This is a pertinent question for
all those thinking of taking a holiday in the lush, green Tuscan countryside. In order to
give an accurate and complete answer, it should be made clear from the outset that the
types of farm holidays signified by the Italian word 'agriturismo' are more or less unique
to the Italian peninsula, and should not be considered synonymous with what is referred to
as a 'farm holiday' in other European countries.
In Italy, the renting of farmhouses as holiday homes is regulated by a national law that
lays down a number of conditions. The properties have to be operated by the owner and his
or her family and be located on a working farm or wine estate. The owner is permitted to
receive guests and offer camping facilities, and is required to supply meals and organise
recreational, educational and cultural activities for the guests.
These days, rather than referring to 'agritourism' in general, it is more appropriate to
refer to the different types of farm holidays that have developed in the various different
regions of the Italy. In Tuscany, for example, the genuinely warm welcome given by the
locals and the limitless possibilities on offer go beyond any generic description. Indeed,
itineraries can be customised to suit the individual guest's requirements, selecting from
a wide range of pursuits: walks along chalk-coloured country roads; visits to vineyards
and olive groves; immersing oneself in the aromatic Mediterranean vegetation; trekking on
foot or on horseback along well-worn tracks; discovering people and places, and authentic,
one-off objets d'art made by artisans; sampling the wonderful local cuisine, the famous
wines and the exceptional olive oil (just one of several locally-made products that has
been recognised and protected by the European Union).
Indeed, there are so many farmhouses available as holiday homes that you really will be
spoilt for choice! One especially attractive proposal is the pairing of agritourism with
the various 'wine trails' of Tuscany. These enological itineraries include visits to some
of the most prestigious wine estates, and take in some of the most evocative natural
beauty spots and most important sights of historical and cultural significance along the
way. The owners of the estates on the wine trails are happy to give helpful advice about
the most authentic dishes to try and attractions to visit while you are there. Click on
the links of SieveOnLine's sponsors for more information on some of the best providers of
farmhouse accommodation in this part of Tuscany.
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A Taste of History and Tuscan Tradition.