If you are planning a trip to Italy and looking for accommodation, you will probably come across the word "agriturismo".
Agriturismo matches the Italian words for ”agriculture" and "tourism" and means something like “farmhouse”.
Agriturismo in Italy isn’t just a way to experience a holiday or an unconventional lifestyle, but it’s more a one-of-a-kind experience.
In Italy, agriturismi (the Italian plural for agriturismo) are the perfect accommodation for both families and couples looking for a romantic trip. Ideal for having a break from the city and its stressful chaos.
Despite the traditional and rural name, many of the Italian agriturismi are designed for welcoming foreign tourists looking for a holiday in the Italian countryside, but with luxury facilities.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, traditional small-scale agriculture in Italy became less and less profitable and farmers left their farmhouses searching for a job in the big cities. However, agricultural traditions are of great significance to the Italians, mostly appreciated for the small-scale production of food such as cheese, wine and olives.
In 1985 Italian lawmakers issued an official definition for the agriturismo, which includes the renovation of many abandoned buildings and rural properties.
Some of these buildings have been turned into holiday homes and some others have been converted into agriturismi offering the tourists an exclusive experience, rustic yet elegant and perfectly integrated with the surrounding environment: vineyards, olive trees, typical and unique Italian products.
After the agricultural exodus of the '50s -‘ 70s even Montalto had no people to carry out activities.
So the members of the Palmieri Family, especially Princess Sobilia Palmieri Carafa di Roccella and her sister Countess Vittoria Palmieri Forquet, gave up the castle to their cousin Giovanni Coda Nunziante, who was a professor of agricultural economics in Naples merging the agricultural activity to the renovation of abandoned buildings, restaurants, holiday homes. Today this gorgeous estate stands out for its organic farming and for the beautiful agriturismo.
The current agricultural estate is organic certified and includes an area of 270 hectares, about 650 acres: two-thirds of them are woods, the rest is cultivated. The annual crops include wheat, sunflowers, alfalfa, canola and others, depending on the year. A part of the land is planted in olive groves. The lands of Montalto are also used for honey production by local beekeepers.
Italian farmhouses usually serve guests with food prepared with homemade products or from other local farmers, yummy menus of local delicacies made by local cook.
Some agriturismi allow guests to spend time with the animals and participate in the activities, such as picking vegetables.
Because of the rural nature of the accommodation, one might expect a rustic bed and breakfast, however many farm-stays are high-end and offer luxury services like pools and many other comforts as 5-star hotels do. Generally accommodations range from single rooms with rustic decor and shared bathrooms to ultra-deluxe suites or apartments with many exclusive benefits.
The agriturismo system which the Italian government wagered, showed a real advantage for farmers who could no longer rely solely on the income production of their farms.
At least one million tourists visit Italy every year to enjoy the delightful countryside in agriturismi.
Although the rural population in Italy has decreased since the end of the Second World War, the agriturismo system gave new life to some areas of the country where few other options for the new industry were available.
Farmhouses are so popular that there are also sub-categories of accommodation. For those who are looking for a 100% green holiday, many farms offer ecotourism alternatives completely surrounded by nature. Tourists wanting to relax and unwind can experience a wellness farm experience on farmstays that offer exclusive services such as spa treatments.
You might choose a holiday accommodation that includes horse riding, climbing, walking, tennis and other sports and activities. If you are interested in food farmstays that also allows you to make tastings and guided tours in the surrounding areas are available.
If you are considering taking your holidays on an agriturismo Tuscany then you’ll find a whole range of opportunities. Anyway, wherever you are looking around Siena, Florence, San Gimignano or in the Chianti hills, always make sure of the quality of the services, checking on the website or the Facebook page. Whatever farmhouse you choose, consider this: you will experience a journey into Italian history and culture that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Montalto Castle is a charming agriturismo, located in a strategic position from which quickly reach Siena, Florence, San Gimignano. The Montalto Castle offers its customers a unique atmosphere in a real Italian castle full of history. Relax and unwind yourself enjoying the beautiful landscape, or the coziness of the villas or have great time enjoying exciting activities such as: practical cooking classes learning to prepare a great Italian meal, Italian courses and painting workshops, walks and bike rides, chamber music concerts, choral singing workshops, horse riding or dressage lessons. Visit the villages, abbeys, museums, churches, archaeological sites nearby the Castle. Or try wellness treatments in thermal pools.
The Montalto Castle offers wine and cheese tasting in the local cellars or during the village festivals, restaurants and trattorias for all tastes. The local wines available are internationally known as there are some of the world's most famous wine producers there.
If you want to book your holiday in an exclusive agriturismo in Tuscany, don’t miss our webpage about the villas of the Montalto Castle and pick the one that suits you best, aware of tasting the true Italian history.