Italy is a country that has so much to offer, and one of the most popular destinations for tourists is Tuscany. If you are looking to have an authentic Italian experience with your family, then staying at an agriturismo in Tuscany may be the perfect choice for you.
What is an Agriturismo in Tuscany?
Agriturismo Tuscany is an introduction to Italian country life that is designed to either receive guests for accommodation or food or a combination of both. Agriturismo Tuscany is a great way to get into Italian country life. You’ll have the chance to enjoy the beautiful countryside, try some delicious Tuscan food, and experience authentic Italian culture. It is designed for people who want a more genuine experience of the Tuscan way of life.
There is no better way to experience Tuscany than by living it firsthand. In the case of the one we chose to stay at, it combined organic foods, organic wines and gorgeous landscapes. Some Agriturismo’s in Tuscany also offer cooking classes which for us was a huge selling point so we could cross that experience off our bucket list.
Is an Agriturismo Tuscany a good choice for families?
Staying at an Agriturismo Tuscany absolutely is a perfect choice for accommodation for families. They tend to be much smaller and more intimate than a typical hotel, they are usually located away from the cities and towns so there will be plenty of space for your family or group to enjoy outdoor activities such as horseback riding, biking through vineyards and hiking trails along beautiful Tuscan hillsides.
An Agriturismo Tuscany also offers more personalized service and can cater easily to many dietary restrictions or special needs. We chose to stay at Agriturismo Marciano just on the outskirts of Siena. It was an organic farm and vineyard and came highly recommended to us.
Upon our arrival at 4pm after many hours of traveling, the staff arranged to for us to have dinner in our room so that our boys could relax and not worry about sitting through a dinner after our long flight from western Canada. It was greatly appreciated as we were all tired and just wanted to relax without having to worry about other guests around. The food was incredible and would prove to be a highlight of our trip throughout the week we were there.
Are meals included during a stay at an Agriturismo Tuscany?
Every Agriturismo Tuscany is different but many of them are working farms and offer breakfast and dinner as part of the experience. The food is usually sourced from the farm or property and is often grown organically.
On the first morning of our stay at Agriturismo Marciano, we walked down the hall to the breakfast room and were delighted with the incredible spread for breakfast. I knew I would love the food in Tuscany but my expectations were blown away by the incredible food served to us.
The staff even went to great lengths to accommodate my son’s anaphylactic nut allergy. For the entire seven nights we were there, they didn’t cook with any nuts at all. I was so thankful to them. It reduced our stress levels so much knowing we didn’t have to worry at all about the ingredients that week and we could just relax and enjoy our meals.
What are some activities to do with kids at an Agriturismo Tuscany?
Activities for children vary depending on age, but you’ll find plenty of options in most Agriturismo’s in Tuscany from horseback riding to biking through vineyards.
What is the best length of stay for an Agriturismo in Tuscany?
The best length of time to visit an Agriturismo Tuscany depends on what you want to do while there. If you simply want to relax, then three or four days might be sufficient. If you would like to explore many areas of Tuscany, you’ll want at least a week.
An agriturismo is the perfect vacation option for families looking to explore beautiful Tuscany, which can be done from one of many stunning locations throughout the region. These traditional Italian accommodations offer a wonderful base for families to take day trips to villages in the Tuscan countryside and then return to delicious home cooked meals.
We spent seven nights at Agriturismo Marciano and it was the perfect amount of time. We were able to thoroughly explore nearby Siena as well as take day trips to Montepulciano, Castelo di Brolio in Chianti, Monterrigioni and many more.
Seven Nights in Tuscany with Kids
Siena was the first place that we wanted to explore so after our delicious breakfast and some very strong Italian coffee, we headed to this famous town in Tuscany with kids. We were given directions by the staff at our Agriturismo on where to park and since we were up quite early, we had a head start on the crowds and didn’t have a problem parking.
We spent two days exploring Siena with kids. While we could have spent more time, two days was perfect for our family. There are a few things to do in Siena with kids: explore the medieval city center; visit Palio Square and of course visit the Siena Cathedral.
We headed straight for the Duomo di Siena to avoid the long lines and crowds since we arrived early. The Siena Cathedral is more beautiful in person than in pictures. I highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance and make sure that your shoulders are covered when you go inside. I usually carry a scarf with me that I can drape over my bare shoulders when I visit places like the Siena Cathedral.
Afterwards we headed to the center of town where there are plenty of shops and restaurants. We wandered around for hours, popping into every shop that looked interesting and stopping at a few cafes for coffee breaks. When lunch time arrived, we decided on pizza from Il Pizzaiolo which is located in the heart of Siena’s old town and is a perfect spot to enjoy some amazing Italian fare.
The views in Siena are also something to see. There are really many great views in the city but I would recommend visiting Piazza del Campo, which is also called Il Campo and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The second day we set out to explore Palio Square. Palio Square has quite the history. Twice per year, Palio di Sienalla takes place. This is a horse race that has been going on for over 600 years and draws as many as 40,000 spectators to Siena each year. Palio Square also hosts the best Gelato in Tuscany with places like il Masgalano and Grom serving up some of the tastiest gelato you’ll find.
Piazza dell’Unita d’Italia has some of Siena’s best restaurants as well so you can stop and enjoy the views while you eat. We stopped in at this rooftop cafe while my husband was talking with some clients back home and enjoyed an afternoon tea and pastries while surrounded by this glorious view.
