Agriturismos in Tuscany and Umbria: 2004
The Tuscan sun is particularly easy to enjoy when bathing in the hospitality of a rural farmhouse. What is your experience staying at Agriturismos in rural Italy? What is your favorite and why?
Agriturismo south of Sienna
we spent 2 weeks at Il Passo degli Ulivi in Tuscany, south of Sienna (http://www.ilpassodegliulivi.it/) and had a great time!It's a lovely Agriturismo with three apartments. We rent one and had a very nice holiday!
USA Thu 12/02/2004
My husband and I just returned from a 10 day trip to Italy and spent 4 wonderful days in Tuscany. I highly recommend the B&B Borgo Argenina in Gaole in Chianti (www.borgoargenina.it). The property dates back to 997 and has been fantastically restored with mondern, though not obnoxius, details. We stayed in a private 1 bedroom house on the property that included a private terrace overlooking the vinyards and olive groves. The rate was 180 euro per night and was a great value considering the property. The mother/daughter team speaks fluent english and can make fantastic recommendations for restaurants and directions to local attractions. The B&B was located only 15min to Siena, 30min to San Giagmano, and 45min to Florence with plenty of wineries and castles located within a 10min drive. Most people we met there had either stayed there previously or had been recommended the B&B from friends. There are several rooms in the house as well as a 2 bedroom villa. Breakfast and tax are included in the rates.
Atlanta, GA USA Sun 11/21/2004
Tuscany: great location, beautiful place and warm hospitality
We spent a delightful two weeks in an agriturismo in Alberoro, in the Val di Chiana area of Tuscany, Italy in June ?04. It is a 20-minute ride from Arezzo and is located midway between Florence and Siena with easy access to the A1 autostrada.
The Foresteria Il Giardino di Fontarronco ( phone 011-039-0575-846044, fax 011-039-0575-846045, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.foresteria.it ) is an 18th-century villa that has been lovingly restored and furnished by the proprietor Francesco Illuminati. The Illuminati family owns the farm on which La Foresteria is located as well as other farms, vineyard and olive groves in the area.
Francesco is on site mornings and afternoons to give advice on nearby hill towns to visit, to make reservation at local restaurants, to give any other assistance needed or just to chat. He is most personable and knowledgeable and speaks fluent English, having done his graduate studies at Cambridge University.
There are 10 apartments of various sizes and configurations located in either the manor house or various outbuildings. All have views of the adjoining fruit orchards and mountains beyond. Each has modern bath, patio, satellite TV and Internet-accessible telephone.Our one bedroom apartment, which slept three, cost ? 700 ($ 800) per week.
In addition, there is a large, sparkling pool on the grounds.Twice a week, an outstanding 4 course gourmet dinner is offered to guests of the Foresteria at a cost of ? 30 ($ 34) per person. These meals were among the finest we have ever had anywhere!We fully intend to return on a future visit and wouldn?t hesitate to recommend it.
San Diego, CA USA Fri 11/12/2004
B&Bs in Assisi, Umbria, Italy
My husband and I and my parents just returned from a three week Italian adventure. Tired of the standard hotels, we stayed at small privately owned Bed & Breakfasts wherever possible. I think we all agreed that the All Madonna del Piatto, an old farmhouse in Umbria was one of our favorites!
While the original farmhouse dates back hundreds of years, it has been modernized for all of the conveniences, yet retains all of its charm. Letizia, the owner is very helpful and the memories of her fresh baked bread and jams will last a long time! I especially enjoyed watching the sheepherder and his sheep going up and down the mountain! The rooms are comfortable and the showers great! Letizia is more than willing to answer questions about the area and has nice collections of books on Assisi and Umbria, in the living room next to the fireplace. We wished there has been a photo album showing the changes that have taken place at the farm.
Yes, a car is required, but it is well worth it. We spent our days visiting Assisi and the surrounding towns. After exploring Assisi but sure to visit the church in Santa Maria Novella. We found the local ?Coop? (excellent super market) in Santa Maria Novella and really enjoyed bring back the local wines and cheeses to the farmhouse for our own ?happy hours? at the tables outside that overlooked the mountain side.
