Agriturismo (pronounced AH-gree-too-REEZ-moh): “a farm accommodation for tourists” according to the official European Union Italian-English dictionary.
Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?
Maybe a better translation would be “a farm-house bed and breakfast,” but even that doesn’t quite render the concept properly.
For decades now, agriturismi (AH-gree-too-REEZ-mee, the plural of agriturismo) have been popular destinations for European tourists looking to spend time in the Italian countryside. And more and more Americans are discovering them, too.
Basically the idea is this: A bed and breakfast-style inn with a limited number of rooms in the country, generally with a restaurant or at least a kitchen that serves farm products grown on the farm where the inn is located.
It might be located on a cheese farm or it might be located on the estate of a winery. It may or may not have a full-time kitchen staff. But it will always provide guests with access to local food and wine products.
And the most interesting element — and here’s the thing that a lot of people don’t realize at first glance — is that the agriturismo can range from rustic and spare to opulent and well appointed (like the agriturismo in the photo above).
Don’t go stay at an agriturismo if you want all the services and amenities that you would find at a five-star hotel in Milan or Rome, for example.
Do go stay at an agriturismo if you’re looking for a true “country” experience, whether surrounded by grape vines (like the winery agriturismo above) or other crops.
Here’s a link to Agriturist.it, one of the myriad English-language agriturismo portals available on the web.
Just Google “agriturismo” or “associazione agriturismo” for more.