Who Came Up with the Idea of a Farm Stay?
The concept first developed in Italy! The years following World War II were particularly hard for the Italians many of whom were rural farmers. When they began migrating into cities in search of work and a better life, there was great concern about who would produce food for the nation. The Italian government developed a new concept they called “agriturismo.” Under this program farm families were incentivized to rent out vacant rooms. This new source of steady income gave farmers the reason to stay and work their fields.
Have you ever been to a real farm? Consider a farm stay as an alternative vacation. Working farms are fascinating microcosms where you are surrounded by nature. There is a daily buzz of activity. You might be surprised to learn that farms with rooms to rent can be as diverse as hotels in terms of pricing and features. Some especially cater to families with playgrounds, tractor rides, and small friendly animals to feed and pet. Other farms might focus on adults and offer specialized retreats. You could take yoga classes, learn about clean eating, or participate in writing or painting workshops. Some locations offer the chance to learn a new skill like cheese-making or organic cooking.
Did you know that some working farms accept volunteers? You can check out such online sites such as Workaway and WWOOF.
For your convenience, I have named a few farms below (with links) that offer guest rooms if you are planning a trip to Germany, Italy, or Portugal.
Casa das Palmeiras, in the Dão wine producing region http://www.casadaspalmeiras.pt/ (website is in Portuguese)
- Quinta do Pomarinho estate with rental homes and a campground http://www.pomarinho.com
- Burro Ville, a working cattle and donkey farm https://www.burroville.com (website is in Portuguese)
Next time: Farm Stays in the UK, Ireland, and North America!
Have you taken a holiday on a farm before? Let us know where and how it went! We would love to hear about your experiences – share by leaving a comment below.
Shahnaz Radjy is a writer based in Portugal and the co-founder of an ecotourism project. She describes herself as an adventurer, foodie, bookworm, and horse lover. You can read more about Shahnaz on her blog Farmaventure and follow her on Twitter @sradjy.
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