Farm holidays in Italy: why stay on an agriturismo?

Farm holidays in Italy: why stay on an agriturismo?

Farm holidays in Italy: why an agriturismo is perfect for families

An “agriturismo” is an Italian farm which offers accommodation to guests. I have taken several farm holidays in Italy over the last twenty or so years and I’ve discovered that prices, standards and facilities can vary hugely so it pays to do a bit of research. So, why stay on an agriturismo in Italy? Read on if you’d like to be persuaded that an Italy farm stay is the next holiday for you (but please don’t be put off by the next few sentences…)

Some agriturismos 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 in Italy for a family holiday. Also, I’m concentrating on the traditional sort of agrturismo, not the luxury end of the market.

For a great selection of agriturismo properties, check out this post: 15 Italy farm stays for families.

Planning a trip to Italy with kids? Read my complete guide to Italy for families here.

Mesmerising farm action on a Sicilian farm holiday in Italy

Mesmerising farm action on a family friendly agriturismo Sicily

Farm holidays in Italy = plenty of space

If you’re travelling with children, young or old, it’s important to have plenty of space. At an agriturismo in Italy, there’s plenty of space for young children 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.

agriturismo Italy family holiday

Italy farm stay: escapism in the Sibillini Mountains, Le Marche

Farm holidays in Italy are good value

Prices range depending on quality and the time of year. We paid 120 Euros per night at an agritusimo 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.

agriturismo, farm holidays in Italy

Exploring an agriturismo in Sicily

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.

  1. olive tree at a masseria agriturismo Italy family holiday

    The compulsory gnarled olive tree found at any self respecting luxury masseria in Puglia

Food on an agriturismo in Italy

Cuisine was my main reason for staying at agriturismos pre-kids. From sipping amazing Montepulciano Vino Nobile with steak at a farm stay in Tuscany to an epic banquet at an agriturismo in Piedmont prepared solely for my husband and I, some of my most enjoyable gastronomic experiences have been at an agriturismo 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 at a farm stay in Sicily.

agriturismo farm holidays in Italy

Eating outside at an agriturismo, Italy: perfect for parents and children

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.

  1. agriturismo Italy family holiday, farm holidays in Italy

    Swimming pool with a view, Le Marche agriturismo, Italy

Facilities at an agriturismo

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.

agriturismo Italy family holiday, farm holidays in Italy, bikes for rent

Free bikes and a BBQ: standard at many agriturismos in italy

Making friends on a farm holiday in Italy

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.

farm stay in italy with kids, playground in sicily, farm holidays in Italy

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

More than 2.4 children? No problem…

Many agriturismos in Italy 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.

agriturismo Italy family holiday, farm holidays in Italy

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

Agriturismo locations

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.

view of Mt Etna from an agriturismo in italy

Our view of Mt Etna from Baglio Pollicarini, an agriturismo in Sicily

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!

  1. agriturismo Italy family holiday, farm stay with kids in italy

    The perfect antidote to a day exploring a busy city: the swimming at an agriturismo, Italy

Some of my favourite agriturismos

Palazzo Gastaldo, near Gubbio, Umbria

*** update: this agriturismo is currently changing hands so I’m not sure what the new set up will be like – I’ll keep an eye on it and update this post when I have more information. ***

As agriturismos go, this has to be one of the best I’ve visited. Hidden away on top of a hill, reached via what seems like a never-ending track, this property is worth the drive. Palazzo Gastaldo features a collection of very old, rustic apartments with beautiful traditional furniture, I know my kids would love La Torre: a series of rooms reached via a very steep staircase with a little terrace at the very top (not recommended for those who need the loo in the middle of the night or indeed for anyone interested in health and safety!). Staying here is a bit like staying in a history book. There’s a swimming pool and a restaurant, great views and gardens that children will love exploring.

Agriturismo Sant’Illuminato, near Citta di Castello, Umbria

This is a great option in Umbria for families. It’s located near Citta di Castello within day trip distance of Perugia, Assisi and Lake Trasimeno. Sant’Illuminato features a collection of apartments surrounded by huge amounts of green space for children to burn off energy. There’s a swimming pool and small play area as well as a restaurant: all the ingredients for a holiday in Umbria with kids!

Tenuta le Piane, near Amandola, Le Marche

This is a collection of proper rustic apartments hidden away from the modern world. It is incredibly peaceful at Tenuta le Piane: there are no busy roads near by, just mountains and meadows. The accommodation is traditional: don’t expect anything luxurious as it is a very authentic place to stay. Children love it: there’s a pool and bikes to borrow and lots of space to run around including plenty of shady areas.

Agriturismo Nacalino, near Modica, Sicily

We used this agriturismo as our base when we explored south eastern Sicily. We booked a “light snack” for our evening arrival at Nacalino and were greeted with a banquet: typical Sicilian hospitality. We stayed in an apartment with self catering facilities which was perfect for our little family: our kids weren’t always capable of staying up late enough to enjoy eating out in the nearby restaurants. The agriturismo has a play area in the garden and a swimming pool.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, although I receive a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog.

More on Italy

15 great farm Italy stays for families 

Family holiday to Italy: Tuscany, Umbria and Le Marche

The best beaches in Sicily

10 reasons to visit Le Marche with kids

What to see and do in Umbria with kids

An Italian beach holiday in Grottammare

Visiting Rome in the summer with kids

A villa holiday in Le Marche

Frascati: the perfect summer base for Rome

Top 10 things to do in Syracuse, Sicily with kids

Road tripping through Sicily

Have you been on any farm holidays in Italy? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. 11th May 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

    • 11th May 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. 11th May 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

    • 11th May 2017 / 8:50 pm

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

  3. Clare Thomson
    12th May 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

    • 12th May 2017 / 8:34 pm

      Great! I use, seems the most comprehensive site.

  4. 12th May 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. 15th May 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

    • 16th May 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. 18th May 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

    • 18th May 2017 / 1:34 pm

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

  7. 27th May 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. πŸ™‚

    • 27th May 2017 / 6:28 am

      Definitely try them, you can’t go wrong!

  8. Anisa
    27th May 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.

    • 27th May 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Without kids I’d highly recommend agriturismos in Piedmonte, home of Barolo wine πŸ™‚

  9. 27th May 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 πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing in #TheWeeklyPostcard

  10. 30th May 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, and for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • 31st May 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. 13th June 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

    • 13th June 2017 / 8:45 am

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

  12. 13th June 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!

    • 13th June 2017 / 8:44 am

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

  13. 13th June 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
    14th June 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

    • 14th June 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. 15th June 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

    • 15th June 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?

      • 20th June 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. 20th June 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.

    • 20th June 2017 / 7:30 pm

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

  17. 20th June 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.

    • 20th June 2017 / 7:31 pm

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

  18. 21st June 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.

    • 3rd July 2017 / 1:26 pm

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

  19. theelephantmum
    7th December 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

    • 7th December 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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