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Ready to get your hands dirty on a holiday with a difference? Agritourism could just be the perfect thing. These outdoorsy stays promise to crank up the rustic factor and get you breathing fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. They come in all shapes and sizes, from converted country barns on the Tuscan hills to hidden mountain getaways where the sounds of sloshing Alpine lakes and the trot of horses on the trails are the backing track. Hiking, biking, fruit picking, cooking lessons and pitching in with the day-to-day of farm life are all possibilities in this sort of pastoral accommodation, but it's also likely that a dash of luxury is never too far away – a panoramic pool, a crackling fireplace, a homecooked meal that draws on centuries of local tradition and home-raised ingredients.
It's no secret that Italy is the veritable home of the farm escape. And why not? Between the slim cypress trees and undulating vineyards of the Boot, you'll can find some bucolic gems. There's agritourism in San Gimignano and agritourism in Montepulciano, for example – great for immersing yourself in Tuscany's handsome medieval hill towns, where daily routines are all about morning espressos on cobbled piazzas, contemplative walks in wooded valleys and wine tasting trips to hidden cellar doors. And that's not even mentioning agritourism in Florence, which means combining the verdant slopes of the Arno valley with all the rich art and architecture of Italy's most iconic Renaissance city – a glimpse of Michelangelo's David after lunch, perhaps?
With so many possibilities for agritourism in Italy to choose from, you shouldn't have too hard a task finding the country escape that's perfect for you. How about the centuries-old rooms and enchanting gardens of stays like Fattoria Abbazia Monte Oliveto, where you'll wake to the bustle of Tuscan life unfolding on the nearby piazzas each morning? How about the eye-watering views that spin around spots like Agriturismo La Corte del Cavalierino – think cypress-spotted valleys and Italian hamlets clutching the high hillsides? Or how about a bolthole between the spiked tops of the Dolomites? You could also try a lakeside farm where the calls of the rooster and the sway of the chestnut trees are your alarm clock? There are few stays that can match agritourism's closeness to raw nature…