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Apr 19, 2012 10:53 PM

Agriturismo in Tuscany

Can anyone suggest an agriturisimo in Tuscany that's not too touristy and somewhat on the luxe side? One that serves great local food and is picturesque as well. I've read about La Petraia. Would consider other suggestions too. Thanks!

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  1. This topic has been discussed several times in recent weeks and past months. You can access a number of those threads below or you can go to the upper right-hand corner of this page and do a search for "agriturismo." Happy hunting!

    24 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      And use these very useful sites: (in English) and (Italian), both searchable by location, type, and other factors. This is a tourism segment Italy handles very well, and information is copious, detailed, and reliable.

      1. re: bob96

        Yes, copious and detailed but also overwhelming. I want to be well located to see some beautiful hill towns, have a place with a pool and excellent restaurant and not spend a fortune -- something in the neighborhood of 200 Euros at most. I'll do some more searching of this board but would appreciate any more leads and specific recommendations.

        1. re: Tobias

          Then you need to go to Da Toto in Lucignano. (About 40k south of Siena.)

          It is a hotel rather than an agriturismo but, other than that, it is everyting you describe above. The food is fabulous, in the Tuscan country cucina style, and the room plus a 3 or 4 course meal, with EVERYTHING included, will be 110 to 120 euros.

          Look at my previous posts.

          1. re: Tuscanlover

            I have stayed at Da Toto and not only is it not an agriturismo, it is only barely a hotel unless they have done some wholesale renovating in the past 2 years I enjoyed my dinners there, and the family attic battered decor, and they do have a pool, but you can find comparably priced or even cheaper stays on a true agriturismo with more creature comforts. For Il Melograno (which I mentioned earlier to Tobias), an apartment with a kitchen is about 50 euros pp, and dinner is 22e per person.

            Also, the absolutely delightful, untouristed town of Lucignano is not particularly well-located if the sightseeing agenda for other hilltowns is one of the more typical ones for scenic Tuscany. I would say the same about the place I mentioned earlier to Tobias (Il Melograno near Pitigliano).

            Anyway, one can have a lot of fun at Da Toto and eat well. But one really has to want what they are offering.

            As I mentioned before, Tuscany is a huge place with several separate areas of popular sightseeing. One reason you are getting few leads and specific recommendations for agriturismi is that you haven't specified yourself whether you want to be "well-located" to see the famous beautiful hilltowns south of Siena or well-located in the famous Chianti hilltowns or well-located to see the beautiful hilltowns of San Gimignano and Volterra, There are also beautiful hilltowns near Lucignano and near Pitlgliano, but neither area is located within the most famous scenic sections of Tuscany.

            1. re: barberinibee

              I have stayed at Da Toto many, many times and IMO your comment that "it is only barely a hotel" is completely out of order. OK - it's not the Carlton Tower but it has enormous rustic charm and the food is outstanding. Surely nobody would be looking to stay in an agriturismo if they wanted the height of luxury woudl they?

              It is not in the middle of "chiantishire" but is all the better for that. It is, however, surrounded by beautiful hill towns - Siena, Pienza, Monte San Savino, Montepulciano, Montalcino - and Lucignano itself is one of the most beautiful. For me it is very well situated in the heart of SOUTHERN Tuscany.

              1. re: Tuscanlover

                Tuscanlover, as I posted, I would happily return to Da Toto. But the furniture in the rooms is decrepit, beat-up and mainly salvage. Some things didn't work while I was there (lamps, faucets). I am concerned that someone would not be prepared for that much rusticity. Other places to stay in Tuscany -- basic agriturismi or simple b&bs have been more recently renovated.

                I enjoyed my meals there, but I would not describe the food as "outstanding,' and enchanting Lucignano is not accurately described as being in the heart of southern Tuscany.

                You may disagree with my comments, but they are not completely out of order in response to the question asked by the chow-seeker looking for an agriturismo in Tuscany.

