Many people search online for Agriturismo Volterra in hopes of finding the best farmstay in Tuscany.
Our comprehensive guide to Agriturismo Volterra offers a history of the region and our favourite attractions in the ancient city.
We also offer tips on how to plan your first farmstay in Tuscany and highlight two of the best agriturismo in Volterra. Fancy sleeping over at a friendly pecorino cheese farm or award-winning winery in Volterra? Read on!
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What is an Agriturismo?
The word agritourismo is a combination of the Italian words agricolutura (agriculture) and turismo (tourism).
An agritourismo is a farm designed to host guests. Many people stay at Agritourismo Volterra in Tuscany to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch or dinner, cooking school, farm tour or overnight holiday accommodation.
Typically, an agritourismo is a family-owned farm where the owners generate an income partially by tourists who are looking for a unique overnight stay. You should expect that at least 90% of the time the owners of the “hotel” are primarily dedicated to farming.
Agriturismo in Volterra unsurprisingly tend to feel informal: you’ll rarely find a reception area and you’re often woken up by roosters or the bleating of sheep. It’s a perfect weekend away for those looking to relax in the Tuscan countryside.
If it’s your first time staying at an Agritourismo Volterra, expect rooms that range from large mini-apartments to cozy, basic rooms located in the family farmhouse. You shouldn’t expect the kind of service you’d find at a 5 star hotel. And that’s the point!
Fans of the farmstay seek out the unique experience as it’s an affordable and sustainable way to eat, sip and sleep while meeting passionate producers. Most regular Agritourismo Volterra holidaymakers are food lovers. They’re keen to wake up each morning on a working farm. They want to learn about how local wine, cheese and cured meat is made. They’re enthusiastic about learning about local food culture and history.
Agriturismo Volterra History
Traditionally, a Tuscan farm was a relatively small plot of land where a farmer and family grew what they needed to live. The goal would always be to grow a little extra to sell at the market for extra spending money.
As Tuscany’s tiny farms lurched into modern times, they often couldn’t afford to sustain a family. In the 1950s and 60s, farming throughout Italy became far less profitable. Often large historical farmhouses that were built for many families now housed just one family. Sadly, many farmers were forced to abandon their agricultural businesses and move to a nearby city to find a more reliable paycheck.
There was a growing concern that traditional farm culture was disappearing in Italy. In 1985, the Italian government officially gave the agriturismo concept its stamp of approval. Since agricultural activities don’t generate as much income as they once did, adding a tourism component to the organic farm helped ensure a thriving future. Today, there are over 17,000 agriturismi in Italy!
Drive around Tuscany today and you’ll find agriturismo dotted across the romantic hills. Agriturismo Volterra preserve the region’s postcard-perfect landscape, farmhouse traditions and local communities. If you’re keen to invest your holiday dollars in a sustainable way, booking a farmhouse stay in Volterra is the best way to invest in the people and place.
How to Choose the Best Agriturismo Volterra
Simply put, an agriturismo in Volterra must be a working farm. Ideally you’ll find a more traditional Tuscan farm producing wine, olive oil, cured meats and cheese.
It’s important to do your research as some accommodation options that call themselves farmstays only produce a patch of vegetables or herbs on a much smaller scale. Not every Agriturousmo Volettra is of the same quality. We suggest doing your research by asking what the farm produces regularly. It’s helpful to review a recent farmstay menu to see what products grown on the farm are served on the plate. If the owners only produce a few eggs and parsley, the experience of living on the farm will not match your expectations.
We also suggest looking through pictures of the farmstay’s accommodation so you know what to expect when you check in. While most Agriturismo Volterra offer clean and simple rooms, some offer in-room hot tubs or a balcony overlooking the pool.
If you get in touch with a farmstay and they aren’t willing to share a list of the foods they grow and produce on site be wary. You should expect the farms fruit to be used to make homemade marmalade and jam at breakfast. If you’re staying on a cheese farm in Tuscany you’ll likely be treated to a pecorino tasting at dinner. The best agritourismo offer visitors an immersive farm to fork culinary experience.
Most Agriturismo Volterra also sell their products directly to guests. If you fall in love with a bottle of wine or round of cheese why not support your hosts by purchasing their products to enjoy later during an impromptu picnic?
Two of Tuscany’s Best Farmstays
Is nibbling on fresh pecorino cheese at a farmhouse surroudned by sheep your idea of a romantic holiday in Tuscany? Or perhaps you’d rather enjoy sipping a Sangiovese at sunset while skipping through lush vineyards? Or why not go all out and spend a few nights at both?
Fattoria Lischeto and Podere Marcampo are two of the best agriturismo in Volterra. Both farmstays are located a short drive north of the city, approximately 10 minutes drive from the historic centre.
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Agriturismo Volterra Fattoria Lischeto
Hosting overnight guests since 1990, Fattoria Lischeto is an organic farm turned agriturismo in Volterra, Italy.