There is a wonderful restaurant not far from the farmhouse that Letizia refers to as a simple rustic inn, which we just loved. We ate there every night and wished we could have stayed longer. We loved everything on the menu and especially enjoyed anything with the local mushrooms, the mixed grill plate (beef, pork, lamb, sausage), and the rosemary roasted potatoes. The house wine (red) was excellent and the atmosphere could not have been better. We found the farmhouse via www.italialodging.com and found their services to be what promised, without any problems. We all highly recommend the All Madonna del Piatto in Umbria and will definitely return to Assisi and the farmhouse!
long beach ca, ca USA Mon 10/25/2004
We found a wonderful Tuscan Agriturismo 45 minutes SE of Siena in the heart of wine country. Il Greppo, (www.ilgreppo.it). They have their own winery, deluxe, but very reasonable accomodations, and Tuscan country dinners to die for!
Portland, OR USA Sat 10/16/2004
Fattoria Voltona- San Gimigiano- Breathtaking!!
Our favorite time and place in Italy was Fattoria Voltona 5K from San Gimigiano. It was excellent. good size clean room and private bathroom. It is an organic farm that makes its own wine and olives. The best part, aside from the breathtaking sunrises each morning, were the evening dinners cooked by their staff. Full course meals with fabulous wine and dessert and many travelers from around the world to share their traveling stories. The cost was really inexpensive for the incredible value and hospitality we had. I would definetly return. Best if you rent a car to get there. contact them at email@example.com
Hacienda Heights, CA USA Mon 10/11/2004
Agritourismo Le Cassette
We stayed at Le Cassette 7km from Orvieto as part of a Rick Steves' bus plus Italy trip. It was a great out-of-the-way working farm that, among other things, makes their own delicious wine (red and white, which they will sell by the bottle for 4 Euro). Other than a moth ball smell in our room which dissipated once we opened the windows, our room was clean, etc. We enjoyed the slow pace and the dinners (however, somewhat scanty breakfast). I would consider staying here again and see Agritourismos as a great way to take a break from the chaos of the bigger cities.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 10/10/2004
Agriturismo in Umbria
My family and I stayed this summer at a wonderful "Agriturismo" in Umbria, named Agriturismo Pomonte, 7 km from Orvieto. It is run by a family, and the hospitality as well as the food was wonderful. We voted it the best on our trip as far as accomodations and friendliness.
Marysville, WA USA Tue 08/31/2004
Agriturismo in Barga
A friend and I spent a week at the end of May 2004 at an agriturismo in Barga named Al Benefizio. I simply cannot recommend this place enough. The owners are the warmest and most welcoming hosts that you could ask for. They treated us like family. In addition to the unbelievable hospitality, you have beautiful accomodations and spectacular views. Barga is a beautiful village in the mountains of Tuscany, near Lucca and about an hour from Pisa. Al Beneficio is situated on a hill overlooking the beautiful river valley where the city proper of Barga is located. If you are visiting Tuscany, do yourself a favor and stay here. You can find out about Barga and Al Benefizio at barganews.com (look on the accomodations page for Al Benefizio).
Baton Rouge, LA USA Fri 07/30/2004
La Fonte - near San Gimignano
My family and I just returned from a week at La Fonte, a villa in Tuscany. It was an ideal situation for us. 4 apartments which held our 13 family members, and while the furnishings were clean and comfortable, they were not so luxurious that we worried about the kids accidently breaking or ruining anything. It was a great location (10km from San Gimignano and closer to Certaldo)beautiful views. Maria Bergamasco, the English owner, was very helpful. She had many recommendations on day trips and restaurants - and even drove my brother-in-law to the Certaldo train station when he left his camera on the train from Florence.
Brighton, MI USA Mon 07/26/2004
Alla Madonna del Piatto
Alla Madonna del Piatto was perfect for my family and me. My husband and our three children (ages 25,18,13) had lovely rooms which were part of the original structure of the building (a 500 year old stable)
Letizia and her husband Ruurd are the owners of this lovely farmhouse. They have completely refurbished their home and the rooms that we occupied were very comfortable. Each had a beautiful private bath as well. The views from our rooms were breathtaking. Letizia says that she feels that her mountain is magical and I believe she is right.
