We planned the summer of 2020 for the Agriturismo holiday in Tuscany, Italy. In my post on our self-drive holiday to Croatia, I mentioned that the trip did not turn into anything at that time, but this year it did. Besides being an almost ordinary holiday, with good food and wine, play by the pool, and exciting excursions in the Tuscan countryside, several other things were on our list.
As soon as September, we leave Denmark again, so for many, it may seem a little crazy that we choose to take a long drive of +20 hours to Italy to do something we will do nonstop from September and onwards. However, we had already paid partially for our trip, and we wanted to get some sun and test-drive our new VW California.
The trip to Italy started with picking up our VW California at IMC Motorclub in Flensburg. The plan was to leave home early, but we had to get the house ready for our Airbnb guests, pack the car and do all the other things you need to get done as a family with children. It was past noon before we left. We picked up the car in Flensburg at 15 o’clock, and approximately at 17:00, we were on our way to Tuscany.
As we approached Nürnberg, we all needed to sleep. So we found a location with the app Campercontact.com, checked into the parking lot, raised the tent on the roof and quickly fell asleep. The girls slept downstairs, and Rie and I slept in the “first-floor” tent. It was so cosy.
Early next morning, after a few Nutella snacks and some coffee, we continued towards Agriturismo I Moraioli in Tuscany. That trip took another 12-14 hours.
Facts about Italy
Italy is located in Southern Europe and is known for good food – especially child-friendly food. Delicious pasta dishes, pizza and ice cream, which in Italy is called Gelato. Italy is also known for its many fine wines.
The country has a very long history and has significantly influenced European history, especially during The Roman Empire.
Holidays in Italy are for everyone. Go on a wine estate or farm holiday (agriturismo) and experience authentic Italy. Or how about great family-friendly campsites along the Lido and Lake Garda. There’s something for everyone.
- The number of inhabitants = Approx. 62.5 million
- Currency = Euro (EUR).
- The capital is Rome.
- Italians are Roman Catholic.
- Italy’s total area is 301,340 km2.
What is Agriturismo? The Danish word for Agriturismo is “bondegårdsferie”, and although it is probably wonderful to live on a farm in Denmark for many, we do not think it compares with being on a farm holiday in Italy.
There are many options for this type of holiday in Italy and especially Tuscany. But the perfect experience is, in my opinion, when you can live in a lovely peaceful place – preferably in the mountains – where the food and wine are produced on-site and served in authentic Tuscan dishes. Add to that that the children can play with the animals and help make pizza and fresh pasta for dinner. That’s just the best!
We had booked two different places in the two weeks we were away. Both were amazing and quiet. Just except for a cicada near our terrace in the first house. Allegedly, it tried to tell the surrounding females that it was pretty handsome…
Agriturismo I Moraioli
Our first stay was called Agriturismo I Moraioli and was a lovely farm in the mountains with seven apartments, approximately 36 km from Siena. The owner, Fernando Moraioli, was a friendly older gentleman who also grew olives and ran the place. When we arrived Saturday night, he was ready to receive us with olive oil from his production and a few bottles of Tuscan wine from a friend’s farm. Unfortunately, we could not find the corkscrew and had to go to bed instead – without wine. But it was probably ok, after a long drive that started Friday noon in Ry.
Our accommodation had a nice size, with everything we needed. It was all quite old, but I think it’s part of the experience, at a farm holiday like the one we were on. At least we didn’t miss a thing.
Our terrace was the only one right next to the pool, and we could sit on the terrace or lie in the sun loungers and watch the children when they bathed. It felt a bit like it was our private pool 😀
A minor point of consideration is that this place is quite remote. A trip to the nearest supermarket takes about 25 min., and all roads are very winding and most also in poor condition.
- Very private and quiet.
- (infinity) Pool right at the terrace.
- The house was nice and cool, even though it was hot and there was no air conditioning installed.
- No other children to play with.
- No food or drinks on site.
- No animals (except some cats).
We went to the next place in the Volterra mountains and geographically a little closer to Pisa, Lucca and Livorno. Unlike the first place, Diacceroni was much more commercial. There was room for about 100 guests, spread across several locations.
We had a lovely big apartment, located right next to the playground and the restaurant and nearby there was a stable with horses where the girls spent many hours.
We also had Rie’s big brother, Kasper, “visiting”. He lived with us all week before he went on to Greece.
Diacceroni produces a lot of food itself. Including flour, olive oil, pasta, wine, beer, and various other processed foods. You can buy them all on-site and cook them yourself or eat them in the restaurant.
Three times during the week, there was a food party to enjoy their Tuscan cuisine. A general buffet, a pasta buffet and a pizza night. Delicious food in general, even though we think their bread was not nearly close to what we are used to in Denmark. But maybe it was meant to be a little dry for their bruschetta.
Here you can find more information about Agriturismo Diacceroni.
- Possible to eat at the restaurant on site.
- Many children to play with.
- Opportunity for a wide range of excursions and activities, including horse riding.
- Italy won the European championship in football while we stayed there 🤗
- Many guests and thus not as private as at I Moraioli.
- A little more commercial than we probably expected
Florence, Pisa, Livorno, Volterra, Siena and Lucca
Even though we travel south for some extra sun, we can rarely do nothing for too long. Therefore, our choice of the 2 Agriturismo locations was planned hereafter, as we would like to visit Lucca and Pisa in particular.
However, it was not that easy, as Carla (3 years) was not always fond of walking because of the heat. Therefore, it was very much on her terms we experienced the cities.
Our trips were focused on some of the main sights, where we did not have to wait in line for the attractions. This combined with the best pizza, pasta and Gelato ice cream places we could find on TripAdvisor.
Beaches in Livorno
One day we were on a trip to Livorno to swim at the beach before heading to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the afternoon. We drove to a parking lot at the north end close to the beach but had to turn around as we had chosen a parking lot where only the military and police were allowed to park. We got parked out by the road instead and returned just to be told that the beach was also reserved for the police and military. When we finally got down to the beach, we had to pay €5 per person to be allowed to use the beach. Chairs and umbrellas not included.
As we reached the water to bathe, it was utterly black and plumped by seaweed. We, therefore, ended up walking 50 meters further along the beach to swim but were thrown away as it was also the police beach. One hundred meters in the opposite direction, we jumped into the water again – this time without being thrown away. But it was another beach, and we should probably have paid here as well.
So a good piece of advice is to check if people are swimming in the water before paying. If non are swimming, choose one of the many other beaches along the coast at Livorno.
Of the cities we visited, Lucca was the best experience by far, and we could easily have stayed here for a few days. It was cosy with the old, well-kept houses and streets.
All of the old parts of the city is enclosed by a wall that people walk, run and cycle on. We rented a bike with room for all of us and rode around the wall, in the streets and around to pasta and ice cream places where we ate.
Do we recommend to go on an Agriturismo holiday in Tuscany?
YES! Tuscany is beautiful and has it all. Wonderful nature, beautiful romantic old towns, delicious food and wine and the opportunity to get out to sea and swim. The Agriturismo vacation is an excellent alternative to a city, camping or hotel vacation. Whether you like small places like I Moraioli or a larger one like Diacceroni, it is probably a matter of taste. We enjoyed both places very much.