Agriturismo (in English we say agritourism) is a term coined by Italians, blending the word for agriculture and the word for tourism, to describe the the act of staying on a farm while on vacation. The Italians have agriturismo down. If you look at a map of all of the farm stays in any given region of the boot, you'll be overwhelmed by the offerings and amazed at the beauty of the properties. While here in the States we're a little behind when it comes to the sheer numbers of farm stays available, we sure do have some wonderful farms to explore all over the country.
Agriturismo in Italy started to gain popularity in the 1970's and 80's when farmers on small-scale farms started to see less profit coming in. As the Italian culture is heavily rooted in traditional farming practices, keeping these farms alive and profitable was important. In order to secure more income each year, these small farmers started renovating their properties and opening up their doors to guests so they could experience farm life at its best.
We're so glad that the Italian agriturismo is catching on here in the states where there are many different types of farm stays available, from rustic to elegant. Some farms allow guests to take part in harvests, chores, walk about the properties, taste food that comes from the grounds, and so on; there really is something for everyone. We are lucky to have been in the agritourism business for quite awhile now. Jackie, Chris's sister opened up the doors of The Inn at Valley Farms here on the farm over fifteen years ago now. Each year the farm and inn get busier as the demand for an on-farm experience grows. Every farm stay is different so it's important to do some research before you book your stay. A great resource for searching for farms offering agritourism is at Farm Stay U.S. , there you'll find an interactive map, ;inks to farms, and information on what to expect out of your farm stay. So if you're looking to relax in the country, enjoy the agrarian past of our nation, or simply try out farm life for a bit, a farm stay could be just what you've been waiting for.