One morning after our homemade breakfast (the coffee, breads and jams were fabulous), we all sat under the pergola and watched a farmer herd his sheep through the countryside below. The distant tinkling of the sheep's bells was positively hypnotic. One mile down the road was a beautiful pool that our family used that afternoon for a small fee. We all agree that our stay at Letizia and Rauud's farmhouse was definitely one of the highlights of our two week trip to Italy. We are still talking about Letizia's jams!
I highly recommend Alla Madonna del Piatto to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the magnificent views of the Umbrian countryside.
Mullica Hill, NJ USA Thu 07/15/2004
Port Orchard, WA USA Mon 07/12/2004
Casali Santa Brigida!
We were a group of 10 blessed to find and stay at Casali Santa Brigida outside of Rome. Less than 10 minute drive to 2 train stations (4 Euros for an all day train/bus/metro pass, why would you drive into town??) The facility was modern, beautiful and clean. It was slightly pricy but no extras were charged, even for the bottle of wine and several bottles of water supplied by the family. Signora Rita holds the place together and was a 4 day grandmother to our kids and she and the staff were amazingly accommodating to us all. I wish we would have traveled using agraturismos through out Italy!
USA Fri 07/09/2004
LaChiusa, an Agro-tourism farm in Umbria, also provides cooking lessons and is a great central location for Lake Tressimano, Assisi, etc. Available direct or through Teacher's Travel in Toronto. Dada and Claudio are great hosts.
Mount Holly, NJ USA Fri 07/02/2004
Great agriturismo in Soave, between Verona and Vicenza
Just back from Northern Italy and wanted to share an excellent Agriturismo with fellow travelers. Agriturismo Libero is located on a vineyard a few kilometers north of the picturesque medieval walled city of Soave. It's a recently rebuilt/restored 500 year old farmhouse with only 2 bedrooms for rent (with a shared large bathroom), but all very modern and clean with hardwood floors, huge rooms and bathroom, exposed portions of the old stone structure, and all overlooking the vineyards and Soave Caste in the distance.
Mira and Nicola are the young couple who own it, and they are lovely, friendly people. Their English is limited, but they try! Rooms were 55 euros/night including full breakfast with Miras wonderful almond cake and scrambled eggs with cheese. They fixed us several excellent dinners, too.
It's a great location to use as a base for exploring Verona, Lago di Garda, Vicenza and Venice. There is a railroad station at San Bonificio (about a 7 minute drive) which is small, uncrowded and easier to use than at larger cities for those unacustomed to rail travel in Italy. The website for Libero is www.agriturismolibero.com. This is a perfect place for people looking for a quiet spot where you can sit in the evening on the terrace overlooking the hillsides and castle, enjoy a glass of Soave wine and make your travel plans for the next day!
Roseland, VA USA Sun 06/27/2004
Casa delle Fonti
Sharon and Francesco will make you feel completely at home, their property is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the region is perfect Tuscany. Have Sharon make you dinner one night (an extra 20E per person)--she used to own a cooking school. It's halfway between Grossetto and Siena on S223. Easy driving distance to Montepulciano, San Galgano, Siena, Montalcino, and the Saturnia baths. It's a small property, they only have a couple of rooms, but the prices are quite reasonable, 35E per person. Sharon organizes tours part time, so she can give you impeccable advice on where to go and what to do. Visit the website:
Columbia, MO USA Sat 06/26/2004
Villas vs. Hotels
Il Poggiolo, Florence/Tuscany
This is a lovely B&B in the hills just outside of Florence; two buses away,approx. 20 mins. If you are looking for a 'hotel', or B&B's with bells and whisles staying in a Villa is not for you. Plan on staying more than a couple of nights; plan on a working farm such as olive trees, horses, cats and dogs. Accomodations or 'simple', yet substantial enough.
Remember that these Villas are peoples homes and their livlihood, so be prepared rathern than disappointed before choosing Agritourism accommodation. There is nothing more disheartning to a host/hostess when a cancellation is received the same day as arrival. They count on the income, and have not been able to book others for those days.
