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How to Stay at an Agriturismo in Italy

Views over an agriturismo in Sicily -- a farm building in the foreground and terraced farmland, underneath a purple sunset.

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Staying at an agriturismo is something that I prioritize on almost every trip I take to Italy. There’s nothing like relaxing in the Italian countryside, dining on outstandingly fresh produce, and living la dolce vita — far from the cities.

Agriturismi (the plural of agriturismo) are Italian farms that double as bed and breakfasts. They are found in every part of the country, and they’re a hugely popular way for Italians to travel.

Italian farm holidays have caught on with foreign tourists, and Barbara Kingsolver wrote about visiting agriturismi in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, her bestselling memoir about eating only local food for one year.

So take it from me, your Italy-obsessed friend — you will love staying at an agriturismo. It’s just the right amount of Italy off the beaten path. In fact, your agriturismo stay might end up being the highlight of your trip to Italy!

But I know it might sound a bit complicated. How do you even book one of these places? How can you tell it’s a good one?

Read on for how to find the agriturismo that’s perfect for you.

View from Agriturismo La Rocca delle Rose near Mount Etna in Sicily.

What is an agriturismo?

An agriturismo is a farmstay in Italy — a small, independently owned working farm where tourists can stay overnight.

In the period of industrialization post-World War II, many farmers in Italy were packing up and moving to the cities to make ends meet. Farms were falling into disrepair, and the Italian government soon realized this was putting their beloved food traditions at risk.

In 1985, Italian lawmakers passed legislation creating a legal definition of the word agriturismo and providing funds for farm estates who were willing to convert them into accommodation. And it worked like a dream. Soon these farmers became innkeepers, introducing visitors to rural Italian life.

Today, Italian agriturismi are a beloved tradition — and they’re incredibly diverse. You can find agriturismi at all price points, from very cheap and simple guesthouses that look like you’re staying in a bare-bones attic to five-star luxury properties with spa treatments and a concierge.

Usually, though, most of them are small farms focusing on agriculture. (This is a big difference from American farms, which tend to be much larger and focused on livestock. Most likely the…

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