|Subject: Re: agriturismo|
A couple of decades ago, when the Italian infrastructure was poor, and there
wasn't the capitol for investment, the government passes a special tax
incentive for people to convert apartments, farm houses, cabins, villas and
even castles into lodging for tourists. This had two purposes: 1.) Provide
alternative lodging where hotels and motels were not available, and 2.) Give
some individuals an enormous tax break to refurbish their
farms/villas/castles etc. Italy is one of the few countries in the world
with this alternative form of lodging - with these generous tax incentives.
What it translates into is unparalleled travel experiences for all of us. At one end of the scale, it means being able to afford inexpensive lodging in almost any part of the country - including apartments and houses in Rome and Venice. To living like royalty in one of the restored Villas or Castles. Usually, renting requires a week stay, although more and more are offering them in smaller periods. Almost all include a kitchen, so it is possible to fix your own meals... again greatly reducing the cost of travel - and allowing you to sample the freshest produce from the local markets... hand picked by you. On the top end of the scale, it's possible to have a staff wait on you, from butlers and maids and cooks - to having your own string quartet play at breakfast or dinner. At the other end, you can, as we have, fix your own dinner in a rustic kitchen and dine looking out over the vineyards of Tuscany while the sun lights the world with a golden glow... and listen to the crickets chirp.
We are not endorsing them, but please check http://www.theparkercompany.com for an example of agritourism. As mentioned in earlier posts, we have several excellent sources - in TravelZINE - who can advise us all on the better properties.
Roy, Wanda &Dena Faires