Agriturismos in Tuscany and Umbria: 2006
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?
The Foresteria near Arezzo! It was an absolute dream!! Can't recommend enough!
We just returned from a three week trip to Italy, which included three nights in Venice, one week at the Foresteria, one week in Chianti and three nights in Rome. We took our three children, ages 10, 8, and 6. The Foresteria was our favorite. From the minute we arrived, it was delightful. Marian and her two assistants were warm and friendly and very helpful. The grounds were gorgeous with rosemary and lavender and roses everywhere. The pool was immaculate and very relaxing. Our room, the Bianchini apartment, was unbelievable. It was huge. Four bedrooms and a loft, four bathrooms, a big kitchen, a big living room, a sitting room. The best thing about it was that it was decorated in a beautiful, rustic, tuscan style. It is the top floor of the original house, about 400 years old, I believe. We had dinner there the two nights it was available and it was wonderful. They were our best meals of the entire trip. The Lasgna, fried squash blossoms and pannacotta were incredible. The setting for our meals was very nice with candlelight, very cosy. The location of the Foresteria is ideal. Our favorite daytrip was a drive to Montepulciano and Pienza. The scenery was to die for. Breathtaking...like out of a painting. We loved buying our pastries every morning at 9:00 from the bread truck. They were all wonderful. I had the oven heated up and the Italian coffee pot ready to go. We warmed them up and had our cappucino and were ready to go. The children enjoyed the entire stay, especially taking the bikes on long rides down the dirt roads, through the fruit orchards. The pears, peaches, apples, nectarines were all ripe in beautiful, straight rows, hundreds of acres. So, even though everything is convenient, you still feel you are in the country. I can't recommend the Foresteria enough. We really hope to return someday in the future. They also have a wonderful web site: www.foresteria.it
James & Laurrie
SC USA Fri 12/15/2006
Had an incredible experience at Agriturismo Metina just outside Montepulciano. The hosts Monica and Alberto were very accomodating and warm. After 3 days I would call them our friends. The facilities were nice and this part of Tuscany is beautiful. We can't say enough good things. Contact them at www.metina.it
Rod Burleson and Mary Jay
Coeur d Alene, Idaho USA Tue 12/12/2006
Agriturismo Poggio Salvi
My husband and I recently returned from a delightful one week stay at Agriturismo Poggio Salvi. It is located in a beautiful setting 10 minutes south of Siena. Poggio Salvi is surounded by Apple, Pear and Walnut trees, and of course lots of grapes. Poggio Salvi is run by the energetic, pleasant and knowledgeable Massimo. We stayed in the Il Glicine Apartment, which not only is very nice, but is absolutely perfect for two people; king size bed, nice bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. We happily recommend Poggio Salvi, and will be glad to answer any questions. www.poggiosalvi.net
Scottsdale, AZ USA Mon 12/04/2006
I just posted the previous note and I have to say that although my home shows "Rome, Italy," I am an American living in Rome and I have no affiliation to the two agriturismos I suggested! They were merely great experiences for my husband and I and our small children.
USA Mon 12/04/2006
Two good tried and true agriturismos in Umbria/Tuscany:
Villa Pia is geared towards families. If you are adults or a group of adults, then Villa Pia is not much for you. It is located on the Tuscan/Umbrian border, about 30 minutes east of Arezzo.
Il Cantico Della Natura is fabulous and sits on Lake Trasimeno just off the E45 near a small hilltown called Magione. It has a pool and two playgrounds for the kids and lots of terrific scenery and hiking trails.
Both are great.
Rome, Italy Mon 12/04/2006
Reservations for Italy Farm Stay?
I was hoping for more information on Italy Farm Stay. My husband and I are hoping to go to Italy in either December of 2007 or May 2008 and seeing Rome and Naples/Pompeii. I also wanted to stay in an agriturismo to relax and from all the many posts here Italy Farm Stay sounds both beautiful and perfectly located.
How soon should someone reserve a room there for 4 or 5 nights? what season would be best to visit? Any info or experiences would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to email me.
Cincinnati, OH USA Sun 12/03/2006
We stayed at an enjoyable apartment in an old farmhouse (with pool) located 25 km south of Florence. It is located about 2 km down a dirt road near Val d'Arno, with a supermarket nearby, and a great view of a castle on the hill above. This location is very quiet. Serena and Marco are good hosts, but this is not a place where the hosts arraign your vacation for you. They do not do cooking classes, wine tours, etc., but Serena can give you advice on local attractions. It is possible to ride the train into Florence instead of driving (and trying to park). If one decides to drive into Florence, there is a parking garage under the train station. On several trips to Tuscany I have used Seaview Travel in Pisa to book our farmhouse stays, and have been very satisfied with their service. This farmhouse is #211 Reggello at www.toscanet.com
Charles A. Robinson
Lodi, CA USA Sat 12/02/2006
Though there have been many entries for Agriturismo Cretaiole, I felt compelled to add my comments. It truly is all that everyone has written about it. My husband and I have traveled throughout the world, and I can honestly say that our stay at Cretaiole in early October was one of our most memorable experiences. The Moricciani family are gracious, warm and generous hosts. The incomparable Isabella not only plans many exceptional activities,she also helps you learn about and understand Tuscan culture. We participated in and enjoyed all the activities. One of our fondest memories is the Pici pasta making class and dinner with the entire Moricciani family. Liliana's ragu sauce was the best. Carlo grilled delicious sausages and meats, and it was pure delight watching Luciano (with the twinkling eyes) slice his prosciutto. We finished the meal with Luciano's Vin Santo and grappa. What a feast!
Cretaiole seems the perfect location in Tuscany. It sits right in the middle of the spectular Val d' Orcia, is just outside the walls of Pienza (our favorite) minutes from Montalcino and Montepulciano, and just a short drive to Siena, Chianti,etc.,
If you are intrigued with the idea of staying at an agriturismo in Italy, we highly recommend Agriturismo Cretaiole. It is an experience you will always remember.
Scottsdale, AZ USA Sat 11/25/2006
Italy Farm Stay
I would like to share a bit about my experience at the Italy Farm Stay, near Abruzzi National Park. My stay at the Farm offered all the delights of a true Italian experience. The farm and house itself offered a unique view of rural italian life and I indulged in daily home cooked meals by the mother of the house, Maria. The farm hugs the edges of the National Park and the easily accesible trails and walks are breath taking. I enjoyed my walks for the neighborhood dogs would be the guides, enthusiasticly leading you down their favorite path. I went horseback riding through the valley along a river with an Italian cowboy and had the oppertunity to wake up early and participate in the making of goat cheese by the local Sheppard. Staying at this Farm makes one forget that they are a mere tourist passing through, but gives a true taste of the life, people and landscape in this beautiful part of the world. I would highly recommend this experience to any traveler interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Italian cutlure and life.
Portland , OR. USA Fri 11/24/2006
Col Di Rosa
Although technically not an agriturismo, Col di Rosa is set in a beautiful little valley right on the Tuscan/Umbria border. Its location provides a fantastic base for exploring Cortona, Perugia, Assisi, Gubbio, etc. Lago Trasimeno is near by and of course there's many, MANY small little Italian towns to get lost in.
If your idea of a relaxing time includes strolls along streams, the sound of pheasants flushing, a country dog barking or a tractor chugging thru a field, then this is for you. A nearby village offers morning cappuccino and a nice conversation (in Italian of course!) as well as delicious pizza and panini in the evening.
The property itself is charming, clean and well apportioned without that "over the top" feeling that seems to have invaded too many rental homes abroad. If you're a snobby American who needs certain exacting requirements then this may not be the property for you; perhaps you should stick with Hilton. Pricing is very attractive; we spent less for a week here than two nights anywhere else.
A charming British couple that has lived in Italy for the last 16+ years owns Col di Rosa. Having English speakers available is a godsend for making reservations, getting suggestions, and the like without compromising the 'feel' of the Italian countryside. Whole-heartedly recommended!!
Portland, OR USA Tue 11/21/2006
Agrituristica "Il Vecchio Frantoio" Hotel in Sicily
Wed 18 Oct 06 (1800 area) we checked into the Vecchio Frantoio Hotel / were asked for our passports
Thur 19 Oct 06 at 0900 we checked out paying cash for (130,00) for one night stay---our passports were not returned to us.
Fri 20 Oct 06 from our Amalfi Coast Apt in Priano (8 Hrs drive away) we made 2 extensive---long distance calls with hearing promises they would return them.
Fri 21 Oct 06 from Naples from cell phone I called explaining again- lady answered the phone hung up on me
Sat 22 Oct 06 from Rome Hilton Hotel -Italian Lady that deals with problems called the Vecchio Frantoio Hotel. They told her the passports had not been sent because their boss was not there. The lady at the Rome Hilton told us that something was not right---a reputable hotel would have sent them overnight since it was their mistake. The reason she called is because they needed our passports in order to check into the Rome Hilton Hotel.
Since then the Siclian Embassy in Palermo contacted them--- The hotel said they would send our passports immediately. that was 31 Oct to this day we have not recieved our Passports
from Frantoio Agriturismo and the administrator, Corrado Cittola.
Lauterhofen, Germany, Mon 11/20/2006
Agiturismo Patrizia Falcioni
We just returned from a 3 night stay at Agriturismo Patrisia Falcioni in Greve in Tuscany. I can't say enough on how wonderful it was. Us and another couple stayed in the Alessandra apartment 2 bedrooms 2 baths with large living room and kitchen and reading room surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. The manager, Roberta was an absolute delight. Great reccomendations on where to visit and eat. Greve has a town square with several very good restaurants etc. All for 83E a night. Heartily recommend. www.patriziafalcioni.com
Wood Dale, IL USA Sat 11/18/2006
Greve In Chianti
We had originally made reservations at Selvole outside of Sienna, but when no one was there to allow us into the Castle, we decided to move on to Greve. I had read about Le Cetinelle and thought that we could go check it out. We arrived in the small village of Greve and there were signs that took us past town and to Le Cetinelle. Even though we did not have reservations, Simonette welcomed us and gladly gave us the last room. We stayed there for a few nights and met the most wonderful people. Simonette gladly welcomes her guests to use the kitchen for cooking, which we did one night. There is wonderful hiking all around the area. This is also a perfect home base for touring the wine and olive oil Chianti country side. Simonette is very friendly and she recommends fabulous places to eat, wonderful sites to see, and the best places to taste wine and oil. The prices are unbeatable too. www.cetinelle.com
Vancouver, WA USA Sun 11/12/2006
We just returned from three weeks in Italy...we stayed at Villa Poggiano just outside of Montepulciano. This was a perfect place. The villa, room,grounds were outstanding. The location was perfect..close to Pienza, Montacino,etc. Check it out at www.villapoggiano.com
Peotone, Il USA Fri 11/10/2006
Agriturismo La Falconara Near Montepulciano
Following three nights in Florence (Hotel Silla) and two in Siena (Palazzo Bruchi)--each recommended in Rick Steves' Florence & Tuscany, pleasant and very well located)--we had a wonderful seven night stay (5/31-6/6/06) at La Falconara, an Agriturismo with an olive grove, located in the Central Southern Tuscan countryside, 1.5 miles from Montepulciano, and a stone's throw from the Val d'Orcia.
Our apartment, one of three, was very comfortable and nicely furnished, with an open living room/dining area/kitchen, and a large separate bedroom with bathroom, all with high ceilings and beautiful countryside views from all windows. We were able to secure a Wednesday to Wednesday reservation, unusual for many Agriturismos, which usually rent Saturday to Saturday. At 555 Euros for the week, we considered this a real find.
But it was the exceptional hospitality of the owner, Alex Palenzona that made this even more of a special place. Alex, who lives on the property with his wife Ingrid, is a renaissance man of sorts, fluent in four languages, and equally comfortable discussing art, philosophy, history, politics, farming, cooking, wine, olives, and even pharmacology. His enthusiasm and expansive knowledge of the area informed our planning with directions, rewarding sights and their cultural historical context, and restaurants (all winners) with reservations when needed. Ingrid was away at the time, so Alex had to do it all that week, but managed quality time with the three couples staying there, even preparing and joining all three couples for a wonderful dinner with wine pairings our last night.
The property is so peaceful and beautiful, it tested our determination to leave for the day. Aside from it's proximity to Montepulciano (you can walk there through the countryside), La Falconara affords easy access by car to Pienza, Monticchiello, Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, Chiusi, Cortona, Orvieto, Perugia, and Assisi. The drive to La Spezia and the Cinque Terre, our final destination, was about 2.5 hours (stop in Lucca for a bike ride along the ramparts).
La Falconara via delle Badelle, 3 53045 Montepulciano (Siena), Italy
Telefax: 011 39 0578 757230 only line with answering machine
Cell: 011 3335812196
Fred and Helen Schwartz
Larkspur, CA USA Sun 10/29/2006
Better than Cretaiole? - Il Nido di Castello
I realize that it seems like about every 10th post on the graffiti wall raves about Isabella and her family and Cretaiole, but after spending a week at Il Nido di Castello, I think that we just may have found an even better place in the Pienza area.
Several months ago, we contacted Isabella about staying at Cretaiole and she told us that they were basically full, except for a 3 bedroom that was more than we wanted to spend. She then told us about another property that her family owns, Il Nido di Castello, just outside of the very small, very wonderful town of Castelmuzio (about 10 minutes from Cretaiole and Pienza).
Cretaiole is a wonderful place, we spent lots of time there, and Isabella and the family and other guests made us feel very welcome. All the good things you've read here are true! The thing that I really liked about Il Nido though, is that it's much more private and quiet that Cretaiole. There are 2 apartments that Isabella rents, the downstairs studio which was perfect for the 2 of us, and an upstairs apt. with 3 (I think) bedrooms and a rooftop terrace.
Also, the town of Castelmuzio was absolutely delightful. It's a tiny little town with a restaurant/hotel/bar, a Tabacchi and an olive oil office. That's it, aside from the residents. There's also a co-op (grocery store) just outside of the town.
Il Nido is definately something that I would recommend to anyone looking for a peaceful Tuscan experience. Of course, the Cretaiole activities and experiences made this an amazing trip.
Thanks Isabella! We miss you already!
Seattle, WA USA Wed 10/25/2006
Agriturismo Le Buche di Viesca
The newly remodeled apartments are fantastic. You cannot beat the location. You are surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, the nearest building is an old church down the road. There is a gigantic pool overlooking the Tuscan hills. And a soccer field. Even though you are away for the hustle and bustle of a big city, you are only 23 minutes away by train to Florence. And highway A1 is only a couple of miles away from the Agriturismo. The owners, Angela and Luigi were friendly and helpful. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 10/22/2006
My husband and I are planning a February trip to Italy, hopefully a week in wine country and a week in Southern Italy. We plan on renting a car so would love to have an apartment base in each area. If anyone can suggest places we would be most grateful. Also are we crazy to expect wineries to be open for tasting at that time of year. Thanks for any help. Venice
Dixon, Ca USA Thu 10/19/2006
Chilling in Tuscany
We were looking for a central location in southern Tuscany so we could make day trips around the lovely countryside and Agriturismo Terrapille recommended in Rick's book was the perfect solution. Situated on a high hillside just outside of Pienza, the view from the pool across the expanse of Val D'Orca was so amazing that we were tempted never to leave our place. Lucia our host was very friendly and helpful, offering true Italian hospitality and suggestions for sites and services in the area. For those history buffs, this house was built in 1000 AD and it was featured in the closing scene of the movie "The Gladiator". We had a choice of room or apartment, with or without breakfast. This wonderful spot was definitely the highlight of our visit to Italy.
Calgary, AB Canada Sun 10/15/2006
La Fornace was well situated close to Assisi and great hilltowns of Umbria. Grounds and apartment were well maintained. Would have liked a sharp knife in the kitchen as I did a good bit of cooking, but overall the facility and location were GREAT! Many thanks for the tip from your book!
Lawrenceville, GA USA Thu 10/12/2006
Le Trappoline was absolutely delightful. We had Sangiovese apartment with bedroom, bath and kitchen, sitting area. The view from the veranda was breathtaking! Andrea, Franco & Danilo Casini were very helpful and enjoyable. Facilities were well maintained and also had laundry. A great find from your book! Many thanks!
Lawrenceville, GA USA Thu 10/12/2006
a gem in Chianti
In May my husband and I stayed at Collelungo near Castellina in Chianti (www.collelungo.com). It was a beautiful place, on a working vineyard. We had an upstairs unit- with a separate bedroom and a living/cooking area, both overlooking the prettiest scenery. There was a pool (unfortunately not heated in May), free internet available,a library, a laundry, and delicious wines and olive oil to purchase for a relaxing lunch or dinner. There are areas to sit out and relax in the sun, by the pool, or under the stars. Collelungo is managed by Gabriella who is a gem! She will recommend restaurants, scenic roads, craft fairs, and places of interest. She was very helpful to me because I was looking for places to do watercolor paintings. Her advice was right on target. The place was so nice, so relaxing, and not expensive at all. But a car is a must!
NY USA Wed 10/11/2006
Stay at Villa Conte Berna near Montepulciano
Our experience in a tuscan farmhouse was particularly joyous. We found this villa on yourtuscanvilla.com called Villa Conte Berna near Montepulciano. I still regret not having been born in Tuscany...
Brighton, MA USA Mon 10/09/2006
Tuscany Agritursimo : Fattoria di Statiano
My family and I just got back from a 6 day stay in Tuscany, Italy. While searching for a place to stay we found this charming farm. It is out in the country about half an hour to Volterra and 10 minutes from any grocery store. You are only 30 minutes from the sea which was great because it was very warm. This place has a pool and great breakfasts. The rooms are great, with terracotta tiles and they are very big!! The views are incredible you can see all the hill towns around including Voltera and San Gimigano. I would recommend this to anyone. Location: Micciano 56045 Pomarance, Pisa-Italy www.statiano.com Its about a 2 hour drive to Florence. Be warned in Italy you have to wear a bathing cap in pools!
Vancouver, BC Canada Sat 10/07/2006
La Fornace - near Assisi
This placed lived up to the hype. The view to Assisi was breathtaking and the grounds were very well kept. Very relaxing place. I would highly recommend this to anyone as a home base. www.lafornace.com
Columbus, Ohio USA Sat 09/23/2006
Agriturismo Cintoia, (near Florence)
Cintoia holiday farm (www.fattoriacintoia.it) has been our family's favourite holiday location for the last seven years. It is run by some of the friendliest people I have ever met and is situated some 500 metres above sea level on the slopes of Monte Giovi near Rufina 25Km north east of Florence. This of course is in the Muggello the valley of the river Sieve which gave birth to such luminaries as Giotto, Fra Angelico and the Medici family. If however,doing the tourist circuit and walking in the footsteps of superstars such as Galileo, Michelangelo and Lorenzo the Magnificent is not your thing then you can just enjoy the superb scenery, relax by the pool, taste some really fine wines with a barbeque, go pony trekking or wander about the olive groves. I did precisely that this year and managed to de-stress completely.
Cintoia is a working olive farm (their oil is truly exceptional) and as I said is located on the slopes of a mountain. The road up to the farm is a little difficult in parts but perfectly navigable with an ordinary saloon car. Its location makes it very safe for children as there are no cars passing at high speed. The view from up there is stunning and at night the only sound to be heard is the wind in the trees and the odd owl or two. The accommodation is, as you might expect, rustic but it is clean, well maintained and well heated which is important from October onwards.
At present the website is only available in Italian and French but an English translation will be posted shortly or if specifically required can be obtained from the proprietors at firstname.lastname@example.org . The proprietors have also produced an English language guide to services at Cintoia which also provides details of restaurants, markets, hairdressers, how to get into Florence etc.
I can recommend Cintoia unreservedly for anyone looking for a value for money holiday with a wide variety of options for things to do.
UK, Belgium & Saudi Arabia Sun 09/17/2006
Italy Farm Stay
I am so excited to be staying at Italy Farm Stay for a couple of nights next month on the way down to visit my Grandfather's town of Agnone! It sounds exactly what is needed to cleanse the soul of the everyday stress of our busy lives. Thanks to all of you, my decision to stay there was based on the positively wonderful comments posted on this board. The only negative comment was from Leanne from N.Y.C. Of course she would be negative about something as foreign to her as fresh air, peace, quiet, tranquility, beauty, nature, relaxation . . .maybe next year she'd feel a little more at home vacationing here in the Tampa Bay Area!
Tampa Bay Area, Fl USA Sat 09/09/2006
Farm Stay in Pescosolido
If you have an interest in getting off the beaten path, we strongly recommend www.italyfarmstay.com, an agriturismo site near the town of Sora, a scenic 2-hour bus ride from Rome. We chose to visit this location after reading the rave reviews on this graffiti wall and we were not disappointed. We spent 5 days in May at this hillside farm and had a delightful, relaxing time with Antonello, the energetic young man behind the farm stay project, his parents, Giuseppe and Maria, and a number of young people working at the farm.
While not remote (the bustling town of Sora is only a 30-minute walk away on a lovely path), the farm is a world apart from the tourist sites and crowds of Rome. This is a working organic farm with goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, horses and,when we were there, a darling 3-week old donkey. Just hanging out with these critters was great fun for us.
Antonello also has a wide range of activities available for guests. One great adventure was a hike to a waterfall in the Abruzzo National Park (just a short ride away) with Antonello as our guide. The hike included beautiful views of the Appenine Mountains, valleys, and wildflowers in bloom. Other activities that we enjoyed included a pasta-making lesson from Maria, frequent sampling of farm-made wine and olive oil from Guiseppe, a visit to the local cheese-maker (whose sheep passed under our window going to and from their grazing site each day), and an Italian lesson.
The farm is not for everyone - the accomodations are not luxurious and the "project" as Antonello calls it is a work-in-progress. But for travelers who want to experience more of Italy than its cities and tourist attractions, we highly recommend this place. In addition to being a wonderful visit with an Italian family and a taste of farm life, it is a great value. We would be happy to answer any questions about it.
Eileen and Frank
Bridgewater , MA USA Fri 09/08/2006
Agriturismo near Ravenna - La Sabbiona
Based on a below recommendation, we stayed at Agriturismo La Sabbiona (www.lasabbiona.it) over Labor Day weekend. We had a fantastic time and highly recommend La Sabbiona as well. It is located near Faenza in the province of Emilia Romagna. The agriturismo is surrounded by vineyards. Everyone rides bicycles in this area and we wish we had rented bicycles - perhaps next time. You will need a car as you are in the country. You are about forty five minutes from Ravena, five minutes from Faenza, Brisghella, and an hour away from the beaches of Rimini. The price was reasonable as for a family of six, the price for Friday through Monday was approximately 750 euro. This included breakfast and dinner. The dinners were great. An extra nice experience was that the food was all typical of the region. The swimming pool was also a nice way to end the day. This is a true family-run agriturismo. We will go back again if we have the chance. The owner speaks English well.
Naples, Italy Mon 09/04/2006
Agriturismo - Todi Italy
My wife, her sister and I stayed at a wonderful agriturismo in July 2006 located approximately 30 minutes between Perugia, and 30 minutes from the picturesque hill town of Todi in Umbria. It's really like a bed & breakfast establishment. The place is called Casa dei Frontini, a converted farm house in a gorgeous setting, which took the family 6 years to lovingly restore and turn into a real vineyard and animal farm. The family members Sylvanna, Corrado, Gabriel and Michael all make us feel very welcome. Sylvanna is the cook supreme, while her husband Corrado handles the finances and the animals. The best part were the dinners - three course meals prepared with fresh farm produce and meats from their own livestock - wonderful antipastas, local wines, great deserts! We had goose one night, duck another, and a wonderful chicken entre the next night. The equivalent price for a three course meal with two glasses of wine was about $25 - $30/person US. They have very nice rooms; we stayed in the 3-person suite upstairs, which is a real suite - so that the third person has a little privacy. They also have a wonderful pool overlooking a marvelous view. I strongly recommend it. They have a web site but the photos do not do it justice. Although it is a working farm, it appears rather low key to the visitor, and visitors are not required to work! E-mail is email@example.com. Tel.# is (country code) 041.528.5927. FAX is 328-759-3100. Gabriel or Michael speak the most English. You may need to send a monetary deposit; if so, I recommend sending by post office - that gives you more security and is still convenient to them. Only drawback is there is no air conditioning, but the ceiling fans and the pool do the trick.
Oceanside, CA USA Fri 09/01/2006
Typing error in the name - Agriturismo Metani below - should be Metina- NOT Metani. Apologies. See http://www.metina.it/
London, UK Thu 08/24/2006
Looking for Agriturismo in Northern Italy
My husband and I will driving from Hallstatt, Austria to Sienna in October.We are looking for an Agriturismo to stay in for a few nights along the way. Perhaps Bologna, or any other midway point. Any suggestions?
Vancouver, WA USA Wed 08/23/2006
Farm Stay in Pescosolido
I had a grand time in Antonello's family farm in Pescosolido. Like what the last reviewer said, the trip was about 3 hours from Rome-- but was VERY enjoyable, in my opinion! After spending a week in Florence, I welcomed the change in pace and surroundings. The bus ride was full of characters and we passed beautiful scenery. The farm is great and provides a wonderful view of the surrounding areas and nearby mountains. There are fruit trees everywhere, as well as a nice donkey and some strange looking animals (one wrinkly pig and a dog that looks... strange)
I went on a hike with Antonello and another guest (pictures are below on this page http://bealoca.multiply.com/photos/album/35), and it was ABSOLUTELY breathtaking (albeit a bit challenging). Totally worth the effort. I also went to see the cheesemaking going on (http://bealoca.multiply.com/photos/album/39), and it was really an experience.
Aside from that, Maria, Antonello's mom, cooks wonderful simple tasty fare. Town is far away but who would want to go all the time? My best tip is: get all your emails done before coming here, and load up your cellphone. You won't want to leave anyway!
Manila, NCR Philippines Wed 08/23/2006
Metani Agritursimo in Tuscany.
Alberto & Monica are the perfect hosts at this charming establishment. Surrounded by their own vines and olive groves, the farm has a wonderful and huge swimming pool with a ramp for easy access. A perfect spot for expoloring the surrounding area of Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino. Utterly wonderful.
London, UK Wed 08/23/2006
Agroturismo in Pescosolido
Antonello's farmstay is mentioned in glowing terms a few times on this wall. I agree with the good things, but want to add a few cautions about this particular farm. The biggest problems arise from discrepancies between info on the website vs reality:It is NOT a day trip from Rome, unless you count a 3 hour bus/metro ride one way a day trip. The town is not 15 min away. The town LIMITS are! To get to laundry\internet\food and all the other things that are not available at the farm you have to walk 30 min, briskly to the center. During my brief stay I had the chance to chat with some of the young "volunteers" who clean rooms, tend the land and build trails for Antonello in return for room and board. I have to wonder why he chooses not to employ any local people when statistics show a high unemployment rate in the area. For anyone who does not have a car getting anywhere but to town and back will be a problem. Bus service is erratic, and infrequent not to mention that in this area english is not commonly spoken. Since there is no taxi service in town and the family will only provide transportation for you to get to their farm upon your arrival you better like the farm, because you are stuck there. The stay is not all bad, the weather is cool in the mountains and although the owner's actions often conflict with his supposed ideals, there are worse places (like Rome) to waste your money.
