A guide to the charming 'agriturismo' farm stays in Tuscany

The ultimate Italian rural retreats: Charming ‘agriturismo’ farm stays in Tuscany that offer truffle-hunting tours, cookery classes and vineyard views

  • ‘Agriturismos are the ultimate Italian rural retreats,’ writes Neil Simpson 
  • Guests stay on a working family farm where they get an authentic experience
  • READ MORE: Inside the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel in ancient Istanbul

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Farm stays in Tuscany.

Agriturismos are the ultimate Italian rural retreats: they combine agriculture and tourism to offer accommodation on farms in spectacular countryside.

Italy’s agriturismos began welcoming guests in the 1960s when small family farms struggling to survive turned to tourism to earn extra income. In popular areas such as Tuscany, many have since added upmarket facilities, including stylish ensuite rooms, sunny terraces and private pools.

As guests stay alongside a working family farm, owners tend to be on hand with fresh food, local knowledge and holiday advice. Guests can normally walk the fields with the farmers, help out with simple tasks and taste foods and wines in the farmhouse kitchen.

Some agriturismos are booked on a room-only basis, while others include meals to showcase local produce. Welcome packs for stays often include fresh bread, cheese, honey, olive oils and wine.

Hilltop heaven: Holiday Hero Neil Simpson rounds up the best farm stays in Tuscany. The Agriturismo Rocca di Pierle near the hilltop town of Cortona (above) would suit families or groups of friends, he reveals

Pick a farm-stay in the Tuscan hills and you are perfectly placed for day trips to Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano, and more.

Luxurious retreats that suit families or groups of friends include Agriturismo Rocca di Pierle near the hilltop town of Cortona, where three restored apartments can be reserved individually or as one holiday home to sleep up to 14. 

Flower-filled gardens with a pool lie alongside the farm, and cooking classes and traditional Tuscan dinners at the farm can be booked with the owners. From £110 a night for two (roccadipierle.com).

On the I Greppi di Silli farm, between Siena and Florence, there are six agriturismo lodgings with sunset views on private terraces. The bedrooms have a mix of terracotta floors, stone walls and wooden-beamed ceilings.

Guests can tour the farm on foot, mountain bike or horseback, explore the wine cellar and relax by the pool. From £80 per night for two (igreppidisilli.it).

Lounge by the pool at the luxurious Agriturismo Rocca di Pierle (pictured) 

Above is Villa Dianella Vinci near Florence, where guests have the option of embarking on a truffle-hunting tour

Villa Dianella Vinci is set in picture-perfect Tuscan hills. On the left is the farm stay’s wine cellar, and to the right, breakfast is served in the gardens

Villa Dianella Vinci costs from £180 per night for two

Close to Florence, yet set in picture-perfect Tuscan hills, the agriturismo Villa Dianella Vinci offers luxurious accommodation in a 16th Century building. The farmer hosts arrange truffle hunting tours and breakfast can be served in the gardens. From £180 per night for two (farmstayplanet.com).

The five rooms of Agriturismo La Tinaia are surrounded by vineyard views. Fully equipped kitchens are perfect for self-catering while a village restaurant is a short walk away. 

The farm owners aim to cook one communal meal a week to allow guests to mingle under the olive trees. From £83 a night for two (latinaia.it).

Most agriturismos are booked direct with owners or through agencies such as tuscanyaccommodation.com and myitalyselection.co.uk.

EasyJet flights to Pisa start at £34.99 one way. British Airways is starting flights to Florence in summer at £84 each way, and weekly car hire costs around £375 in mid-August. For more inspiration, see visittuscany.com.

READ MORE: MailOnline’s TED THORNHILL stays at the swanky Paris hotel where Nicolas Sarkozy celebrated his election victory. 

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