L'Aia dei Cappellani, Basilicata
Staying in an agriturismo in Italy is a truly unique experience that will allow the visitor who is looking for Italian holiday accommodation to make the most of the beautiful countryside and enjoy the fabulous scenery that is to be found all over the country!
In 1985, the Italian government passed a law encouraging struggling farmers to convert their unprofitable farmhouses or derelict farm buildings into holiday accommodation, allowing town-based families and foreign tourists who were looking for places to stay in italy to experience Italian agriturismos and appreciate something of rural life.
An Italian agriturismo is required to feed its guests with fresh produce, largely grown on the estate, and to provide some kind of rural experience such as olive harvesting, wine production, fruit growing, farming or horse riding. There is a wide range of fascinating activities to be found with this kind of Italian agriturismo.
Agriturismi are often found in beautiful surroundings and many of the buildings have been renovated to a high standard while keeping much of their original rural charm. When looking for places to stay in Italy, the location of the agriturismi within the different regions can provide some fascinating contrasts. An agriturismo in Tuscany is likely to be set in a traditional tuscan farmhouse amid rolling hills and avenues of cypress trees. On the other hand, an agriturismo located in Puglia may well be based around a series of Trulli, the traditional, circular shaped houses that are peculiar to that region. Agriturismi in Sardinia, Umbria, Sicily, Basilcata and Abruzzo offer equally contrasting Italian holiday accommodation.
Wherever the agriturismo is located, you can be assured of a warm welcome, fresh air, unspoilt countryside, home-grown food and above all, very good value for Italian countryside accommodation!
La Casella, Umbria
The term 'Diffused Hotel' or 'Albergo Diffuso' refers to a new style of hotel stay available in Italy, where visitors can enjoy the comfort of a private house together with the facilities offered by a traditional hotel. Rather than offering rooms in a single building, these hotels offer accommodation in a variety of buildings, grouped together in a town, village or area of countryside. This kind of development is also 'eco friendly' as it avoids the construction of new multi-story buildings in favour of the sensitive restructuring and renovation of attractive farmhouses and other traditional buildings. A better term in English might be 'Hotel Hamlet'.
There are many towns and villages in Italy where inhabitants have moved away, leaving a substantial number of properties abandoned. These have been allowed to deteriorate over time, often to the point of collapse. The concept of 'Diffused Hotels' allows for a group of such properties to be renovated, with government assistance, and turned into attractive, individual, hotel accommodation of a truly unique nature. Many of these buildings are renovated in a traditional style, maintaining the character of the area and allowing the visitor to experience, first hand, the cultural richness and individual identity of the different regions of Italy. As well as providing comfortable accommodation, these 'Hotel Hamlets' provide the opportunity for visitors to really experience the Italian lifestyle of each particular region in a truly traditional way.
A great deal of effort is taken to ensure that these 'Diffused Hotels' are ecologically friendly, leading to the term 'Eco Hotels' also being used. Visitors have the comfort of their own living space, whilst being able to call upon the management of the 'Diffused Hotel' for any additional services they might need.
A masseria is a type of building, mainly found in the southern regions of Puglia and Sicily, that provides very attractive accommodation for holidays. A masseria is a type of farm complex, consisting of a number of connected buildings. In Puglia, these usually include one or more 'trulli', the distinctive, white, cone shaped buildings that are associated with the region.
In Sicily, a masseria is often a main residence set in a large courtyard, surrounded by a fortified wall, often with other accommodation built into it. In both regions, the masserie are found in countryside, often surrounded by their own fruit and olive farms. Many of them have been renovated to a high standard, providing comfortable, attractive and unusual holiday accommodation.
Holiday accommodation in Puglia