What is an agriturismo?

First of all what exactly means  this word?

We take the etymology  agritourism – What is an agriturismo?
The word agriturismo is a combination of the Italian words agricoltura (agriculture) and turismo (tourism). An agriturismo is effectively a farm designed to also receive guests, whether for food (lunch and dinner), holiday accommodation, or a combination of the two.
The term refers to farms in Italy only, although other countries and languages have created their own word for a similar concept.
A vacation in agriturismo is very popular for Italians and after the pandemic is even more.

What are the origins of the agriturismo?

Traditionally, an Italian farm was a place where a farmer grew everything he needed to live and perhaps a little extra to sell at the market for some extra spending money. In Italy, an old farm may contain no more than 25 acres.

As these tiny Italian farms proceeded into modern times, they couldn’t make ends meet. Many farmers were forced to abandon their homes and move to the city to look for sustainable work. This happen in this amazing corner of Tuscany too!

So 1985, the Italian government officially recognized the concept of the “agriturismo.”
The idea of agriturismo was to support small farmers that were, and still are, struggling to keep up. The agricultural activities today do not generate as much income as in previous generations, so by adding a tourism component, these farms can remain operational. As such, they preserve the landscape, farmhouses and local communities, and in this way agriturismo is a very sustainable form of tourism.
Agriturismo in Tuscany

Finding the Perfect Agriturismo for You

The only downside to agriturismi is that most of them do not spend much money  on advertising.
Many do not even have websites or very old one – not time and money to invest
Agriturisimi play a prominent role on some of our tours, first of all our signature trip  cycling and cooking in Tuscany.  The success of this focused food and wine bike tour is largely due to the agriturismo palazzi del papa and the authentic experience.
In Fact when you stay at  agriturismo, you have a chance to meet  and deal with locals and see and experience farm life up close.
We include one night in Agriturismo also in other of our self guided bike tour, one is  Sardinia Costa Smeralda, Agriturismo l’Agnata

What is the difference between hotel and agriturismo?

There are many agriturismi in Italy, in each regions,  – about 25.00-   mostly  all of them are family-run, and the owners often dedicate time to agricultural activities.
Anyway do not think  that an agriturismo offers only rustic accommodations, many agriturismi offer luxurious lodging. Even if charming and comfortable, with infinity pool in Agriturismo no  concierge, 24-hour reception, room service, late dinner, BUT great Italian hospitality

So lodging in Agriturismo could be a very good value for the money but also  Value in Doing Good. Because you are giving something back: your visit allows the farmers to preserve the landscape, farmhouse, and the local community.

Giuliana Mulas
March 2023

Agriturismo (ag’ – rē – tü – rē’ smō) / noun / Italian / any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm.