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  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme
  • Agriturismo La Pietriccia Chianciano Terme

A food and wine adventure in Tuscany


DESCRIZIONE

Staying on an 'agriturismo' gives you an authentic experience of rural Italian life

 

If you want a foodie holiday that takes you beyond ‘tourist victim’ but doesn‘t mean putting on a backpack, a local living holiday in Italy is a brilliant option. I decided to try one in Tuscany, staying on an ‘agriturismo’ which is a working farm with accommodation for tourists – and it was a fascinating holiday experience.

It’s a group holiday – groups range between 8-12 people – and there were eight in my group. You fly to Rome, meet up at Rome Airport and travel together by train and then by car to the agriturismo. Our agriturismo was in Chianciano, a little Tuscan hill town which was so pretty. The accommodation is described as ‘standard’, and my room was clean, modern and simple with a balcony and a beautiful view of both our farm and Chianciano. I had an en suite shower and toilet, a TV (on which I watched many an amusing Italian advert), a fridge and a kettle.

We were made to feel so at home on the agriturismo. On our first night we had a welcome talk with the owner, Stefano, and with our Chief Experience Officer (tour guide) Vivien. Stefano is a man who is passionate about food production. His agriturismo takes care of about 60 per cent of his food needs – he makes wine from his own grapes, olive oil from his own olives, sausages from his own pigs and jam from his own fruit. And during our stay we were to sample it all. We saw Stefano every day, and living with and meeting food producers like him gives you a focus that you will simply never get staying in a hotel. Their passion is incredible and they make you realise quite why Italian produce is so revered. Stefano cares so deeply about his produce, and it is produce that he and his family have been cultivating for generations.

Each day we had the option of exploring the area for ourselves or going on a group activity – you could join in as much or as little as you liked. I went on a wonderful local bike ride through the gorgeous surrounding countryside - it was a relaxed ride with lunch at a fabulous local restaurant en route. I also opted for going on the Tuscan hilltown tour which included visits to several beautiful and notable hill towns including Montalcino. The pace of the trip was very relaxed. And when we weren’t touring there was the opportunity to relax by the pool or on our balcony.

One of my favourite trips was a wine tasting experience at a family-run wine producer in the village. We sat among the barrels and drank every drop of what we were given – there was no spitting anything out here! We listened to the owners who explained the intricate details of how wine varies by region, and of how they have huge family arguments about how long it should be kept in its barrels! The Chianti region, which was 5km away, was so very different to the wine of Chianciano. We drank the smoothest, most beautiful wines, and they were accompanied by the velvety, delicious cured meats made with the prized Sienese cinta pigs, which are farmed in a half wild state - if you put them in stalls, the quality of the meat deteriorates. After our tasting we all-but rolled back down the hill to our agriturismo for a long and leisurely evening.

Dinner was a fun event each night, involving a four-course meal around a big table – the group dynamic was brilliant. I think my favourite evening was the one where we cooked our own dinner following our cooking demonstration by Stefano. We made the spaghetti, the ravioli, and even the sausages - that's me above pictured making the said sausages! I’m not a huge fan of homemade pasta but our pasta was honestly the best I have ever tasted.

A holiday on an agriturismo in is really good fun. You eat and drink like a king, you relax and you learn a heck of a lot about real life in rural Italy, rather than merely having a tourist's glimpse of it.


CONDIVIDI


UN PO' DI FOTO