NY, NY USA Mon 08/21/2006
TENUTA TORCIANO/Near Siena
TENUTA TORCIANO 53030 SAN GIMIGNANO (Siena)- ITALY Località Ulignano
Come raggiungere Torciano
Dalla Tenuta Torciano si può raggiungere: Località Minuti San Gimignano in 5 minuti Colle Val d'Elsa in 15 minuti
Siena in 20 minuti Volterra in 40 minuti
Firenze in 30 minuti Lucca in 35 minuti
Pisa in 40 minuti Autostrada in 10 minuti
Home Toscana Appartamenti di Tenuta Torciano Attività LA CAPANNINA E' un appartamento con camera da letto con caratteristici letti in ferro, bagno con doccia, cucina ben attrezzata. L'appartamento ha entrata indipendente ed è ben illuminato. E' dotato di tutti i comforts, riscaldamento, TV, frigo bar, macchina per il caffè espresso, biancheria e asciugamani. LO STUDIO E' un locale indipendente con entrata propria. E' costituito da una camera da letto, con letti artigianali in ferro battuto. Bagno con doccia. Il pavimento è in cotto toscano e il soffitto a travi di legno L'appartamento è ben illuminato ed è dotato di tutti i comforts: riscaldamento, TV, frigo bar, macchina per il caffè espresso, biancheria e asciugamani. LA CAPANNINA E' un appartamento con camera da letto con caratteristici letti in ferro, bagno con doccia, cucina ben attrezzata. L'appartamento ha entrata indipendente ed è ben illuminato. E' dotato di tutti i comforts, riscaldamento, TV, frigo bar, macchina per il caffè espresso, biancheria e asciugamani. Tutti gli appartamenti e stanze hanno intorno un grande giardino con zona solarium e con PARCHEGGIO PRIVATO Listino prezzi
Prenota on- line
Toscana Servizi e attività nei dintorni di Tenuta Torciano
TREKKING A CAVALLO A cavallo è possibile raggiungere posti incantevoli, circondati dal variegato scenario delle colline toscane, i verdi vigneti, i campi gialli dei girasole. A cavallo potrai raggiungere le antiche fattorie toscane e i piccoli villaggi, laghi, antiche chiesette di campagna, e le meravigliose torri di San Gimignano. Il trekking può essere di alcune ore o di un giorno
TREKKING IN MOUNTAIN BIKE e a piedi Gli stessi itinerari e luoghi che puoi raggiungere a cavallo potrai visitarli con la bicicletta o a piedi. PISCINA e SOLARIUM All'interno della TENUTA TORCIANO e' presente una piscina con riservata area SOLARIUM
PESCA SUL FIUME A Tenuta Torciano è possibile pescare la carpa ed il barbo nel fiume Elsa
Dove Minuti MARE 70 km TENNIS 800 mt GOLF (19 buche) 20 km RISTORANTI TIPICI, BANCA, UFFICIO POSTALE, FERMATA BUS per Firenze, Siena e San Gimignano 500 mt Equitazione e maneggio 900 mt Ossevazione fenomeni naturali ... Mountain-byke trekking per 10/20 km DELTAPLANO e volo libero; 6 km Terme 7 km
DEGUSTAZIONE VINI CORSI DI DEGUSTAZIONE ANCHE DI OLIO D'OLIVA EXTRAVERGINE Nella STANZA DI DEGUSTAZIONE VINI è possibile assaggiare molti tipi di vini, oli d'oliva, tartufi e funghi di
VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO DOCG
CHIANTI COLLI SENESI DOCG
CHIANTI CLASSICO DOCG
CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 1990/1991 DOCG
VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO DOCG
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG VINO ROSSO CON MATURAZIONE IN BARRIQUES "BARTOLOMEO 1°" 1990/1991 "IL CAVALIERE" 1991 "BALDASSARRE" 1991 VINSANTO TOSCANO
OLIO D'OLIVA EXTRAVERGINE
OLIO D'OLIVA AROMATICO
Con tipico spuntino toscano: bruschetta con olio d'oliva e pomodoro, formaggio, vari tipi di affettati
Columbus, OH USA Mon 08/14/2006
Italy Farm Stay -- a lovely organic farm in Central Italy
I spent three wonderful nights at a lovely organic family farm in Central Italy, east of Roma, close to Abruzzo National Park. At the end of my stay, I found that I was sad to leave! It was a wonderful experience to eat home-cooked meals featuring produce harvested just a few steps away, and all organic! I felt great about spending my travel dollars to support a conscientious, environmentally friendly farm such as this one... and not only that, it was just fun! It's easy to get to with or without a car. You can find more information at their helpful web site: www.italyfarmstay.com
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 08/14/2006
Deposits at Agriturismo's
I am going to Italy in October, renting a car, and staying in Agriturismos. I am in the process of planning my trip and have just made my second reservation. The first did not require any deposit or credit card information but requested that I phoned if I decided to cancel. The second requested a 30% deposit and offered the choices of doing so by bank wire or faxing my credit card information. Not feeling comfortable with faxing that information, I went to my bank and wired the requested 57 Euros. I was shocked when my bank said the charge would be $50.00. I am planning on staying at five or six farms and those fees could really mount up. I would appreciate any information on booking that you could give me. Thank-you.
dunedin, fl USA Fri 08/11/2006
Agriturismo Metina near Montepulciano
This was our second stay at an agriturismo in Italy, the first being near San Gimignano in 2002, and we highly recommend this experience.
After seeing a previous posting here for Agriturismo Metina, our family (myself, husband and two boys, ages 15 and 20) decided to stay here for a week in July 2006. We had a truly wonderful week that flew by all to quickly. Metina is located a few miles from Montepulciano and was an excellent location for the daytrips we took to Pienza, Montalcino, Cortona, Assisi and Siena. The little village of Aquaviva is minutes away and has a convenient Co-op grocery store, bakery, etc.
We had a very comfortable two bedroom apartment with views of the beautiful Tuscan countryside out our bedroom windows. It was so peaceful and we fell asleep each night to the scent of jasmine. It was pure heaven! The apt. had a very nice kitchen area, a large farmhouse style table with chairs, a sofa and t.v., which our boys enjoyed having for the World Cup games. The swimmming pool was really nice after long days of sightseeing. There is a convenient washer and clothes line for laundry.
Monica and her husband, Alberto, were very welcoming and we enjoyed the wine and olive oil they produce on their farm. They have a lovely wine-tasting room, and we enjoyed our first Vin Santo with them.
This was the most relaxing place of our entire 3-week trip and we would stay here again.
Their e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maple Grove, MN USA Wed 08/09/2006
We just returned from a tour in Italy and spent four fabulous days in the Fattoria Viticcio, a winery/agriturismo in Greve in Chianti. The rooms were beautifully decorated and immaculate. The grounds were absolutely stunning and also included 2 outdoor pools. They also produce some very good wines!! The town of Greve has a small grocery store, great little shops and wonderful restaurants. The owners of Fattoria Viticcio helped organize a cooking class for my son and I, arranged a tour of the winery and offered suggestions and terrific restaurant recommendations. Greve-in-Chianti was convenient for day trips to Pisa, Florence, Siena etc....but I would strongly recommend a car if you chose to stay here. I would highly recommend this agriturismo and dream of the day when we can return. www.fattoriaviticcio.com
hopedale, ma USA Wed 08/09/2006
Fantastic holidays in Tuscan
Last two weeks I was at Pierres house (www.tuscanyheaven.net). It was 'heavenly' cold inside while it was hot outside. The place is really quiet, so at night with the airco on, it was good livin'. The view is just heavenly, is that the reason you called your site tuscanyheaven.net Pierre?! We were only 5 miles away from the little village with their good restaurants... PIZZAAAA
Pierre and his wife were really good to us, can't complain about anything.
Next year they will have an enormous pool outside, that will be even better!
Thomas and Miranda
Riemst, Belgium Fri 08/04/2006
Cretaiole in Pienza
Even though there are many Graffiti Wall entries on Agriturismo Cretaiole, I couldn't resist chiming in on the wonders of Cretaiole in Pienza. Along with all of the fabulous things that Isabella Moricciani and her family do to make a stay in Tuscany fun, she also has a "mission" to make sure you understand Tuscan culture. In my opinion, she exemplifies Rick Steves' "back door" philosophy. The Moricciani family are passionate about teaching others as to how Tuscans work, eat, play and live. Isabella told us on our first day that she wanted us to see and do things that weren't "touristy" or what everyone else does on their visits to Tuscany. Additionally, activies and day trips are planned with others that are staying at Cretaiole, so you are able to get to know people from all over the world. Both my husband and I feel that our visit and stay at Cretaiole enriched our lives and our understanding of people. We highly, highly recommend a stay here, but be aware that Isabella is already taking bookings into 2010!!
Coventry, CT USA Thu 08/03/2006
Locanda della Valle Nuova
This is the only agriturismo Rick Steves lists for Le Marche, so we gave it a try in June. We reserved two rooms for three nights, travelling with our two grown kids, and ended up extending our stay . We were completely comfortable -- our rooms were stylishly appointed in the 1920's era farmhouse. The pool was a fine place to while away the siesta, especially so because Giulia's kittens would come out to play -- and she has puppies, too. When you're missing your pets, thousands of miles away with the housesitter, there's something very wonderful about being able to spend some time with your host and hostess' kittens and puppies.
And then, the food and drink. . . . I don't think I've ever tasted juice more delicious than the three homemade varieties Giulia offered us in the mornings with her breads, jams, and cheeses. Dinners were precisely the sort of hearty meals prepared from local organic sources that I'd hoped for, never having actually stayed at an agriturismo before. We reserved dinner for our first night, and couldn't resist staying for dinner on the following evenings.
Giulia helped us map out day trips -- we'd heard about Le Marche's hilltowns, but we needed suggestions about particular places to visit. We saw Urbino, of course, which is very near Valle Nuova. But her suggestions led us to places like Mondavio, an unreally beautiful little city, and to the kind of tiny ancient walled villages that make your heart sing. And Valle Nuova itself is a place that makes you want to get out the watercolors and paint, which my daughter and I did.
Best surprise at the locanda? the apertifs that Giulia served after dinner. She infuses them herself -- she told us it takes months to do it , and knocked me out with her green walnut variety in particular, although the honey liqueur ran it a very close second.
Oakland, CA USA Wed 08/02/2006
Tuscan Agriturismo - Casa Portagioia
My wife and I recently returned from our first trip to Italy - a 23 day odyssey, planned mostly with the help of "Rick Steves' Italy 2006" guide book. The trip was was truly a marvelous experience, beginning in Rome and winding northward to a delightful conclusion in Venice & Milan. Of all our accomodations, however, the most enjoyable was our week long stay in Tuscany at Casa Portagioia. The place is composed of an ancient farmhouse and outbuildings that have been meticulously restored and updated into a B&B with all the amenities of a four star hotel. The "farm" is located in a beautiful valley a few kilometers from Castiglion Fiorentino, an ancient hill town that has, as yet, escaped the oversaturation of tourism and provides a nice balance of activities and local flavor. The property is beautifully landscaped and includes a marvelous pool that overlooks the surrounding farms and vineyards. Initially we weren't too concerned about having a pool but it proved to be a welcome refuge after four days of exploring the nearby hill towns of Siena, Assisi, Montalcino, Montepulciano and Cortona. Following a morning hike up the surrounding hillsides, a quiet afternoon at the pool with a book and a bottle of wine was the perfect antidote to our sightseeing burnout. And "perfect" seems to be the best word for describing everything at Casa Portagioia - including our hosts, Terry and Marcello, who continually went out of their way to do whatever they could to make our stay as comfortable and problem free as possible. I almost hate to tell about this fantastic place for fear that it will be all booked up the next time we plan to stay there but Terry & Marcello deserve the accolades for their unique and beautiful place.