                1. re: Tuscanlover

                  Here is a previous trhead about the food at Da Toto which includes my previous comments as well as Tuscanlover's


                2. re: barberinibee

                  this is really offtopic but we found the Lucignano/Monte san Savino area, pretty perfect as a base since , beautiful in itself, it is sort of on the edge of many areas and right near the A1 so it puts many areas in range. while staying there we visited Siena (twice) Chianti, Arezzo, Sansepolcro, cortona, montepulciano and florence as well as places in between.

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    The agenda includes seeing some beautiful hill towns, so it seems Il Melograno and Da Toto are not quite right. So my revised wish list includes: a nice agriturismo with pool and excellent restaurant and well located to visit hill towns (though we will probably skip Florence and Siena). Suggestions would be very much appreciated!

                    1. re: Tobias


                      Do let us all know when you find this mythical luxury agriturismo.

                      Also, where is that you think you will find all these beautiful hill towns that are better than those listed above?

                      1. re: Tuscanlover


                        I don't get the snark here. Most people feel that that Tuscan landscape has many beautiful and comfortable agriturismi within it that are magical, and they are not hard to locate. I see no indication that the poster is looking for luxury.

                        1. re: barberinibee

                          Read the first post. And I quote "somewhat on the luxe side".

                          1. re: Tuscanlover

                            Tobia seems to have taken over a thread that was started by JC Chow. This is where he (Tobias) came in:

                            "It need not be fancy, as I'm looking for superb, local, rustic fare. Any thoughts?"

                            Da Toto fits the bill exactly. We have agreed it is not fancy but the rooms are not "decrepit, beat up and mainly salvage" either. You will not find better "local, rustic fare" and, unless Tobia wants to be in chiantishire or northern tuscany, it is a fantastic base.

                            1. re: Tuscanlover

                              Ok, Tuscanlover. How about if we agree that Tobias, should he want to stay in a town instead of an agriturismo, should consider Da Toto, and just ask for their nicest room?

                              When I went there with friends in 2009 for a 3-day stay, one of my friends asked if we could switch hotels because of the condition of the room he received upon check-in. We got his room switched for the night and I asked him to withhold judgment about relocating to new lodgings until we'd had at least one dinner. He was so pleased with dinner, he agreed to stay. Nowhere on the trip did we have luxury accommodations. Da Toto just had too many broken items in that room to be comfortable.

                              Until I've eaten everywhere in Tuscany, I'll refrain from asserting about any of my recommendations that "you will not find better local, rustic fare" -- especially since my copy of the Slow Food guide has one listing for a restaurant for Lucignano, and it isn't Da Toto, and I think any such claim is a bit of stretch for any one person to make.

                      2. re: Tobias

                        Hi Tobias,

                        Can you give some indication of where you would like to go in Tuscany? There are hilltowns throughout. Some of the most photographed ones are in the vicincity of Montepucliano/Montalcino, others are near Greve/Panzano, still others are near San Gimignano/Volterra. This by no means exhausts the possibilities, but not knowing just generally where you want to go in Tuscany makes it time-consuming to be tossing out suggestions. Some people avoid the most touristed areas in favor of un-famous beautiful hilltowns, others don't mind all the company and would rather not miss the famous hilltowns they've seen in photographs.

                        It is probably also the case that getting recommendations for agriturismi based on personal experience for Tuscany may not be a snap on Chowhound. If you read trip reports and old threads, you'll see a great many Chowhounders plan their trips to Tuscany around the idea of going to recommended restaurants, not eating at an agriturismo. I've researched a few agriturismi in various places around Tuscany I'd like to try if I'm ever nearby (like Il Melograno), but I've not been there yet.

                        Just so it is clear, Da Toto is in a beautiful hilltown, and within easy driving distance of others. Il Melograno is near several spectacular hilltowns, just not part of the typical "under-the-Tuscan-sun" tourist itinerary.

                        I think you are going to need to spend some time with a map and a guidebook to narrow down your preferred Tuscan area if food alone isn't your major focus.

                        1. re: barberinibee

                          To clarify:

                          I actually made a mistake in replying to this thread rather than the one I started, so I understand the confusion that led to a snarky remark.

