While you’ll be meeting and getting to know the locals with any of our trips, there’s something quite unique about our farm to table tours, where you can stay at a an agriturismo and really getting to know the land. That’s because an agriturismo is considered a working farm or farmhouse resort, in Italy, and as such, your hosts will most often be farmers… they’ll also welcome you like family.
Legally speaking — because yes Italy has a 2006 law about agriturismi (the plural form of agriturismo) — agriturismi must get a majority of their income from farming, but the rest from tourist activities, such as accommodations, meals, wine or food tastings, as well as activities of some sort, even if those activities don’t take place on the property. Those meals too need to be packed mostly with ingredients from the farm, pasture, orchards, and/or garden. (Other regulations may be required too depending on the region/location of the farm.)
As such they make for a wonderful cooking vacation holiday. After all, you’ll get to literally see the source of your food before cooking with it! So while the accommodations might be a bit more rustic and informal than other B&Bs and hotels — for most, but not all — the quality of the food will be quite high, while still staying quite affordable. And you get all this in the gorgeous and picturesque countryside.
Take our Authentic Abruzzo Cooking vacation as an example. The organic agriturimso is situated in the Appenine Mountains, and was once a shepherd’s house and stable. Restored into lovely accommodations, today a husband and wife welcome guests to their charming home and property, where they raise all sorts of animals, as well as grow vegetables and fruits. That produce is a key component in many of the hands-on cooking classes. Visits to other nearby producers — like an olive oil mill — are also a fun part of the trip.
Head north to Emilia-Romagna, the bread basket of Italy, and you’ll find a whole lot more than bread! At our Farm to Table in Emilia Romagna culinary vacation, a family runs an organic farm, where they grow produce like strawberries, pears, and plums. Their hens are also an ancient breed in the area, and their eggs are like nothing else you’ve tried. During the trip, guests learn all about farm-to-table practices, all while enjoying the stunning and breathtaking Emilia Romagna countryside.
Agriturismi aren’t the only places where you can get the true working farm feel. That’s because they also go by the name of masserias, at least when you’re down in Puglia and even Sicily. These country homes are working farms as well, and some — like the accommodations of our Culinary Adventure in Puglia cooking vacation — may offer a few more modern amenities.
Want to get to know the land of Italy? Then an agriturismo cooking vacation is something that should be added to your bucket list!
By Liz Hall
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