At Il Poggiolo, Graziella Camilloni was so very friendly; picked us up at the bus stop; provided us with schedules and made reservations at the Uffizi, Academia and local restaurants; provided a lovely breakfast with homemade preserves,and allowed us laundry facilities. Graziella is a single mother of two grown children; has four horses; 3 dogs; and up to 12 cats! She works very, very hard and tries to accomodate all her guests. Graziella asked us to post a message for her, explaining what Agritourism is...and what it's not. Enjoy being under the Tuscan sun, enjoy the gorgeous view from her Villa and her five acres of Olive trees and plants, and enjoy the culture and 'lifestyle'...but please, don't reserve if you think you're going to get 'hotel' services and accomodations.
North Vancouver, canada Tue 06/22/2004
Farm House near Siena
We just spent 5 days at Parri Nada Farmhouse (20 min. N.E. of Siena) and had a wonderful time. Luca and Elena have thought of everything to make our stay comfortable. We had 2 bedrooms, a living room, modern bath, and a huge kitchen, pool, and a fabulous view of the Tuscany hills. It is furnished with magnificent antiques, a modern bathroom, and wonderful books on the different regions of Italy. It was reasonably priced, and we would definitely return.
Freehold, NJ USA Wed 06/16/2004
In summer 2001 we stayed at Metina, outside Montepulciano. We LOVED it. It was self-catering but we enjoyed taking day trips, having a restaurant lunch and coming back and relaxing with simple pasta, cheese, fruit & wine. Our 4th set of friends is returning there next week on our recommendation; everyone has loved it. We hope to go back ourselves in 2005. I think there web site is www.metina.it. Monica and Alberto, the proprietors, are the BEST! The view of the Tuscan hills is breathtaking.
Vienna, VA USA Mon 06/14/2004
I read some bad reviews of Le Cassette in Umbria below, but after spending close to 2 months in Europe with my family (i'm 15) it was one of the best places we went. We met lots of people from a variety of countries and the owners were extremly nice. One owner (the old mans name was Lazerath I think) gave us a tour of his farm. The language barrier just made things more fun. After a big home made dinner made from all food grown on the farm, (which was a completly organic farm) everybody played in a pick-up game of soccer under the lights on their turf field. Not to mention the day trips and beautiful scenery. I would go back in a heartbeat.I can't even begin to describe all the things you can do there and how fun it was.
But then if you for some reason are expecting fancy 5 star hotel treatment in this rural farm then you have got the wrong place but my family always felt clean, safe , and comfertable. This place is the real Italy- not a fancy hotel trying to make you feel like your still in America.
Boston, MA USA Wed 05/19/2004
We just came back from a week in Tuscany at Aia Vecchia about 30 minutes from Siena. It was fabulous although our first few days were rainy we thorougghly enjoyed the experience http://www.agriturismoaiavecchia.com/rent_apartament.html
Victoria, BC Canada Mon 05/03/2004
Agriturismo near Venice
My husband and I spent 5 months of last year living in Italy. While there we had the great luck to find the Ca Orologio agriturismo, just south of Padova in the Veneto region of Italy. It is an amazing place! We are great fans of Rick Steves, and never in any of our travels have we been as impressed with our accommodations as here. The agriturismo just opened last year and is first class. The rooms are beautiful and many include kitchens. There are bikes on the premise and a small above ground pool. The rates are reasonable (50 euro to 90 euro per night). They have a great breakfast and make wine, olive oil, and other local produce on the premise.
The agriturismo is about 45 minutes by train from Venice and an easy drive to Verona, Lake Garda, Vicenza, Bologna, etc. It is in the middle of the Euguean Hills and there are lots of great biking and walking trail opportunities. Check out the webpage at www.caorologio.com
Bothell, WA USA Mon 03/01/2004
We just stayed for a week at a small agritourist place called Al Benefizio on a hill above the town of Barga near Lucca in Tuscany - an area still undiscovered by mass tourism but hurry.
Benefizio was perfect,donkeys in the fields, chickens, vineyards, great food and comfortable rooms. We are thinking of coming back this time in the summer months (maybe 2006) to sample the swimming pool.
It snowed while we were here but we were snug as a bug in a rug watching the landscape below from our window. This seems to be more real italia than the hotels and something which we will be doing again.
The town of Barga seems to be a happening place in the summer as well with its own opera and jazz festival.. check out their website; www.barganews.com for more information ..(there is a link to the Benefizio on the accommodation page) seems there are a lot of artists in the town as well.
New York, NY USA Sun 02/29/2004