The family-run holiday farm sits perched on the top of a hill in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Guests at Fattoria Lischeto enjoy panoramic views overlooking lush pastures where hundreds of the farms sheep graze. The spectacular landscape also features the “Balze,” a natural erosion phenomenon of wild ravines and scoured cliffs.
Fattoria Lischeto is a working farm of 205 hectares of land dedicated to the farming of cereal crops, fodder and pasture lands for its herd of 800 sheep. Its farming methods are strictly organic, producing raw milk for pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil and delicatessen products.
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Agriturismo Volterra “Art Farm”
Fattoria Lischeto is known throughout Volterra as the “art farm.” Take a tour of the property and you’ll find several contemporary statues as well a series of sheep sculptures that pay homage to the family’s pecorino production.
The properties most famous art piece is titled “Equanimity,” a monumental icon that guests first see in pastures on the right hand side when they arrive. The 9 metre high sculpture can also be seen from several nearby vantage points.
Equanimity is perhaps Volterra’s most famous piece of landscape art. It is a symbol of both balance and inner strength. Built in the shape of an inverted question mark, the sculpture invites its viewers to ponder, “how do we express the questions and answers that arise in search of serenity in existence.”
Fattoria Lischeto Accommodation
Agriturismo Volterra Fattoria Lischeto is a perfect weekend getaway in Tuscany for romantic couples and families. The popular farmstay in Volterra offers a variety of accommodation options including 5 rooms and 14 apartments.
The single, double and triple room apartments are ideal for families on holiday. While couples have the opportunity to book spacious double rooms or the signature suite, featuring a hot tub and fireplace.
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All of the rooms have been resorted, retaining many of the farm’s original features. Guests also enjoy independent central heating and linen with towels. Pets are welcome on the farm at no extra charge and free internet is available in all public areas. The Agriturismo Volterra’s rooms and farm are eco-friendly, dedicated to using renewable and recycled products.
Guests can enjoy a relaxing weekend in the countryside, waking up each morning to peak through windows that offer an idyllic view. In the warm summer months, overnight guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool, scenic hike or quiet walk through the properties sculpture park.
Fattoria Lischeto Cheese Farm
If you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping at a Tuscan cheese farm Fattoria Lischeto will certainly make you smile. The cheesemakers receive fresh organic sheep milk from the farm in a production facility attached to the back of the main building near the kitchen.
Take a tour of the pecorino cheese farm in Volterra and you’ll start with a history lesson at the farmhouse cheese shop. Your local guide will then take you on a behind the scenes tour, explaining how pecorino cheese is prepared the traditional way.
Be sure to pop into the walk in fridge as you’ll find an army of men dressed entirely in white who tend to plump rounds of cheese. Fattoria Lischeto produces a parade of pecorino, from the fresh spreadable variety to a selection of flavourful aged cheeses.
If you’re a cheese lover and have never seen how pecorino is prepared a visit to Fattoria Lischeto will be truly unforgettable. Families with curious children will also enjoy the awesome educational experience. Everyone leaves the farm having a better appreciation for the hard work that goes into transforming milk into cheese.
Fattoria Lischeto’s must-try cheeses include:
- Pecorino degli Sposi: a fresh and delicate taste
- Rosso Volterrano: matured for 2 months, fragrant and intense, treated on surface for 2 months with tomato and olive oil
- Balze Volterrane: matured in oak barrels and under ashes of olive trees, delicate and sharp
- Maschio: 180 days in cave, delicate and sharp
- Cacio del Monsignore: aged for one year under wheat in a barrel
Fattoria Lischeto Restaurant
There’s no better way to appreciate the art of cheesemaking than eating it! Guests at Fattoria Lischeto should be sure to make a reservation at the farmhouse restaurant. On a warm day you can enjoy lunch or dinner on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, or under an intimate cabana that offers jaw-dropping views at sunset.
The dining room is located in a 19th-century farmhouse, serving a hearty menu featuring dishes inspired by Tuscany and Sardinia (the families original home). The menu regularly changes with the seasons but predominantly features products grown right on the farm.
Highlights from our Tuscan feast at Fattoria Lischeto include a fresh pecorino fondu with radicchio, mixed green and zucchini ribbon salad, beef carpaccio, vegetarian faro salad, and a duo of fresh pasta dishes.
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Breakfast at Fattoria Lischeto
A complimentary breakfast buffet is served each morning to guests in the main dining room.
The Tuscan brunch includes tea, coffee, fruit juices and sparkling water. You’ll also find toast, bread and pastries served alongside honey, jam, yogurt and cereal. Guests can also graze through platters of locally cured meats, the farms own pecorino cheese, chocolate cake and a freshly baked berry tart.
