Italy is a trendsetter in agro tourism. Rural vacation in Italy - from this country began the march of agro tourism in the world. Nowadays Italian cuisine and its beautiful landscapes are the two key ingredients that enabled agro tourism in Italy gain such success. Olive groves, wine plantations, oil mills, mozzarella and famous pasta farms - for the last few years agro tourism in Italy has not changed much in terms of tourist priorities. Italian gastronomy and picturesque nature of the Apennines allow tourism to flourish at the expense of many rural estates and farms in Italy.
History of agro tourism in Italy
Tourism and recreation in Italian villages and farms has been popular throughout the 20 century. However, it received official recognition and public support only in 1985. Then the Italian government passed a law promoting rural tourism. The effectiveness of this law is evidenced by the fact that since its adoption the number of rental villas in Italian countryside in estates and farms has increased for 3-5 times depending on the region.
Agro tourism regions in Italy
Tuscany is the first among equals. Agro tourism in Tuscany is developed best in the country. Here is located in total 25% of all agro-tourist estates in Italy. From the outskirts of Florence to the seaside villages on the island of Elba – farmsteads and villas of Tuscany are widely presented in each province of the region. Agro tourism in the south of Italy due to the predominance of agricultural sector may offer wider choice of farmsteads than the north. Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria - on local farms tourists have the opportunity to relax in the Italy nature and try the dishes that cannot be tasted in other regions of Italy.
Culinary tourism in Italy: PDO and DOC
As it was noted above, Italian cuisine is one of the main reasons to rent a villa or house on a farm in Italy. After all, rural Italy can get acquainted with many world-renowned delights in the place of its origin. Parma ham, salami or Chianti - today in Italy there are in total 176 products that had glorified one region or another. In the world classification such products are defined with an abbreviation PDO, which stands for (Protected designation of origin). This abbreviation emphasizes the uniqueness of the product and suggests that officially use a particular name can only for the product that is produced in this region. Therefore, in order to taste the famous Italian truffles tourists go to rural houses of the Pisa Province and for real gorgonzola come to the environs of Milan.
Another pointer for agro tourism in Italy is DOC or Denominazione di origine controllata. This notation defines the region of wine production. Many tourists prefer to rent villas in rural areas, focusing on the DOC-regions, in order not only to taste the favorite drink, but also to get acquainted with the process of making wine. So, to try real Chianti people go to Tuscany, but for an unusual wine-cotto or "Italian moonshine" tourists will have to go to Marche or Abruzzo.