                          I have not entirely decided on the region of Tuscany I desire but am thinking about the Montalcino/Montepulciano/Pienza area and am considering Podere Spedalone. I don't mind something a little rustic and am looking for a place that is well located, has a nice pool, and has an excellent restaurant. We're more interested in quaint towns than Etruscan ruins. I'll be with my two kids, and our four days will likely be as follows: breakfast where we're staying; outing/hike/wandering about and visiting a town or two; lunch at said town; late afternoon return to our lodging followed by swim and dinner. I am from San Francisco where the food is outstanding and have pretty high standards for food so want to find a place that will keep us coming back for four nights.

                          I'm not entirely sure where Il Melograno is, as there are a few different places by that name that come up in a web search. Please do clarify. And does Da Toto have a pool? The pool is a must.

                          Thanks for all the help, folks.

                          1. re: Tobias

                            OK, I found Da Toto, and the hotel isn't what we're after, but the restaurant does look great. I'm hoping to find more of a classic agriturismo with the typical olive grove, grape vines, old stone buildings, etc.

                            Il Melograno also looks great but I don't know that area. Does it have the kind of Tuscan countryside I'm after? I don't care about seeing Siena, Greve, Florence -- or other jam packed cities and towns -- but do want to be in a spot where I can get to amazing hill towns.

                            1. re: Tobias

                              You're probably thinking of the classic hill towns of the Val d'Orcia: Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano. They will not be less crowded then Greve, a classic Chianti hill town.

                              I hope you are aware that most agriturismos serve a set dinner.

                              1. re: Octavian

                                Greve is not a hill town. it's a valley market town which surrounded by hills on one of which sits Panzano. should anyone want to visit greve (i happen to live nearby) i recommend agritourismo Antico Borgo di Sugame. no restaurant but kitchens, nicely furnished, spectacular setting on organic wine farm.

                            2. re: Tobias

                              thats definitely a good plan - distances are manageable and with kids especially, going out for the day and home for dinner evening is definitely optimum. thats what we did at gargonza which is a little out of the zone you are discussing.

                      3. re: Tuscanlover

                        BTW, The price above is for two people! Not per person.

                        1. re: Tuscanlover

                          We ended up at Podere Spedalone outside Pienza. It was off the charts fantastic -- terrific hosts, delicious food, incredible views, beautiful pool. I can't say enough about this place, but on this board -- since food is of central interest -- I will laud the multi-course dinners, hand made pasta, farm produced jams, honey and olive oil. Giancarlo is both a gracious host and a terrific cook and made some of the best food we consumed in our three week journey through Italy.

                          1. re: Tobias

                            Thanks for the tip! Can you talk more about your dinners -- like what was the typical antipasti, what kind of pasta dish? What secondi?

                            Also, how and where was the food served? Individual tables, communal, indoors or outdoors? Did you need to commit to half-board, or were dinners optional or on request?

                            Does this place specialize in the production of any particular type of food? Do they grow or make something there?

                            1. re: barberinibee

                              I'm Giancarlo of Podere Spedalone, Agriturismo in Pienza.
                              thanks Tobias for your revue,
                              We eat in a common table, sometime with our guest and our friends. Some time indoors, some time outdoors.
                              We let our guests free to choose if they need dinner with us or they prefere we reserve in one of the good restaurants or osteria where we will be sure they will have a good time and meals.
                              We grow vegetables ,wheat, cikens ,cinta senese, and,in the wood Wild boar, dear, wild asparagus, mushrooms and organic extra virgin olive oil.
                              Our meals are one apetitizer cold, one warm, a soup, a home made pasta, pici, malfatti,spaghetti or tagliatelle, ravioli with our vegetables or meat.two or three vegetables,
                              various kind of meat or other suggestions, fruits and dessert.
                              it depends the season and our products, and also the chef's choice. let me know for any question.

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                  1. We stayed at Rosa dei Venti in the town of Creti near Cortona. Very reasonable cost with a nice swimming pool.They have a cooking school. I did not notice that they have a restaurant. No need for that when you can drive into town and pick up fantastic food at the store and use the wonderful kitchen in your apartment.

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