7 reasons why Italian agriturismos are a great place for a family holiday

7 reasons why Italian agriturismos are a great place for a family holiday

An “agriturismo” is an Italian farm which offers accommodation to guests. Prices, standards and facilities vary hugely so it pays to do a bit of research. Some are rustic in the truest sense of the term with mosquito infested rooms, leaky showers and incessantly barking farm dogs while others may offer quite a luxurious experience. The best ones, I think, fall somewhere in between the two; I’ve enjoyed amazing hospitality, fantastic food and stunning scenery at plenty of farm stays over the years. In case you’re not familiar with this type of holiday, I’ve listed the main reasons to stay at an agriturismo for a family holiday. Also, I’m concentrating on the traditional sort of agrturismo, not the luxury end of the market.

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Mesmerising farm action, Sicily

  1. Plenty of space
    If you’re travelling with children, young or old, it’s important to have plenty of space. Young children in particular need to run around and burn off some energy, older kids will enjoy exploring, while teens can enjoy some independence by borrowing a bike and escaping to a nearby village.

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    Escapism in the Sibillini Mountains, Le Marche

  2. Good value
    Prices range depending on quality and the time of year. We paid 120 Euros per night in Sicily including breakfast for a one bedroom apartment at Nacalino Agriturismo and the same price for a quad room at Baglio Pollicarini. This summer, we’re meeting friends in Rome and I’m looking at some farms near Tivoli. I’m being quoted 85-140 Euros for a family room or apartment in high season.

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    Exploring, Sicily

  3. Of course, if you’re after a more luxurious experience, there are plenty of  (pricey)places offering a farm-lite experience. Hotels are popping up all over the place in Italy with the word “masseria” (meaning fortified farmhouse) in their title, particularly in Puglia where this type of farm originates. You’ll have luxurious bed linens and gourmet food but your farm experience might be limited to passing a photogenic gnarled olive tree on your way to dinner.
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    The compulsory gnarled olive tree found at any self respecting luxury masseria in Puglia

  5. Food
    This was my main reason for staying at agriturismos pre-kids. From sipping amazing Vino Nobile with steak near Montepulciano in Tuscany to an epic banquet in Piedmonte prepared solely for my husband and I, some of my most enjoyable gastronomic experiences have been on farms in Italy. However, if your kids are anything like ours and they just want pasta with pesto, your gracious hosts will more than likely rustle that up too. And of course, the breakfasts are superb: think freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade cakes and biscuits, fresh bread with local jams and honey. We were even asked to sample some tiramisu for breakfast in Sicily.

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    Eating outside: perfect for parents and children

  6. In summer time, you generally eat outside at agriturismos so once your children have wolfed down their pasta they can go and play while you enjoy a five course meal at your leisure.
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    Swimming pool with a view, Le Marche

  8. Facilities
    Some agriturismos are very simple affairs with just a few guest rooms in a converted barn. However, you can find a whole host of facilities at some properties including self catering facilities, full board meals (Italians love this), swimming pools, playgrounds, farm museums, bike hire, cooking lessons, spa treatments, horse riding, Wi-Fi (that’s the teens sorted) and so on.

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    Free bikes and a BBQ: standard at many agriturismos

  9. To make friends
    An agriturismo is a great place to meet other children, particularly in the summer months. Even without having a common language, children have an amazing ability to befriend one another and find common ground.

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    Agriturismos are great for making friends (these are both my kids but I’m sure they’d have befriended anyone who came to play!)

  10. More than 2.4 children? No problem…
    Many agriturismos offer apartments or cottages with one or more bedrooms making them a great value alternative to traditional hotel accommodation. Italians are very creative with space and always manage to cram lots of sofa beds into their holiday accommodation. And if you don’t want to cook for your brood, plenty of farms offer self catering accommodation and a restaurant so you have the best of both worlds.

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    House with garden at an agriturismo in Le Marche, perfect for larger families

  11. Location
    Italy is an agricultural nation, there are farms everywhere: near the seaside, in the mountains and close to cities. Don’t assume that you can’t use a farm as a base for a beach holiday, there are agriturismos aplenty near the Tuscan coast as well as in Le Marche and Puglia. Given the undulating nature of Italy’s landscape, you’ll often get a stunning view from your bedroom window.

