Words Johanna Salem
If you have ever visited Italy, then you have certainly gazed in stupor at the great Colosseum of Rome, taken pictures of yourselves by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, ridden a gondola in Venice, eaten pizza in Naples, or gone shopping in Milan. However, have you ever taken the time to stop in one of Italy’s authentic rural villages?
Ecotourism is a new specialty form of tourism that is gaining more popularity with travelers who want an experience that is different from the classic, all-inclusive, resort vacation. These travelers opt for a more authentic and sustainable style of travel that enables them to discover natural environments and to support local conservation efforts.
Sustainable tourism, or ecotourism, is the concept of discovering new places while leaving a positive impact on the local society and its economy, and without compromising the environment. It is a style of travel that is socially responsible and that is gaining more and more popularity among young travelers as well as among groups of luxury vacationers.
Agriturismo is the way to go
In Italy, agriturismo, a particular niche of ecotourism, has been on the rise owing to the country’s natural beauty. Agriturismo is distinct from ecotourism in that it is strictly focused on healthful cuisine, organic goods, and local produce. In the past, rural agriturismo accommodations were strictly limited to rustic farm stays, with little amenities provided. Today, the interest in agriturismo in Italy has grown, and it attracts international visitors from all around the world. Farmers are benefiting from this interest to increase business at their lodgings by improving the quality of their products and by providing lavish, five-star star amenities such as spas, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools. Agriturismo has come to include stylish luxury resorts and classy rural retreats in order to meet the demand for luxury, natural, rural tourism.
Upon arrival at the farm, the guests are greeted by the farmer who explains the sources and the production processes of the delicious authentic food that they will be enjoying during their stay. After touring the local wineries and olive fields, the guests are invited to enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the spa. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Levanto, a village north of Cinque Terre, is an example of “the perfect getaway” located off the western coast of Italy. Choose to stay in an agriturismo accommodation and you will enjoy the best breakfast that you’ve ever had in the utmost serene setting. During the day, you will get to visit one of the many medieval castles and old churches before heading to the beach. In case you are not a beach person, the village offers amazing trails for day-long hiking or biking trips. Staying in Levanto will be an incomparable, authentic experience that is sure to meet your expectations.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience the most tasteful food while relaxing in rural Italy, then agriturismo is for you. What’s also great about agriturismo is that you don’t really have to wait for the summer to go visit, as these establishments are constantly in demand, even in mid-season! So, what are you waiting for?
Travel makes one modest.
You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
– Gustave Flaubert