Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Want the real Tuscany? Forget hotels

When visiting a region as stunningly beautiful as Tuscany, it seems a shame to stay in a traditional hotel. Hotels are pretty much the same the world over, so get a more authentic flavour of the region, more and more tourists are choosing to stay on Tuscan farms. In fact ‘agriturismo’ in Italy is booming, with many farms adapting existing buildings and ways of working to accommodate tourists. These aren’t just rooms bolted onto ramshackle barns. Many farm-stays feel more like luxury villas, with pools and charming Tuscan architecture offering a spacious, secluded, warm welcome with all the comforts of home. 

One of Tuscany’s biggest draws is the incredible food and wine, so what better way to immerse yourself in the culture of gastronomy than to stay where it’s made. Just like wineries that offer cellar-door tastings, a farm-stay in Tuscany will often offer the chance to sample a wonderful range of fresh organic produce grown locally. From freshly pressed olive oil and vine-ripened tomatoes to ricotta or pecorino cheese milked and made moments away, food provenance doesn’t get much more authentic.

And it’s not just visitors that benefit. Agricultural tourism has helped regenerate an industry that can struggle at times. More than offering a new source of income for Tuscan farmers who embrace the opportunity to share their world, agriturismo is helping protect a traditional way of life for generations to come.