Pittsburgh, PA USA Tue 07/18/2006
Italy Farm Stay Pescosolido
taly Farm Stay was one of our best experiences in Italy. It a welcome break from the heat of Rome, where we were living, and it was also the place where we experienced some of the most beautiful and unusual landscapes I've seen anywhere in my travels. The overnight camping hike up into the mountains will etched in my mind forever. I don'[t know anywhere else that you can hike up a mountain to find a land of white stones and deep green tiny herbs, stay in a shepherd's hut and wake up to watching fresh cheeses being made. It was truly an unbelievable experience. The farm itself is delightful with very clean, beautiful rooms and wonderful homemade food and wine and olive oil. My boyfriend and I both fell in love with everyone and everything there. Highly recommended.
Philadelphia, PA USA Mon 07/17/2006
Italy Farm Stay, Pescosolido
My Husband & I have just returned from a most wonderful 10 day stay at Italy Farm Stay at Pescasolido near Sora on the Latium slope of the Abbruzzi national Park. We had a most relaxing and enjoyable holiday. From the time we first made the booking with Antonello to the time we actually arrived we were given excellent information and attention.
We were greeted very warmly and made to feel at home straight away. Our double en-suite room was of a very good standard, clean, comfortable, spacious with a well appointed en-suite bathroom. The view of the mountains from our window was spectacular. Our door opened on to a delightful covered terrace, which was a great place to sit in the shade and read or chat.
The farm itself is a very nice place to explore.
Antonello is a very enterprising young man who is passionate about his region of Italy and wanting visitors to enjoy it as much as he does. He really tries to arrange walks and activities that he feels would be of interest to his guests. Nothing is pushed on to the visitor, he makes suggestions of activities that might be of interest and then if you wish to join in he goes to a lot of trouble to accommodate you.
He is helped in this venture by his parents, Maria and Guiseppe and they all make a wonderful team. They all genuinely enjoy meeting new people and are brilliant hosts.
There is the option of having home cooked meals in the family home. We would recommend these wholeheartedly. Maria is a very good cook and makes full use of home grown produce to make delicious meals, which include Guiseppe's lovely wine. Meal times were always great fun whilst we were there. It is a good opportunity to meet other guests and Antonello kept us all amused with wonderful tales of his own travels around the world and local stories.
We did hire a car and were able to travel further into the national park and went down to Pompeii for the day, which was very straight forward if you are happy to drive in Italy. If you don't wish to hire a car it is possible to get around to a certain extent by bus or train it is approximately 1 mile into the large town of Sora, which has a train station and bus station.
If you love the countryside, mountain views, good company and a holiday away from the 'rat-race' Italy Farm Stay is the ideal spot.
Gina & David Jackin Berkshire England
Gina & David Jacklin
Wokingham,Berkshire, England Mon 07/17/2006
Agriturismo La Corte, Calamdrana, Piedmonte, Italy
We stayed at the lovely agriturismo La Corte in Calamandrana, Italy and it was just wonderful. Great room, relaxing pool, lots of wine tasting all around, delicious breakfast. And the staff are so nice. If you want to go to a part of Italy that is free of American tourists, got to the Piedmonte area and go wine tatsing. Wow.http://www.agrilacorte.com/inglese/fr_agriturismo.htm
Mountain View, CA USA Sun 07/16/2006
We vacationed in Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Netherlands for 3 weeks to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The highlight of our trip is our one week stay at Agriturismo Cretaiole. We were only expecting the rental of one of their units for a week, that's all. We sure didn't expect organized activities for our week's stay! Isabella reviewed the prepared activity sheet with us on arrival. It was our choice to either participate or not. My only regret is we didn't participate in all the organized activities. Next time!
The following is what makes Cretaiole an exceptional Agriturismo: 1. Upon our late arrival, Isabella makes dinner reservations on our behalf at Il Camarlengo in Castelmuzio. It was like a preview of the yummy Italian food we would be eating all week long. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the wines of Italy.awesome! 2. The use of one of their cell phones. We just had to buy the chip. 3. An organized trip to Podere Il Casale, an organic hobby farm. After our tour by our hostess, Sandra, we were treated to a wonderful lunch. All the yummy dishes served to us were either grown or produced on the farm. The cost of the lunch is a bargain. I'm sure it would have cost us a lot more if we had that amount of food in a restaurant. 4. An organized trip to Uccelliera Winery in Castelnuova Dell' Abate. This winery tour has to be the most informative tour I've ever been on. We got to taste their Brunello from their 2005 to 2002 vintage(stored in barrels) and their newly released 2001 vintage. What a treat! 5. A Siena walking tour paid for by Cretaiole. Too bad it rained cats and dogs on that day. We broke off from the group and took refuge in a bar. 6. Isabella takes us on a walking tour in Pienza of an ancient Hermitage/Etruscan tomb(on their property). 7. One afternoon, we participated in an olive oil tasting class in the gathering room. Isabella and Carlo teach us everything we wanted to know about olive oil but too naïve to ask. 8. On our final evening, all the guests gathered for a pici making class. It was a time of fun and laughter, as we have already gotten to know most of the other guests. After, we ate the fruits of our labor-pici with Ragu sauce(cooked by Mama) and barbecue meat cooked by Carlo, Isabella's husband. The whole Moricciani family joined us in the festivities. When it was time to call it a night, it felt like saying goodbye to family. 9. Finally, what makes Cretaiole exceptional is Isabella. She is one of the most extra-ordinary people I've ever met in my life, the type of person you would like as your lifelong friend. Talking about a walking travel guidebook! I could go on and on, but the best way to find out about her is to visit Cretaiole.
Of all the places we visited this trip, there is only one place I want to go back to.Cretaiole. I will return one day!
Delta, BC Canada Wed 07/12/2006
In May 2006 we had a wonderful stay at the Cretaiole farmhouse, 4 kilometers from Pienza. We have been in Tuscany before, but never so right in the middle of the scenery and the countryside. Panoramic views everywhere, not in the least from the Cretaiole itself. We enjoyed the tour the family gave us around the ancient Romitorio, situated on their property, and we admire the way they keep everything in its original state. Also we will never forget how to make pici the way Isabella taught us! We also drank a lot of their wine, which was very very good. For us it was a very special vacation! Amsterdam, Hans and Maja Vervoort
Hans & Maja Vervoort
Amsterdam, Netherlands Mon 07/03/2006
The very best ever!
We hesitate to praise the piece of heaven we have found on earth, Casa Portagioia (www.tuscanbreaks.com. We were too late to reserve an appartment this year but guest rooms are so comfortable that we will forgo the wonderful country kitchens. This is our 4th year visiting Marcello & Terry. Without them the rest of the year in NYC would be impossible! What great and funny guys; what a haven they have created!!!
Mike, Gerry & John
New York, NY USA Fri 06/30/2006
It has now been two years since we were in Italy and I have not stopped dreaming about the time we spent at La Cassette in Umbria, just outside of Orvieto. It was like instantly becoming a part of an Italian family. We were not with a big tour and were the only Americans there. Carlo, Danellia, and Lazero were such great hosts. We were there for Lazero's birthday and so it was champagne instead of Lazero's homemade grappa for dessert. If you want to stay at a fancy place where you are pampered, then this is not it. But, if you want to become part of Italy, there is no place better. Then you, like me, will dream of the yellow sunsets, great food and wine, and family of Umbria
Bellingham, WA USA Fri 06/30/2006
We stayed in Casa Portagioia for two nights and very much enjoyed the experience. Professional and friendly hosts in Terry and Marcello - excellent food, a beautifully landscaped property and grounds which included a great swimming pool. The bedroom (ours was 'Veterini') was cool and became cooler still with the aircon, given it was 40C outside! It was well-appointed, comfortable and quiet, and we would thoroughly recommend staying here - especially considering it is such a great location both in itself and also for touring the local history and culture in both Tuscany and Umbria, e.g. Castiglion di Fiorentina, Perugia, Cortona, Siena etc. Highly recommended. Their website: www.tuscanbreaks.com
Julian & Judi
30 June 2006
Julian & Judi
Milton Keynes, Bucks UK Fri 06/30/2006
Wonderful Accommodation in Tuscany
We stayed at Pierre and Martina's villa near Castiglion di Fiorentina in Tuscany (near the Umbrian borders). A beautiful setting - half way up the olive-grove hillside looking over the valley to the west. Beautifully quiet, warm, friendly and generous hosts and top quality accommodation and food. It would be difficult to beat this we think. Highly recommended by us. Be prepared for a rugged drive up to their property on their track - we did it without incident many times in our compact hire car. Pierre and Martina are going to get a swimming pool which will add even more delight to the stopover during the hot days. We were here in mid-late June and temperatures were very hot (40C). Bedrooms were cool and there is such a wealth of incredible history, culture and style within just a few miles that it is a place we will be going back to. We travel a lot and normally stay in hotels and this time we are so glad we came to this beautiful area and this accommodation instead. We knew little about the accommodation before we arrived so it was great luck for us but now we can pass on a recommendation, if you like personal service, tranquility and beauty then go visit them like we did. www.tuscanyheaven.net Julian & Judi 30 June 2006.
