Agriturismi around Florence

Working farm B&Bs—called agriturismi—near Florence, Italy

More on how agriturismi work in Italy: info, tips, and advice
The gardens at agriturismo Villa Vignamaggio in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
A room at the agriturismo Villa Vignamaggio in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
One of my favorite agriturismi in the Chianti hills south of Florence, Villa Vignamaggio is where the Mona Lisa grew up (yes, that Mona Lisa) and, later, Kenneth Branagh filmed Much Ado about Nothing. » more
Even if you can't afford your own farmhouse in Tuscany, you can up close with the rural heart of Italy by staying on an agriturismo, sort of like a B&B on a working farm.

What is an agriturismo like?

Agriturismi range from vineyards and dairy farms to barns amid olive groves to frescoed villas next to horse stables.

By law, an agriturism establishment has to be a working farm, taking no more than 30 paying guests and earning no more that 30% of their income from hospitality (the rest from honest farm work).

Accommodations range from four-star luxury to something a straw's-width from sleeping in a stall, but are usually along the lines of a country-comfy and rustic room that looks exactly like what you'd expect to find staying with an aunt and uncle in the countryside.

Being on a farm, breakfasts can be phenomenal (and ultra-fresh).

Many are increasingly opening on-site restaurants featuring wonderfully huge, cheap, and hearty home-cooked dinners (the standard: about €30–€45, including wine, for four or five courses).

A country-comfy room at La Rignana, an agriturismo in Tuscany's Chianti region.
A country-comfy room at La Rignana, an agriturismo about an hour south of Florence in the Chianti. » more
Of course, by definition there aren't any agriturismi in the historic center of Florence. But Florence is a small city and the countryside starts right at Florence's doorstep, so you can still find some farm stays quite close to the sights—or at least within a half-hour drive, allowing you to sample the best of both Renaissance city and Tuscan countryside (and, er, Italian traffic, though you may not be so jazzed about that last one).

How much does an agriturismo cost?

Agriturismi offer the experience of the Italian farm life for a fraction the cost of a hotel; double rooms run anywhere from €35 to €300, but usually average around €55 to €125.

Many agriturismi require a three-night minimum stay (for some, a week).

Roughly half accept credit cards.

How to find agriturismi near Florence

If you want to find and book an agriturimso before you leave, here are the best resources for finding farm stays in Italy.

  • Booking.com - Great booking engine that lists a few dozen farm stays in or near Florence.
  • Venere.com - Another booking engine that represents agriturismi, about a dozen near Florence.
  • Official Italy agriturism sites (www.terranostra.it, www.turismoverde.it, www.agriturist.it) - The three major national agritourism organizations/databases. Unfortunately, only that last one (Agriturist) has an English-language version of the site available; the others are in Italian only, but, again, its pretty easy to click your way through the geographic organization and suss out the page details. On Terranostra, click on "La Tua Vacanza" (your vacation) at the bottom of the page, then on "Ricerca" (search). From there it's all maps and lists. At Turismo Verde, click on "Guida" (guide) along the top bar; the next page will list all the regions on the left, and its maps and lists from then on.
  • Unofficial Italy farmstay sites (www.agritour.net, www.agriturismo.regione.toscana.it, www.agriturismo.net, www.agriturismo.com) - Unofficial, yes, but still darned useful, and more likely to be in English.

TCI guide to agriturismi
The Touring Club Italiano's Italian Farm Vacations: The Guide to Countryside Hospitality
The Florence tourist office lists the basic data on some local farm stays (5 in Florence itself; 48 in the "Florence Area"), a few with photographs. Few are listed in English-language guidebooks.

There are usually agriturismo guides available in local bookshops. These are usually only in Italian—though the Touring Club Italiano's excellent guide (pictured on the right) is now also translated into English, and you can even buy it at Barnes & Noble—but even if you buy one in Italian from a bookstore over there, the important bits are easy enough to figure out: addresses, prices, and phone numbers, photographs, and icons denoting private baths, swimming pools, etc.

You can always just look for the ubiquitous agriturismo signs on country roads (traditionally brown or yellow, but lately they come in all colors), pointing you down rutted dirt tracks toward a farmhouse set among the vineyards.

Tips & links

How to book agriturismi
Florence hotel & lodging links
Useful Italian for lodging
English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra
...an apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
     
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah
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How to book agriturismi
Booking sites:

Official resources:

Unofficial resources:

Italian Farm Vacations: The Guide to Countryside HospitalityItalian Farm Vacations: The Guide to Countryside Hospitality - The Touring Club Italiano is the AAA of Italy, and its travel guides are the best. Thankfully, this guide to agriturismi is now translated into English, showing travelers how to sample the classic pleasures of Italian country life. Sites range from rustic working farms and villas to elegant castles and wineries, with accommodations from simple bed and breakfast to separate houses... » more






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