Farmhouses and country houses to spend a vacation in the country
The experience at a Tuscan farm may include dining with the host family and other guests, assisting in the grape or olive harvest or merely enjoying the quiet intimacy of a stay in the countryside independently from the farm.
Many farmhouse hosts also help organize activities for their guests, from horseback riding to mountain biking and hiking to Tuscany cooking classes and wine tastings. Many farmhouses have recently added swimming pools to their properties to offer their guests the opportunity to cool down during the warm Tuscan summers.
Agriturismo, or "agricultural tourism", gives ones the chance to experience true rural Tuscan life. It means that actual working farms have opened their homes to offer rustic to elegant accommodation. Generally based on or around a farmhouse villa, winery or castle, these are often family-run operations which offer accommodation that ranges from bed and breakfasts to large apartments and separate buildings that include living areas, kitchens and private bathrooms.
About Tuscany Farmhouses
What exactly is an "agritourism"? In Tuscany, as across many Western countries, the countryside was undergoing a period of decline as people moved away from the farms and working the land to the cities and working in offices and factories. In order to help out the remaining small farms, the local governments allowed farms to open up their homes to paying guests if they also showed people what work on a farm was about. The first agritourisms across Tuscany thus had guests participate in the grape harvest in August and September and in the olive harvest in November. Today, some still offer guests the chance to participate in rural like, but many just offer accommodation in rooms or apartments in the farmhouse.
One advantage of staying at farmhouse is that it tends to cost less than at a hotel, considered at a per night, per person basis. So if you are traveling with your family and planning to stay at least a week in Tuscany, look into the possibility of staying at a farmhouse and renting a car to move around the region. You'll still be able to visit all of the main cities while being a bit removed from all of the crowds, particularly in the summer. Keep in mind that rentals are generally for an entire week and, unless specified, not available for just a few days.
FARMHOUSES IN TUSCANY - PRATO
Agriturismo Azienda Agrituristica Selvapiana
Selvapiana 5 - Cantagallo
tel. 0574/956045 335/6817840 - fax. 0574/956045
Azienda Agricola Villa Vittoria
Via Stazione 62/B - Carmignano loc. Comeana fraz. Artimino
tel. 055/ 8719034 - fax. 055/8710338
Azienda Agricola Rigoccioli S.R.L.
Via Degli Asinai 12 - Carmignano loc. Pietranera
tel. 055/8711546 - fax. 055/8715822
Agriturismo Fattoria Di Artimino
Via 5 Martiri, 29 - Carmignano loc. Artimino
tel. 055/875141 - fax. 055/8751470
Fattoria Di Bacchereto
Via Fontemorana 179 - Carmignano loc. Bacchereto
tel. 055/8717191 - fax. 055/8717191
Tenuta Di Capezzana S.R.L.
Via Di Capezzana 100 - Carmignano loc. Seano
tel. 055/8706005 - fax. 055/8706673
Azienda Agricola San Giorgio
Via Baronese 9 - Montemurlo
Localita' Il Gallo 56 - Vernio fraz. S. Quirico Di Vernio
tel. 0574/938036 - fax. 0574/938036
Azienda Agricola Montaneta
Via La Serra 132 - Carmignano
tel. 348/3551359 - fax. 0574/541334
Via Delle Ginestre 18 - Carmignano loc. Verghereto
Agriturismo Le Poggiarelle
Via Le Volte 2 - Carmignano loc. Loc. Fontanaccio fraz. Seano