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    Our view of Mt Etna from Baglio Pollicarini, Sicily

  12. For our trip to Rome this summer, I can’t face being in a city centre hotel when it’s so hot and I don’t want to fork out for an expensive city hotel with a pool. So I’m planning to book a farm stay close to a train station so that we can commute into Rome and then escape at the end of the day to a rural idyll with a swimming pool and a great restaurant!
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    The perfect antidote to a day exploring a busy city

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43 Comments

  1. 05/11/2017 / 11:57 am

    Love it Annabel! In fact, I just took a break from writing my post on staying in agriturismos. It’s such a wonderful way to travel and they come as basic or as luxe as you like. The one we stayed at in Sicily was incredible – had it’s own restaurant and wine bar and was set in a lemon grove. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • 05/11/2017 / 8:53 pm

      I’m hoping to stay in a few luxe ones again in the future! Look forward to hearing about yours.

  2. 05/11/2017 / 3:25 pm

    We stayed at an agriturismo outside of San Gimignano on our honeymoon. It was fabulous and I can see what you are saying about the benefits when traveling with kids. Hmm, Italy is popping up all over the place today. It may be time to think about revisiting with the family. #FarawayFlies

    • 05/11/2017 / 8:50 pm

      Definitely take your kids to Italy, our children were treated like royalty on our last visit!

      • 09/12/2017 / 2:29 pm

        I agree, I just took my two boys aged 7 & 9 backpacking and interrailing round Italy, We had a magical time. Love it!

  3. Clare Thomson
    05/12/2017 / 1:23 pm

    This is fantastic, Annabel. You’ve completely sold them to me and it looks as if you can stay there for some really reasonable prices too. Are there any central booking websites for agriturismos, do you know? Thanks for sharing this on #FarawayFiles

    • 05/12/2017 / 8:34 pm

      Great! I use agriturismo.it, seems the most comprehensive site.

  4. 05/12/2017 / 8:33 pm

    Hubby’s family originate from Sicilly so we have a plan to go to Rome to trace his family tree when they family is all old enough. Definitely a trip that is to be had at some point! #bloggerclubUK

  5. 05/15/2017 / 6:42 pm

    I’ve always been curious about staying in agriturismos. All solid reasons you list here, and I especially like the one about the pricing. Not bad! We visited Italy two summers in a row and stayed in a villa, but I think we may try our hand at an agritursimo next time. I love the idea of staying in one by the coast and getting the best of both worlds. We love Italy!! #farawayfiles

    • 05/16/2017 / 9:05 am

      Definitely give them a try, nothing better than coming back to an agriturismo after a hard day at the beach and having an amazing meal waiting for you!

  6. 05/18/2017 / 8:32 am

    This is a great post – definitely takes a little research to find one that works for your family. Love the idea of mix and match food options – I would love to sample some local fare and be able to cook our finds from the market. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

    • 05/18/2017 / 1:34 pm

      Yes, research is key! I’ve certainly visited a few ropey places but some are simply amazing!

  7. 05/27/2017 / 4:53 am

    Wonderful post! I’ve always wanted to see more of the Italian countryside (the views are to die for!) but the concept of agriturismo is brand new to me – definitely noting for the future. 🙂

    • 05/27/2017 / 6:28 am

      Definitely try them, you can’t go wrong!

  8. Anisa
    05/27/2017 / 6:36 am

    What a great idea! I don’t have kids but staying at a farm to save money and get fresh delicious food sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • 05/27/2017 / 4:09 pm

      Without kids I’d highly recommend agriturismos in Piedmonte, home of Barolo wine 🙂

  9. 05/27/2017 / 2:54 pm

    Nice photos! It really seems a perfect destination for a family trip! I am sure that if we have kids in the future we will visit Italy a lot 🙂 Thank you for sharing in #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. 05/30/2017 / 2:04 am

    This has been sitting in the back of our mind for a couple of years. We had a introductory sort of experience, having lunch at an agriturismo near Sorrento. That set the hook, and you’ve started reeling us in! Thanks for the tip on agriturismo.it, and for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • 05/31/2017 / 6:46 pm

      Definitely give it a try, there are so many agriturismo from basic to luxury that you can’t really go wrong!

