10 great agriturismos in Italy

You can’t beat an agriturismo. Rural locations, owners whose main jobs are farming, as well as food and drink produced on site make for an entirely informal stay. There is rarely a reception desk and there will be professional dogs and roosters to contend with, but they offer excellent food and a friendly welcome. And they are not all buried in the countryside; there are many agriturismos around 5,000 miles of the Italian coast. Here are 10 within walking or cycling distance of the beach.

Barrani, Liguria

The Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s top destinations, and the crowds and prices can match, but this family farm’s five hectares of vines and olives are in the quieter village of Corniglia. A 15-minute walk from the station (there’s also a shuttle bus), there are six en suite rooms, and maybe pansotti (triangular ravioli) with borage and walnut sauce, followed by stuffed mussels. The rocky bay of Corniglia is a seven-minute walk, and there are hiking trails to other villages from the door.
Doubles from €75pp on half board; barrani.it

Gli Agrimeti sul Mare, Sicily

Guests can help themselves to the lemon, clementine and orange trees surrounding this old farmhouse between Mount Etne and the sea. Dogs are welcome at all four apartments, one of which is adapted for wheelchair users. The sandy and shingle beach is 200m away, and buzzy Catania, swanky Taormina, and baroque Acireale are all within an hour’s drive. Owner Giovanni Russo will take guests on a tour of the Galeano Mazzullo distillery, founded by his great-grandfather.
Double from €60 one room; agriturismorussorocca.it

L’Acacia, Tuscany

A mile from the Tyrone coast facing Elba, this farm offers five apartments, from a cute four-poster studio to a six-bedroom, plus home-cooked breakfasts and dinners. There is a tennis court, a football field, a swimming pool, a playground and bicycles for hire for the short trip through the natural park of Rimigliano to the coast. Among the miles of undeveloped sandy shores there is a nature area and a “dog beach” (four-legged guests are welcome at the agriturismo). Pisa is an hour away by car, Siena and Florence a little further.
Studio apartment from €65 per night self catering; lacacia.it

Tenuta Vigna Corallo, Puglia

Otranto, on Puglia’s Adriatic coast, is a pretty port with a castle and wonderful 12th-century mosaics in its cathedral. This vineyard, a few miles north, offers 18 stylish apartments sleeping 2-6, with terraces and a shared pool. The 300m white sandy beach is a 300m walk away through a private gate through oak woods. Guests can participate in wine tasting, try a day in the vegetable gardens (special events for children), or help with the grape harvest.
Studio from €134 per night self-catering; tenutacoralo.it

Podere Giulio, Lazio

This terracotta farmhouse half a mile from the Maremma coast has 11 spacious rooms, each with a furnished veranda and garden access, some with kitchens. Guests also have use of the pool at Podere del Gesso, 200m away. The restaurant uses local meats and vegetables, and also serves wood-fired pizzas, as well as homemade jams and juices at breakfast. Unesco-listed Tarquinia has 3,000-year-old Etruscan ruins 10 miles away. Rome and Vatican City are an hour away by train.
Doubles from €110 B&B; poderegiulio.it

Torre Cangiani, Campania

The Amalfi coast is popular for its colorful villages, sheer cliffs and ornate villas. West of Sorrento, this organic farm built around a 17th-century pirate tower is set among olive and lemon groves, with four elegant rooms and two-bedroom apartments, each with spectacular views. Breakfast and dinner use native olive oil, tomatoes, honey, preserved vegetables and jam. Parking and driving here is difficult, but there are buses to Sorrento (for hydrofoils to Capri) and Positano. The beach at Marina di Puolo is about a mile away.
Double from €110 B&B; torrecangiani.com/it

Zio Cristoforo, Cilento

South of the Amalfi coast, the smaller Cilento area offers rugged hills, quiet beaches, lower prices and a slower pace. On an olive-covered hill above Casal Velino Marina, this farm has rooms and four apartments, and its restaurant was a Sky TV finalist. 4 Historical series. The curvy, palm-shaded swimming pool looks especially inviting after a day’s trek on one of 10 marked routes, the beach is a half hour walk or five minutes by bike (more on the way back up!) and easily amazing Greek ruins of Paestum. reached by car.
Doubles from €110 B&B; agriturismoziocristoforo.com,

Acqua di Friso, Calabria

This farm on the Ionian coast of Italy is named after the ancient Greek spring only for people who love sun, sand and food. Its 17 hectares that run down to the sea were saved from desertification in 1990 when 12,000 trees and an organic vegetable garden were planted. The wild, white-sand beach, a site of scientific interest, is accessed via a remote-controlled gate, so it’s never crowded. There is also a swimming pool, wellness weekends, cookery courses, art exhibitions and an award-winning restaurant.
Doubles from €85 B&Bs; acquadibriso.it

Fiori del Conero, Le Marche

Conero regional park is a beautiful stretch of Adriatic coast with white coves under high cliffs, and this farm is located on the northern edge, a bus ride from Ancona’s cathedral, harbor and Roman ruins. The nine rooms and apartments have sea view terraces, and the smiling host Silvano will recommend places to visit, book restaurants and show guests around his citrus and olive groves, and delicious fields. package (samphire). Wild Spiaggia del Baffo is a 10 minute cycle.
Double from 73 rooms only, booking.com

La Casa di Spinosella, Sardinia

On the north coast of Sardinia, next to Corsica, there are long, sandy beaches and secluded coves, and just half a mile inland this family farm has converted an old man’s house into rooms and apartments, with wonderful sea views. The silvery sand of La Ciaccia beach can be reached through a hidden path in about 15 minutes. Breakfast could include salami and ham from the farm’s pigs, as well as ricotta and hard cheeses from their own berries. Alghero is just over an hour by car.
Doubles from €68 B&Bs; agraturismofingliosu.it.

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