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Agritourism is all about authentic country living because this type of lodging is usually in locations with nature right on the doorstep. These often-revamped farms place their guests in the middle of working fields or vineyards and invite them to get involved in the day-to-day work. Agritourism accommodations also serve true farm-to-table food, which gives them a charmingly rustic appeal.
If you need a respite from the bustle of urban life, an agritourism vacation could be just the cure you're looking for. You'll wake to the sounds of nature – think chirping birds and mooing cows. An agritourism stay might also give you the chance to help with farm work and learn about how products like olive oil are processed. You're also likely to get home-cooked, hearty meals in the evening.
Italy is the birthplace of agritourism and now offers more farm stays than any other country. You'll find these properties surrounded by cypress trees in Tuscany or on wooded hillsides in the Brescia pre-Alps (not far from Bergamo), from coastal areas in the south to the countryside in the north. But you'll find agritourism in other destinations, too, such as the lakeside guest ranches in various parts of Canada and among vineyards in France.
Agritourism properties aren't exactly the cheapest lodging option, but they're affordable even for travellers on a budget. In fact, if you're looking to explore the French or Italian countryside, you'll be pleased to find that a room in an agritourism option usually costs less than one in a standard hotel in the city. You can also opt for a pricier stay in properties with extensive outdoor spaces and spectacular views of the countryside.
Agritourism accommodations tend to vary widely. Some are a complete antithesis to city life, providing guests with hands-on farming experiences and grape-picking sessions in vineyards, and thus serving as ecotourism lodging as well. Others offer guests a luxurious vacation by housing them in rustic buildings surrounded by lush gardens and swimming pools, and nestled in the Tuscan hills or Umbrian valleys. Either way, you'll get to experience the beauty of nature and possibly go on an ecological adventure, whichever type of agritourism lodging you go for.
Agritourism in Italy is often associated with country hotels, especially these days when the more upscale types of agritourism accommodations offer the same level of luxury as their conventional counterparts. Upmarket agritourism options feature amenities like swimming pools, and some even have on-site restaurants. So how can you tell them apart from hotels? An agritourism destination has a genuinely bucolic vibe, and you can expect the service to come with a personal touch. Agritourism stays also tend to have just a few rooms, and are set on working farms or vineyards.
You can use Expedia's accommodation wizard to search for an agritourism stay nearby, or even farther afield. You'll get a list of all the suitable accommodations close to your destination, and the handy map tool will likely reveal options in places that you might not even have considered travelling to yet.
Booking an agritourism vacation is just like booking a conventional hotel room on Expedia. Just type in the destination you're looking to travel to, then sort the results by agritourism stays. Expedia also has a hand map tool that allows you to pinpoint locations that appeal to you the most. You can also choose to book your flights, car rentals, and tours together with your accommodation to help you save money.