  11. 06/13/2017 / 7:07 am

    What a fabulous holiday. I think any Italian holiday is family friendly but this looks to have everything you could want to keep your lo entertained #familytraveltips

    • 06/13/2017 / 8:45 am

      Yes, it’s perfect for everyone! I’d happily go there without kids too!

  12. 06/13/2017 / 7:26 am

    Totally agree with you. We have stayed at many B&Bs, and they were great, though you were right in regards to doing your homework!

    • 06/13/2017 / 8:44 am

      Yes, there’s definitely a few wrong’uns out there!

  13. 06/13/2017 / 5:14 pm

    I recently saw something about agritourismos on TV and thought they sounded fab for families, so the timing of your post is great for confirming that they do work for a family holiday. We would always much rather stay somewhere like this than in a hotel #familytraveltips

  14. pigeonpairandme
    06/14/2017 / 9:04 am

    Oh wow. What a sumptuous post! These do really sound like the perfect family holiday, and I can’t believe we haven’t been to one yet. I love the idea of eating outside, while the children just play…. #FamilyTravelTips

    • 06/14/2017 / 10:12 am

      Thanks! They are great, I’ve stayed at them mostly pre-kids (as research for my job in the travel industry, the best perk!). The food is always what sold it for me in the past but it’s all the other aspects now as well.

  15. 06/15/2017 / 3:55 pm

    Excellent post! Where did you stay in Le Marche? That’s the region where my husband is from and I’m planning on exploring what they have available for families. We stayed at an agriturismo in Tuscany years ago, pre-kids, and I’ve seen such a great selection for families that we’re planning on staying at one in that region again, hopefully sometime next year. Thanks for sharing! #FamilyTravelTips

    • 06/15/2017 / 8:21 pm

      I’ve stayed in quite a few places in Le Marche. The Sibillini Mountains is my favourite area but it’s all pretty amazing. Tenuta le Piane is a great little place near Amandola although it doesn’t have a restaurant. We’re staying near Ascoli this summer, really looking forward to going back there. And also looking forward to the beaches! Where is Le Marche is your husband from?

      • 06/20/2017 / 8:34 pm

        Thank you! I’ll keep those places in mind. My husband is from Fano, which is on the coast and about half an hour north of Ancona. The beaches are lovely along the Adriatic, enjoy your trip this summer! Look forward to seeing the pics!

  16. 06/20/2017 / 7:10 pm

    You’ve sold me! The agriturismo family holiday looks so idyllic! A perfect way to sample the loca farm produce, mix with other kids and have a bare foot, fun and relaxed holiday! I had not heard about these before but will definitely be looking into this for the future.
    #familytraveltips

    • 06/20/2017 / 7:30 pm

      I have to admit it’s the food I love most about agriturismos and everything else is a bonus!

  17. 06/20/2017 / 7:29 pm

    Wow, these sound perfect! We also stayed outside of the city when we went to Rome. We stayed on a lovely campsite but camping by the river was a massive error, I got eaten alive! I’d definitely consider staying in an agriturismo next time we go to Italy. Thank you for linking up to #familiytraveltips.
    Nat.x

    • 06/20/2017 / 7:31 pm

      Ah yes, mosquitoes… I forgot I’ll have to contend with those this summer!

  18. 06/21/2017 / 8:26 pm

    I have never heard of a agriturismos before. It sounds perfect for my family and we loved our trip to Italy this year so I am sure we will be back.

    • 07/03/2017 / 1:26 pm

      I’ve deleted my WordPress app and reinstalled it so hopefully I should see your messages now!

  19. 12/07/2017 / 6:21 pm

    I’m originally from Italy and I confirm agriturismo is one of the best accommodation, regardless of the kind of vacation you’re having (couple, family, relax, tourism…).
    If you have a budget, explore other locations other than Tuscany. It may be hard to search online, but I’m sure you can find plenty of Italian expats who can help you. Italian people love to promote the hidden pearls of their country. #brillblogposts

    • 12/07/2017 / 7:22 pm

      Great to find another person who agrees! I’ve stayed in amazing agriturismos all over Italy, it’s my favourite option for accommodation!

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