Julian & Judi
Milton Keynes, Bucks UK Fri 06/30/2006
Le Marche Region (between Matelica & Castelraimondo)
Having been to Italy a number of times, we were ready to explore a new and less touristed area. We decided upon the Marche Region, the area east of Umbria extending to the Adriatic, which has only 7% of the tourists that visit Tuscany. As there are very few travel books on this area we decided to stay at Il Casato after having read a NY Times article and a post on the graffiti wall. An excellent source of information on the Marche, is the Marche Region website (www.le-marche.com). Mario, and his wife Mara are a delight. Mario's enthusiasm for life is unsurpassed, and everything is spoken with his mouth and hands. If something isn't magnifico, then it is fabuloso! Il Casato is in an idyllic location, with 360 degree views of Marche countryside, vineyards and mountains. We visited in mid-May and as a foursome decided we would describe the area as contiguous lush green fairways amongst stands of deciduous trees. For those that like to hike, there are trails leading right from Il Casato into the countryside and up some nearby low mountains. Mario produces most all the food that Mara cooks for dinner, which is optional and extra, but very good. Mario is very proud, and rightfully so of his new rooms that are nearly complete. The existing rooms are very adequate and clean. Double rooms rent for approx $100 per night, which was a little more than we paid anywhere else on our 2 week vacation, but we did not regret our stay. The only disappointment was the breakfast, which was lacking in cheese, fruit, or yogurt as is almost standard at most B&B's and Agriturismos. A word of caution if you need to do laundry. The men decided they would go into Matelica and do the laundry for the four of us. As they were driving out of the driveway, Mario jumped in and kindly offered to show them the way. When they arrived at the Cleaners/Laundromat the men made it very clear they did not want it dry-cleaned, but washed in a washing machine. We still don't know how it was cleaned, but not well, and the bill was $145 for about 5 loads. We certainly didn't let it ruin our trip but it was a shock and we wouldn't want it to happen to anyone else. Il Casato website: http://www.ilcasato.net/
Tulsa, OK USA Sun 06/25/2006
We just returned from Tuscany a few weeks ago and found a great B&B near Cortona, just outside the small village of Castiglion Fiorentino. Pierre and Martina took such good care of us, giving directions and letting us do laundry and cooking fabulous breakfasts. It was truly the best week of our vacation. If you're looking for quiet solitude amidst a beautiful setting surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and forest this is the place. We sat on the veranda every evening for drinks with our hosts and had the most amazing views of the valley below. The accomodations were very comfortable and private. We will definitely return there. Pierre and Martina's web site is www.tuscanyheaven.net. Check it out! Lee and Sidney, Houston, Tx.
Houston, Tx. USA Sun 06/25/2006
My husband and I and another couple just returned from a stay at Borgo Argenina, and we can not say enough about the wonderful time we had there. Borgo Argenina is beautifully restored and run by Elena, who is a sheer joy to spend time with. We were only approximately 12 km from Siena, and it was an easy drive to Florence, Volterra and San Gimignano. There are wonderful, quaint restaurants nearby, and the small vineyards providing wine tasting were all very enjoyable. Although there is no swimming pool, the accommodations are the best and the views spectacular. We spent one afternoon walking around the surrounding vineyards with Elena and learned much about the local history and culture. One night, Elena fixed a wonderful Tuscan dinner and we all sat around her huge kitchen table enjoying the food, wine and great company. Elena's gardens and flowers are amazing - adding to the overall beauty. If you are looking for a true Tuscan experience at a perfect location, Borgo Argenina is it.
Evergreen, CO USA Sat 06/24/2006
Castello di Selvole in Tuscany
I am not sure if this passes as an "agriturismo" but I just stayed in the most wonderful place. You can check out the website at www.selvole.com First of all, the prices are cheap! When we arrived at the train station, there was a van that arrived promptly and picked us up. They were very friendly and helpful. I believe that everyday, there is a shuttle to and from town, twice daily. The place is exquisite and very quiet for relaxing. I do recommend renting a car in Siena if you want to travel to the hilltowns in Tuscany. The Caslte of Selvole is a bit outside of Siena, Italy so your closest town is one you can walk to. But again, renting a car is ideal! The "castle" is cozy and reasonable and quiet! It was a lovely stay!
Mt. Juliet, TN USA Fri 06/23/2006
Tenuta San Carlo in Maremma Tuscany
I just wanted to share a wonderful experience I had at Tenuta San Carlo in Tuscany. It's a farm with over 500 acres of land in the national park of l'uccellina with private beach access and everything you need to spend a relaxed and comfortable week in Tuscany. Not only was the land exquisite but the hospitality was as well. The prices are some of the lowest I could find while searching for a place to stay, and I was extremely pleased. The farm is teeming with activities and wildlife of the rarest kinds in Italy. If anyone is a nature person like I am, I really recommend it. Their website is: www.tenutasancarlo.com
Brooklyn, NY USA Tue 06/20/2006
Another nod to Il Poggiolo
I just wanted to add another tip of the hat to Il Poggiolo - the post below really hits all of the great things about staying there. Graziella is a wonderful host and we spent a lovely five nights in her detached apartment. Highly recommended! Another piece of advice: book directly through Graziella, rather than through tuscany.net. Everyone saves a bit of money that way.
Nate and April
Madison, WI USA Sat 06/17/2006
Il Poggiolo, Florence: Fantastic Agriturismo
We stayed with Graziella (Il-Poggiolo) from May 6 - 9, 2006. What a wonderful experience it was!!! She made us feel like family and was incredibly hospitable, frequently going out of her way to make our trip more memorable. For example she picked us up at the bus stop, make arrangements at a nearby restaurant & even provided the transportation, and took us to a small deli. The accommodations were very nice (we stayed in the detached apartment) and even had a full kitchen. There are 3 friendly collies on the property as well as cats and horses. The view of the countryside from Graziella's reminded us of the Smoky Mountains. Florence can be seen in the distance, and the view is incredible.
This is an olive farm, and the organic olive oil is among the best there is. You can purchase olive oil from Graziella before you leave. She will even package it for safe travel.
To make your visit even more special, be sure to make plans with Graziella for dinner one evening. You won't be disappointed.
Il-Poggiolo is very charming and highly recommended for anyone who enjoys the countryside and wants to get away from the hustle & bustle of the city. It is close enough to spend the day in Florence and relax in the evening.
Be sure to check out http://www.il-poggiolo.it We highly recommend it!!!
Andrea & Rob Harness
Osceola, IN USA Wed 06/14/2006
LEVANTO, ITALY (just N of Cinque Terre)
Erba Persa is a small agriturismo/villa just a 6-minute train ride north of the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a beautiful location with the azure sea, vinyards terraced on steep mountainsides, and melon-colored houses stacked like building blocks, but unfortunately has become terribly overrun with tourists. Levanto is a quiet alternative to staying in one of the five CT villages while visiting Liguria. My most favorite part of staying at Erba Persa is Grazia, and her husband, Claudio. Their rooms are clean and plenty roomy by European standards. Grazia provides a generous breakfast with a variety of choices of breads, rolls, juice, yogurt, fresh fruit and cheese, and her homemade preserves (kiwi which was especially good). She speaks good English, and works hard to increase her vocabulary. The town of Levanto has a sandy beach and nice bay with beautiful sunsets. The train station is about a 4-block walk, but Grazia/Claudio will pick you up at the train station. An excellent restaurant in Levanto is da Rino, typical Ligurian food, fresh and delicious. Grazia will also direct you to the best gelateria in Levanto following dinner at da Rino. You may check out their website at www.erbapersa.it.
Tulsa, OK USA Tue 06/13/2006
May 13-20th, 2006 we spent a glorious week at Agriturismo Poggio Salvi. We were just ahead of the "high" season so our accomodations were very reasonably priced. Comfy, scenic and immaculate. Birdsong all day (and some at night) beautiful location, host is very accomodating and helpful with directions, recommendations, etc. 15 minutes from Siena (which we loved - way more than Florence)and centrally located to the hill towns of Tuscany. A car is an absolute must. Hope to return to this lovely place in the future.
Ottawa, ON Canada Sat 06/10/2006
We also just got back from staying at La Crociona (5/22-26). The pool was open with furniture when we were there. We too were disappointed that there were no cooking classes. We were offered recipes in English if we wanted. Fiorella and the grandmother did cook a "family dinner" one evening. They actually cooked for two days. It was awesome, but we were not told the price until we checked out. It was a deal; we ate and drank wine for four hours at the cost of 35 Euro each. It was also my birthday and they made a birthday cake for me. There were about 30 people at the dinner. Not everyone from the complex was invited, so it was a little confusing. We almost had to invite ourselves. We also were charged 8 euro for a load of laundry, but it was worth it. We did ask about wine tasting and they did a tour of the new area and wine tasting. Roberto did a great job and he is very knowledgeable. Fiorella was driving back and forth to Sienna every day. She would be gone every day, except for when she did the dinner. Barbara was very gracious about phone use. I needed to check on a flight from Brussels Air. She called them three times for me and then finally gave me the phone to do it myself. She would not allow me to use the computer until she was not able to find what I needed for the flight. Roberto was always kind and patient. Barbara was always so frantic and scattered. We did enjoy our stay there though. Our apt was the second story of the restored hayloft which was somewhat removed from the rest of the area. Very beautiful scenery. Barbara did write down some restaurant suggestions for Montalcino for us and she was right on target. We would go back there and adjust our expectations. It was a great location. Barbara also made some reservations for us at different wineries for tastings, at our request. I think Barbara needs some help to run the place. I think she is trying to do too much. I think mom is backing out of the day to day operations.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 06/06/2006
I spent a week at this agriturismo in April and echo the sentiments of others who have posted favorable comments about their stay there. It was the highlight of my trip to Tuscany. It is one of the few of its kind that offers many interesting activities including tours of Siena and nearby Pienza. It is ideal for the solo traveler, like myself, because you can meet and hook up with others for the activities and tours. By the way, the Pope Pius II palace in Pienza is a don't miss stop when you are in Tuscany. Read about it in Rick Steves' guide book on Tuscany. I bumped into RS in front of the Palace on my tour of Pienza. He was there filming a segment for his TV show. You can e-mail me if you have questions about Cretaiole.
