What does the word "Agriturismo" create in your mind?

Some people think about the AGRITURISMO as a place to spend a holiday in the nature, but near cities to reach malls or highroads. Sometime people think about country houses settled in areas poor of water, but with a large swimmingpool to amusing all day long. Or even a place in which you can find fantastic organic food...maybe not all the time really "km 0".

Well, I want to tell you in breaf the story of AGRITURISMO SYSTEM

In the past (since Medieval Age to the 2° World War), in the Tuscany countries, country people used to live in big family groups, obliged to work for a "owner". The owner of the land and of the rural houses obtained the half part of each kind of product was coming from the agricultural production...the other half part was divided throught the people of the rural families.

Then, after the tragedy of the 2° World War, in the '50 and '60 years of 1900, the most part of country places was abandoned and people moved to the cities to find jobs, hoping in a "better life". In this way, the country houses remained empty, and the periferical areas of cities enlarged.

Some political reformation in the economic boom of Italy (years 1955 until 60ies) encouraged people moving from other part of Italy: especially from the south and from the eastern coast. This "little inside migration" was one of the first steps in the born of agriturismo system, really.

(Here you can see our house Torre Doganiera before the rebuilding, now there are Apartment TORRE and Apt. ULIVI - have a look to the grid pictures)

In fact, people started to take care of the ancient buildings (often mediaeval fortifications of farm houses related to the period 1700 or 1800), re-starting the rural activities.

(My grandparents are coming from the south of Italy and when they bought the property, in 1959, they restart the production corn, wheat, olive oil, pig meat and milk cows, chicken and hens for eggs, pigeons and rabbits.)

At the same time, a huge part of population from the north of Europe came to the southern Mediterranean area, sometime for short periods, other times to established in Italy: the fenomeno of "massive" tourism was starting.

The economic boom of Italy produced wide industrial areas and "second houses" for holidays, especially near the seaside, or in other "new areas" of tourist interest. Foreigner people started to settled in the rural and green areas, the Toscana has been one of the most popular place for German, English, Swiss and Nederland groups of people: they re-given life to rural abandoned buildings, as well as the Italians from the south did 10 or 15 years before.

Later, from the Seventies, the market started to change, the big supermarkets had the predominance in the primary sector and the country men started to decline with their little production. The houses were everytime huge and wide, and green areas remained without meaning of production.


The rebuilding and reconstruction of the ancient farmhouses was the solution: if the primary sector has been in loss, and the cost of life grow up, the tourism could be the solution!

(Agriturismo Torre Doganiera in the 90ies)

Nowadays the agriturismo system (agri + tourismis one of the most common way of living in the county areas of the central part of Italy, Toscana has been the first region to obtain a high level of hosting and high percents of farm houses switched to "turistic country houses".

The rules of Agriturismo are based on a part of agricultural and a part of tourism: those are the two basic aspects. For example, Torre Doganiera is a very little agriturismo, composed of 3 apartments and a double bedroom (turistic part) and we produce an excellent extravirgin olive oil, wood from our evergreen forests (agicultural) and green energy from photovoltaic (the new way of living!)

(Homepage of web site Torre Doganiera - Alessandra Fortini)
Agriturismo Torre Doganiera today: green external space and some views of inside apartments.

And so, when you read about "Agriturismo" or see pictures of beautiful country houses, be careful to understand if they are completely different from the original soul of rural attitude. Think twice if the aim of a green holiday is to spend your time in a square metre of garden close to roads and shops, or to dive yourself in "another world".

The genuine Agriturismo experience is made of silence, respect for the Nature, introspection and friendship (for people and 4 legs-friends or 2 wings-friends).

In this short article I tried to define the historical development of a kind of touristic business very diffuse in Tuscany. Everybody in Europe (and maybe in the world) know something about Chianti areas or Florence.

Well, our time let us possible to enlarged our knowledge throught internet: the more you know, the more you could choice.

Choose a different holiday. Far from busy life, near to yourself: in a word, Agriturismo.

Thanks for your attention! And keep in touch :)

Alessandra (archeologist and agri-blogger) for Agriturismo Torre Doganiera

Created By
Alessandra Fortini


picture by myself, except of rural country families.

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