countryside is very beautiful If you have been to the bigger cities it can be a nice second trip to do a car trip to see more of the countryside ))

We drove into Florence, parked in the suburb and then walked into city center. For Venice we drove to a train station and took the train in, very relaxing actually!
Sounds awesome! Thanks.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 2:32 am
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Most of these are actually also bookable via Booking.com, but you won't find many on Expedia or Hotels.com. I stay at Agriturismos for over 20 nights a year in Italy and vastly prefer them to most Italian 3-4 star hotels. Most of my travels take me to the smaller cities/towns in Italy.
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Old Mar 4, 17, 11:47 pm
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Sadly the places on this site are also over priced.
With the "Crisis" independent hotels are much better deals in Italy.
Agriturismos have always been a bit over priced for the rural markets they serve.
At lease since the introduction of the Euro and even before in comparison to the places available in the Gite system in France. Most Gites do not include breakfast.
In Italy, These were not aimed at the domestic market but the intention was always to price them higher for foreign, esp American and UK tourists.
Also having to live with the breakfasts time tables of hosts take some charm out of relaxing country stays. At least in most hotels the crappy if just acceptable Breakfast could always be skipped, here it could be an insult requiring a bit of drama as all such things involving personal interaction .....

Last edited by frank_10b; Mar 5, 17 at 12:16 am
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Old Sep 5, 17, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by frank_10b View Post
Sadly the places on this site are also over priced.
With the "Crisis" independent hotels are much better deals in Italy.
Can you recommend a source to find farmstays that are not overpriced? Or independent hotels for that matter?

I like the idea of doing a farmstay, so would love any recommendations for less overpriced sources.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 10, 17, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
Can you recommend a source to find farmstays that are not overpriced? Or independent hotels for that matter?

I like the idea of doing a farmstay, so would love any recommendations for less overpriced sources.

Thanks!
Search through Hotels.com and you will find some farms or places in a farming community. They are usually not very close to cities, though, and I often wonder what exactly the guests do when they are there visiting. As a farm owner, I'd say you might find it more interesting to book a tour such as olive oil making, beer production, cheese making, a tour of the vineyards, truffle hunting, or something along those lines, since actual "feed the cows and muck the stalls," pruning or picking hundreds or thousands of plants, or checking the irrigation lines for breaks or clogs, isn't all that interesting.

If they are catering to "agritourism," then what exactly are they offering you? A fresh picked/gathered breakfast or meal? The opportunity to lend a hand? A narrative of the work they do while you tag along? I'd be very careful with paying extra for that, since it's not that hard to come by once you leave the city areas anyway.

I took a quick look on Booking.com and see quite a few in the less than $100 a night, breakfast included, with the word "agriturismo" in the title. We did a fantastic drive trip through rural Sienna and other areas. We stayed out in the countryside at many places in the farming areas, including at a cool B & B that was a castle (Castello Nagy) for about $40 a night including breakfast. We stayed in the former Vicar's quarters and it was one of my most memorable stays ever.

Here's an interesting looking one, on a farm, in the gorgeous countryside, with free truffle hunting, available horseback riding, etc, 5 star rating on Trip Advisor, and $87 a night on Booking.com http://www.diacceroni.com/en/
And a link to the rave reviews: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...a_Tuscany.html
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Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Sep 10, 17 at 10:02 am Reason: Had lots more to say...
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