Burton, Texas USA Sun 06/04/2006
My husband and I have just returned from a delightful stay at the Metina Farmhouse near Montepulchino, Italy. The views here were beautiful and Alberto and Monica were very accmmodating and helpful. The swimming pool was a great plus.Their web site is www.metina.it
Reno, Nevada USA Thu 06/01/2006
Winery agriturismo near Ravenna
My wife and I had a wonderful two-week stay at Agriturismo La Sabbiona (www.lasabbiona.it), near the city of Faenza in Emilia Romagna. This beautiful winery is nestled in the foothills about one hour south of Ravenna. A family run operation (four generations live there), La Sabbiona is a good base-camp to travel to the beautiful village of Brisighella, as well as more well-known places such as Ravenna, San Marino, Faenza (ceramics capital) and the beaches of the Adriatic. We even made Venice a day trip. Prices are reasonable, and they have a variety of accomodations and an inviting swimming pool. Our stay was made more special as we happened to be there during a wine and art festival at the 13th century castle on the hill above the winery. If you want to get away to the peace and quiet of the country, but be able to visit nearby historical and interesting places, I highly recommend La Sabbiona. The only drawback is that you will need your own vehicle, as public transportation in the area appears to be minimal. By the way, the owner Serena speaks English.
Newark, CA USA Sun 05/28/2006
Le Cetinelle - Greve
An awesome place 5 km. uphill from Greve. The setting and views are spectacular, the rooms very comfortable and the breakfasts good and varied some each day. The owner Simonetta spoke English well and was most welcoming. She recommended great restaurants and offered to let us use the kitchen if we wanted. They produce wine and olive oil and you are able to purchase these to take home. The swimming pool was refreshing and there are lots of places on the property where you can just relax. The price is very reasonable and the atmosphere fantastic!
Townshend, VT USA Fri 05/26/2006
Agriturismo La Crociana, near Montalcino
We just returned from a 3 week trip to Italy, one of which was spent in an Agriturismo called La Crociona near Montalcino. If you are looking for a similar type of place to stay in the area, look elsewhere. We planned the last week of our Italian vacation in an agriturismo with the intent of resting, wine tasting, relaxing at the pool, and driving through the Tuscan country side. We had originally wanted to book at Le Cretaiole (based on all of the positive feedback on this web site) but because the owners of that location went on vacation while we were making our selections, we chose La Crociana instead. Our decision was based soley on the differences that La Crociana has a pool and cooking classes. However, it was not a good decision and I feel I must share with fellow Rick Steves readers. In fact, I think this location should be removed from ETBD. The web site boasts a pool, cooking classes, wine tasting and a welcoming family. The apartment was spacious and clean, however, the rest of it was not what we expected based on what the web site had stated. We were there for 6 days and the pool was not available to any of the guests for the entire time we were there. We, and other guests, were disappointed as not only could you not swim in it, access to even sitting near it was locked. Had it been unlocked, there were no chairs or umbrellas near the pool for use anyway. As well, when we attempted to schedule a cooking class we were told that the mother, Fiorella, has been cooking for 23 years and just "doesn't feel like doing it any more" and if she did "it would be at a price that we simply could not afford". Fiorella spends only weekends on the property, and was gone all week anyway, so I am not sure how she could have taught a class unless she rearranged her schedule. There are no phones in the apartments, only one in the building in which the owners (Fiorella, Barbara and Roberto) live. I needed to make an urgent call to my credit card company and for 3 days, they would not allow us access to the phone because they were either "too tired", "too busy", or the office was locked during what was posted as the hours they were to be open. We were simply told to drive to Montalcino to use a phone if we needed one. Thank goodness it wasn't a health, or family, emergency! The photos on the web site do the property justice, however, the vineyards that immediatlely surround the building have been removed and a very large gray patio area, and two buildings, have been installed due to the expansion of thier wine cellar. It was not the pretty view as we expected from the rooms. It seems that this family is now very focused on expanding the wine business and is not attending to the tourists that come to stay at their location. There is a lot of construction going on, and a lot of noise from that. As well, one day, because of some construction on the new buildings, we were without power or water. We wanted to see the new wine caves, and taste wine, but we were not given the opportunity to do so during our entire stay as the family was "too busy" each time we asked. However, on two afternoons while we were trying to relax, large tour buses arrived and were taken on a wine tour. One day it was school aged children who were extremely energetic and noisy. The final straw for us was that upon arrival, the daughter, Barbara, told us, and other guests who were sitting with us, that we could all do laundry and it was free of charge. Barbara said "it was part of their job" to offer this to the guests. In fact, she said if we put the laundry in the machine in the morning she would hang it up while we were out. Upon check out we were then told we had to pay 8 euro for each load of laundry we had done. Another couple was checking out at the same time, and the four of us were all surprised. Even though it is not a lot of money, it was still a surprise. We concluded that this was not the overall experience we had hoped for and would not recommend this location to anyone. However, in going back over the grafitti wall, I can only find two postings on this location, and perhaps there is a reason. Our experience was quite different from what one couple posted, and I cannot explain why. However, my advice to you is that if you are looking for Agriturismo in this area, start the booking process early, and book at Le Cretaiole. It is not far from this location, and sounds like a much more "guest friendly" place to spend your well earned time off from work and your hard earned money. If you would like more information, please post your email and I will respond to you. Ciao!
California USA Mon 05/22/2006
ColleLungo in Castellina in Chianti
We are presently staying at ColleLungo in Castellina in Chianti. It is a beautiful agriturismo! Gabriella, who runs the place, is extremely helpful and knowledgable about the area. It is relaxing and good for the soul!
NY USA Wed 05/17/2006
In April, we stayed at Agriturismo Belsedere, near Sienna. It was a beautiful alternative place to stay. We had a 2 bedroom apartment, with kitchen and fireplace, for under 100 euros/nt. The hosts were gracious, but only their son speaks English and he was not often there. Hence, we did not get to see the actual farm at work. My Italian is not too great, either! But, at breakfast we were able to sample the cheese and meat made there. This agriturismo was not in Rick's book on Italy, I found it on the internet. (Later discovered it is in his video though) I feel confident that this is due partially to the fact that it is NOT easy to find, between two small villages, Asciano and Trequanda.
River Ridge, LA USA Sun 05/14/2006
Locanda Borgo Antico- Chianti
Many years ago we stayed at the borgo Antico and had a quintessetial Tuscan week,with beautiful views, an impressive restaurant, and simple comfortable rooms. The staff could not have been nicer nor the wine better. You do need a car as it is off the track, but you'll feel as if you are in a Merchant Ivory movie staying there. One note of caution, though, I recommended the place to a family with two teenage boys and they hated the experience, because the boys were bored. just not into all that scenery,they wanted"Fun stuff" to do and as a result made everybody else miserable.
Treasure Coast, FL USA Wed 05/10/2006
Farm near Assisi
Agriturismo Poggio degli Olivi.Lovely farm overlooking the hills of Umbria and the town of Assisi. A peaceful haven from the rigors of touring. A superb restaurant on site as well as a pool and tennis. The miniature pigs and horses raised on the farm are an added attraction.The rooms are modern with luxurious bathrooms and some have fireplaces if you go in winter.The best part is the very reasonable price and the wonderful care of the family who own it.
Palm Beach, FL USA Sun 04/30/2006
Great little find
www.tenutalecolonie.it This place is located just outside of Vinci, 45 minute drive from Florence. The staff is fantastic, laid back and very fun. They greated us with a bottle of their own wine and made us feel very welcome.
Saint paul, MN USA Thu 04/27/2006
Agriturismo between Siena and Perugia
We just returned from a trip that included 5 nights at a WONDERFUL agriturismo called Agriturismo Tramontana, located near Tuoro on Lake Trasimeno. It's about 30 km from Perugia, close to the lake, Passignano and many hill towns. From there, when we could tear ourselves away from the beauty and relaxation at the farm, we did day trips to several hill towns, and took a ferry over to Isola Maggiore in Lake Trasimeno. In addition, it's about a ten minute drive to Terantola, where you can hop on a train for a 1.5 hour ride to Florence or a 2 hour ride to Rome. (We did the former.) The hosts, Beba, Rocco and Beba's daughter Anna, are delightful, and among them they speak Italian, German and English. The farm is organic and the food they serve, if you want them to cook for you, is all grown or raised there and is just delicious. They have two two-bedroom apartments (with kitchens), one of which is designed to be wheelchair-accessible, and they plan to build several one-bedroom apartments over the next year or two. They have a small swimming pool as well. Our stay there was a real high point, and our children's (ages 9 & 11) favorite part of our trip. They can be reached at email@example.com, or Tel./Fax +39 075 826174. There is a website but it's not yet in English. It was a wonderful place in located in a beautiful spot.
Seattle , WA USA Sat 04/22/2006
Le Trappoline agriturismo in Tuscany
We stayed at Le Trappoline for about a week last spring, and it was wonderful! It was an easy, scenic, approx. 20 min. drive to Siena. The owners are fantastic, and they gave us a tour of the bottling area on their farm. This was a really quiet, peaceful setting - we woke up to and fell asleep to birds chirping. We'd stay here again in a minute!