Dinners at Agriturismo Marciano
Every evening we chose to eat our Agriturismo Tuscany because the food was so delicious and it was served family style and paired with the organic wines from their vineyard. The hotel staff were so wonderful and served our boys dinner early every night in our room at 6pm before they served the rest of the guests. It was so perfect because we were able to put them to bed afterwards and they were fast asleep by the time the usual dinner service began at 7:30pm.
After the boys fell asleep, we turned on our monitor and then walked a few shorts steps down the hallway to dinner and enjoyed some adult time and incredible food. Every night we enjoyed a five course meal, complete with wine pairings from the organic vineyard and had fun getting to know other guests from all over the world. I cannot express enough how fun our nights were and it truly was a remarkable week at the Agriturismo Marciano.
Exploring Castelo di Brolio in Chianti
A highlight of our Tuscany adventures was going to Castelo di Brolio in the Chianti region. It has a storied history and has been in the hands of the Ricasoli family since 1141. You can visit the chapel, the gardens and the small museum while you are there but the castle itself is still home to the current Ricasoli Baron and his family.
The Ricasoli family has been producing wine since the Middle Ages and included in the basic tour of the castle is a tasting of one of Ricasoi’s many wines at the wine shop. We spent roughly an hour touring around the gardens and it was fascinating to see the holes in the facade left by shrapnel from attacks during WWII. There is a breathtaking view over the Chianti region and some fun walks along the walls of the castle. The gardens tour is only 5 Euros which includes a wine tasting and well worth it for a fun afternoon.
For a pure Tuscan experience you must visit the medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano. We did a day-trip to Montepulciano, which was about an hour and 45 minute drive from our hotel. Montepulciano has been called the “Capital of Italian Wine” by UNESCO because it is home to many vineyards that produce some of the best Tuscan wines in Italy. The town’s historic center is a bustling place and is well worth exploring.
We spent a few hours walking along the cobblestone streets, checking out the local shops, stopping constantly at the breathtaking views and even taking a tour of the Museo della Tortura! We didn’t intend to take our boys through the museum of torture but Italy was in the midst of a heatwave and it was quite the way to beat the heat for 30 minutes!
Walking through Montepulciato’s historic center and exploring the shops, we were able to sample some of the local wines on offer as well. Most of the time though, we spent staring at the spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside and vineyards.
If we had more time, I would have liked to explore Montepulciano’s food scene but our trip was too short for that. The next time I go back to Italy with my family, however, this is one of the first places on my list!
We love walled villages and medieval fortresses and Castello di Monteriggioni is an easy day trip from Siena. Monteriggioni Castle has been a fixture on the Tuscan hillside since 1294, and it’s one of the best examples of medieval fortification in all of Italy. Monteriggioni is also famed for its historic centre that has managed to keep much of its original character intact.
We enjoyed walking along the top of the ramparts and the city’s walls. A 570 meter wall wraps around the village and there are two small sections of the wall that you can walk along which was the main reason we decided to visit. It cost us 4 Euros in 2017 to walk the walls and my boys loved it. We just wish it was longer but it was still fun regardless.
I recommend you visit Monteriggioni with your family if you are in Tuscany for a few days. It is a small village and easy to do within an hour or two. You can also come to Monteriggioni with your family at night as the castle and towers are strung up by light. It is a magical experience, like watching a fairytale unfold all around you.
Parco Sculture del Chianti
The owners of our Agriturismo Tuscany suggested that we take a 10 km drive north of Siena to visit the Park Sculpture del Chianti. Contemporary works of art in the outdoors is what the Chianti Sculpture Park offers its visitors. The park covers an area of about 25 hectares and has been open to the public since 1990. We really enjoyed the last kilometre of the drive with oversized sculptures lining the road leading to the park.
Families can enjoy walking around the many sculptures in this great art landscape, or take a picnic on one of the grassy areas when you visit with your little ones.
Some of our boys favorite pieces included the glass labyrinth, and the rainbow crash installation. The Rainbow Crash installation is right next to one of the picnic areas and is a great spot to have lunch. We brought baguettes, salami and cheese and some rosé for my husband and I while the kids played and ate. There is a fountain nearby for everyone to wash their hands after exploring all the exhibits.
We spent about an hour in this beautiful park, exploring the exhibits and appreciating the artistry that is on display here. It was a great way to end our time in Tuscany – by enjoying something cultural with our children.
Cooking Class in Tuscany
No vacation would be complete without doing a little cooking and tasting the local cuisine. I booked a two-hour Tuscany Cooking Class that would provide me with an introduction to Italian food culture, as well as instruction on how to make some of our favorite dishes from scratch.
Thankfully our Agriturismo Tuscany hosted a cooking class most days and I gladly took advantage of an afternoon without kids. It was amazing how quick it was to make pasta from scratch and prepare the meat for that evenings dinner. All the ingredients used were from their organic garden where the cooking class started.
This is an important thing to note when traveling with kids: you will need to have some down-time for yourself and my husband and I will often trade off during our vacations so each has time to get a break from parenting.
After the cooking class, we sat down to enjoy a lunch made entirely from what we had learned to make that day. The meal consisted of pasta, sauce, salad and caponata with a glass of local wine served to us all by the owner of our Agriturismo Tuscany. I was thrilled by the experience that had been on my bucket list for many years.
Final thoughts on our Agriturismo Tuscany Holiday
After seven nights in Tuscany it was time for us to depart for the train station on our way to Annecy in France. We all loved our time at our Agriturismo Tuscany and the food was hands down the best I have ever eaten! We will gladly be returning again if only to eat the food and drink the wine.
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