When you think of Italy, it’s likely that home-cooked pasta, verdant agricultural landscapes, and gourmet food products like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar come to mind. A lesser-known concept is that of the agriturismo — a compound noun that marries the Italian words for ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism.’
As the name implies, an agriturismo is a place where visitors can find lodging, meals, and even hands-on experience on a working farm. Some agriturismi are elegant and resort-like, while others are more informal places where guests can get their hands dirty and learn the art of viticulture, olive harvesting, or virtually any aspect of small-scale food production. Most agriturismi serve food that has been grown on-site, or sourced locally. In addition, income from tourism helps supplement profits earned from traditional farming pursuits.