NC USA Thu 04/20/2006
Il Vecchio Frantoia in Scillato,Sicily
I should have done this months ago, but better late than never. We stayed at Il Vecchio Frantoia in Sicily after seeing your video. It is a gem. The food was spectacular with local specialities like wild boar,local wine, and, course, their own olive oil. The fresh antipasto and lunch were also fabulous, but it was almost impossible to eat lunch & dinner - there was so much great food to eat.
The owner was great and shared much about the place with us with a friendly after dinner drink. He said that he wants his guests to experience the real Sicily. The location is also great not far from Palermo & Cefalu with good access to many Sicilian hill towns.
Rooms were nice and the whole atmosphere felt like we were really experiencing Sicily, not just tourists. The mountain-side location is spectacular.
Wading River, NY USA Sat 04/15/2006
Metina website from two posts below
Sorry, I guess I forgot to add the website for this awesome place! Here is the English entry point: http://www.metina.it/azienda.en.php
St. Paul, MN USA Thu 04/13/2006
We just booked a week at Relais Poggio Borgoni in San Casciano (called San Casciano 566 in Agriturismo). Feedback on this B&B?
NB Canada Tue 04/11/2006
Agriturismo Metina - Acquaviva (Montepulciano)
Unbelievable. This place was truly a wonderful find. We just did lots of web searches and I came across this place. I sent an enquiry about the place and availability and received a quick response. I had wonderful and thorough communications with Alberto and Monica. When we arrived (pretty late), Monica came down, showed us to our room and took time to answer lots of questions. Then she told us to get settled in and come over to the main building (their house) for a wine tasting (this is like 8:30pm or so). We went over a bit later and she had us taste the farm's wines. It was great! They make Rosso di Montepulciano and have their own label. She also gave us a couple of bottles for free, although I don't know if that is standard. We were a pretty enthusiastic bunch.
Metina is a little working vineyard and olive grove nestled snug in the hills of Montepulciano, deep in wine country. The tiny village of Acquaviva is officially where the place is located, although you can see the hill town of Montepulciano from your bedroom window across picturesque olive groves and vineyards (with the gratuitous cypress tree here and there!). There was no one else there when we stayed (November of 2004), which was understandable, since there isn't much tourism that time of year (which is why we went at that time). There are like 4 little self-catering villas on the grounds. There is a nice pool but it was too cold when we were there. Also, a nice patio and barbecue area that guests can use. It is a pretty hands off operation, which we all liked. I believe they gave us a significant discount in price because we decided to stay longer. This is one of the best places I have ever stayed. It's not the Ritz, because there really isn't anything fancy, but the atmosphere and being able to walk right into the vineyard and eat a few grapes is straight out of a novel!
St. Paul, MN USA Fri 04/07/2006
Il Casato, Le Marque
Following an article in the New York Times, my wife and I recently stayed at Agriturismo, Il Casato near Castelraimondo in the Le Marque region. What a treat! Our experience was similar to a previous posting. Mario Boria and his wife, Mara, were a highlight of our almost three weeks in Italy. Le Marque is as yet 'undiscovered', beautiful, even in winter, and with much to see in the nearby hill towns and area. The accommodations are modest, but modern and comfortable. More amenity is coming this summer with the completion of Mario's apartments. Any modesty in the accommodations, however, is more than made up by Mario's outgoing friendliness and love of people and life. Mara's cooking of the local cuisine is fantastico. The prosciutto, cheese, wine and meat are all from Mario's farm. We ate all of our evening meals at Il Casato. Our days were occupied with maps and suggestions from Mario on things to see and do. Tuscany and Umbria are just over the hills and an easy drive for day trips, but there is more than enough to see and do in Le Marque. In summary, Il Casato was a wonderful experience and one we want to repeat.
Sacramento, CA USA Fri 03/17/2006
farm stays in Abruzzi National Park
I participated in Antonello's agriturismo project. The country style is very different from that of an italian city, in a good way. It's quieter, and beautiful, and very connected to a way of life that has been preserved for centuries. I saw ricotta cheese being made by a family, with a hunched-over old woman supervising (pure expert), and animals grazing in the backyard. Antonello's lovely mother showed me how to make pizza from scratch, and we ate it the next day on top of a mountain. We went looking for mushrooms in the woods, and cooked them for supper, which included fresh bread and artigionale wine. We went to a country dance at the rancher's house. And such a host- he took me everywhere, from a breathtaking waterfall, to a hilarious carnival, to a town parade... And that's just the beginning. If you believe in a well-rounded travel experience, and you like fresh air, you should do this!
Philadelphia, PA USA Fri 03/10/2006
Great farm in Chianti area
Last September we traveled througout Italy for a month. By far our best experience was our week stay at Cignan Bianco, an agrirtourismo outside of Castelina in Chianti. The apartment we stayed in was very clean and could sleep 4. It had full kitchen that we took advantage of every day. The wife speaks English, and although hard to track down (we were there during harvest) very accomodating. There is a patio overlooking the vines with a grill. We enjoyed cooking local food from the co-op in town and eating outside every night. website is www.cignanbianco.it. Well worth the 500 euros for the week.
Woodland Hills, CA USA Wed 03/08/2006
Abruzzi National Park
ItalyFarmStay Abruzzi National Park. My countryside experience. thanks very much go out to a most gracious host and newfound friend Antonello. See, I did the 'tourist' italy back in november, hitting all the hot spots in rome, firenze, milano, but those three weeks quite frankly were blown out of the water by this visit. The snow-capped mountains were a beautiful backdrop every morning, concheta the donkey hee'd and hawed every time i came down, warming the heart that the weather could never get ahold of. I am from Texas, and so the cold does not go over so well, but the days were so jam packed with hillside hikes, visits to real italian cowboy ranches, nearby postwar towns, pizzerias, floating island overlooks, beautiful vistas and landscapes from the casa di DH Lawrence (famous author from England), 6am walks to see the real-life rural style cheese-making shepherd, and so much i am sure I'm forgetting, all forged together an unusually unforgettable experience. I never thought that an hour and a half south of rome could feel so secluded and surreal! italyfarmstay.com told about the floating island and the falls, but nothing prepared me for their real-time magic. look out the window and over the valley holding friendly Sora and other villages, standing the test of culture shock and time. don't ever change italyfarmstay!
Austin, TX USA Sat 03/04/2006
We stayed at Montepiano, in Le Stelle (the attic room). Montasola is the medieval village, near Casperia, in Rieti. I highly recommend this location, though nearly impossible to find, especially at night. The train into Rome is nearby, about a half an hour away, so you will need a car rental to get out here. Letizia runs Montepiano, and can arrange everything for you, and I mean everything. She is a bubbly fountain of information, and while we were there, she arranged cooking classes for us, as well as inviting us to her mother's birthday party in nearby Casperia (where much of the town turned out for the celebrations). The scenery is breathtaking, with views from the balcony that extend nearly to Rome on a clear day. This is, by far, the most romantic place I have been, the most hospitality, and reasonable prices.
Shoreline, WA USA Sun 02/12/2006
agriturism in Italy
My wife Joyce and I stayed for 3 days in January at Agriturismo Cretaiole near Pienza (south of Siena). I would recommend it highly for others. A car is necessary and some warm clothes in winter will help. Look at a map and see how many wonderful hill towns are nearby. Isabella and her family did all that I could hope for as a traveler in Italy.
urbana, il USA Wed 02/08/2006
agriturismo in Tuscany
Try Podere Asche in Santa Fiora, a lovely agriturismo in Santa Fiora in the green Amiata mountain area of Tuscany. It is off the tourist track, an organic farm, surrounded by chestnut forested hills, within walking distance of a medieval hill town with a summer music festival. An hour drive from the coast, hotsprings, Etruscan ruins, Montelcino, San Antimo, etc.The owners, Sandro Martillini and family, are great. There are animals and children are welcome. There are 5 bedrooms, each with seperate basic bathroom, rates are very reasonable. website podereasche.com and email, English OK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Willits, CA USA Mon 02/06/2006
Warm winter agritourism
Just want to add to Janet's comment about Agritourisms in winter. It is true that a big stone farmhouse can be next to impossible to heat. I know because I've stayed in exactly that kind of agritourism before in Tuscany in winter. But I've also stayed in Italy in the winter at a couple of smaller apartments (one at an agritourism) which were kept toasty warm.
Another reason to venture a trip in winter is that farmers often have much more free time in the winter, which is also a very slow tourist season in Italy. It can mean extra attention, a very warm welcome, and maybe even a deal. (The vastly cheaper airfare alone is already a nice deal.)
Kennebunk, ME USA Fri 02/03/2006
Tuscany Agriturismo for four nites
I am having difficulty finding an Agriturismo in the Tuscany area for four nites in May. (most want a week only). Any suggestions would be most helpful
Atlanta, GA USA Fri 02/03/2006
Sicily - Casale Delle Rose
A fantastic place near Castelgirone. Perfect location for visiting locations areas near the Catania side of Sicily. Very scenic and the food is fresh and wonderful. Highly recommended. Their web site is: http://www.casaledellerose.com/it_index.asp
Naples , Italy Fri 01/20/2006
Agriturismo in winter
Our family just stayed for 8 nights outside Florence in a quaint agriturismo, but beware... if you plan a stay in the winter months it will be cold! The flat was wonderful except we could never get the temperature above 60F and cooler at night! It would be perfect in the summer but not being able to sleep for 3 nights is worth rethinking. Bundled up for family Christmas morning will always be remembered! Just thought I would comment!
Budapest, Hungary Thu 01/12/2006