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Agriturismo Volterra Podere Marcampo
Podere Marcampo is an agriturismo in Volterra run by the Del Duca family. The story begins in 1971, the year Genuino Del Duca, a former policeman from Abruzzo moved to Tuscany. Genuino shared a dream with his wife Ivana to create a food and wine business together.
In 2003 the couple bought Marcampo, a farm that dates back to the early 18th-century which had been abandoned in the 1950s. The restoration of the property was completed in 2009, transforming Podere Marcampo into a jewel in the heart of the Balze and Calanchi Nature Park.
Podere Marcampo’s working farm currently focuses on producing high quality wine, grappa and olive oil. The organic farm features 250 ancient olive oil trees and an intimate two hectare vineyard.
Overnight guests are encouraged to enjoy a winery tour, tutored wine tasting and cooking class at the family’s Resaurant-Enoteca Del Duca in the historic centre of Volterra.
Podere Marcampo Accommodation
The Podere Marcampo farmstay offers a total of six rooms. Couples and families can select from 3 double rooms, 2 two-bedroom apartments, and a three-room suite.
Each room and apartment is outfitted with air conditioning, LCD televisions, mini bar, free internet access and telephones for free calls within Italy.
The most popular place on the property to rest and relax is at the solarium, featuring a 6 by 12 metre swimming pool. The refreshing waters are equipped with a staircase and hydromassage area. On a hot summer day, we suggest relaxing here while sipping a glass of Sangiovese and indulging in the 360 degree view of the winery.
Podere Marcampo Winery
Agriturismo Volterra Podere Marcampo’s vineyard is approximately 5 hectares. The family-run winery in Tuscany produces high quality wines as well as grappa.
Wine production in Volterra dates back to Etruscan times. Due to the ancient presence of the sea, the vines are born on a clay soil rich in salt and minerals. The award-winning wines are are made right here on the vineyard and can be enjoyed by guests from grape to glass.
The wines at Podere Marcampo are multi-award winning. The winery’s signature, Giusto Alle Balze, has won the Sliver Medal at Mondial du Merlot in Lugano and Concours Mondial Merlot in Brussels. In 2010 the celebrated red wine was awarded first place in the XII Edition of the I Pisani Piu Schietti.
Must-Try Podere Marcampo’s Wines:
- Giusto Alle Balze: made from a careful and limited selection of 100% Merlot. Vinified in stainless-steel vats, then aged in oak barrels for 12 months. The wine is then left to settle for another 6 months before bottling.
- Severus: made from a selection of 100% Sangiovese. Vinified in stainless-steel vats, then aged in oak barrels for 12 months. The wine is then left to settle for another 12 months before bottling.
- Marcampo: made from 50% Sangiovese and 50% Merlot. The two varieties are vinified separately in stainless-steel vats and blended after 12 months in oak barrels. The wine is left to settle for another 6 months before bottled.
- Genuino: from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. The two varieties are vinified separately in stainless-steel vats and then blended and bottled after 10 months.
Podere Marcampo Restaurant
After meeting Genuino Del Duca there’s no better way to describe him than as a true Renaissance man. The former policeman has successfully pursued his passion for hospitality. He manages one of the best agriturismo in Tuscany, produces award-winning wines and is the chef at Volterra’s best restaurant.
Overnight guests at Podere Marcampo are encouraged to make dinner reservations at Ristorante-Enotecca Del Duca. Located in the heart of Volterra’s historic centre, the Del Duca family restaurant first opened in 2001.
The elegant dining room spills out into a hidden backyard patio, which in the summer offers a sublime garden oasis. Romantic couples looking for a unique dining experience can request to have dinner in the restaurant’s intimate wine cave.
Those looking to enjoy a cooking class at an Agriturismo Volterra can do so at Podere Marcampo’s restaurant in Volterra. Cooking classes start at 10am and last approximately 3 hours. Students enjoy a short break to sip and nibble on aperitif, sparkling wine, cold cuts and freshly baked focaccia. After cooking as a group a complete Tuscan meal is served and includes antipasto, homemade pasta, second course and dessert. Each dish is paired with one of Podere Marcampo’s wines. Cooking classes are all private and require booking in advance. Each student is sent home with a recipe book, apron and full stomach!
Podere Marcampo Breakfast
A complimentary breakfast buffet is served each morning between 8am-10:30am. Guests gather in the cozy front patio, which offers views of the surrounding vineyards.
The Tuscan brunch includes tea, coffee and fruit juices. Home-made products you’ll find at Podere Marcampo’s breakfast include cakes, salami, bread, jam and tomatoes from the family garden. They also like to highlight other local producers in Tuscany by offering local milk, yogurt, fruit, honey, butter, eggs, pecorino cheese, cereals and granola.
Volterra Day Trip
The walled hilltop town of Volterra is one of the most magical medieval marvels in Tuscany. It’s located in the east side of the province of Pisa, on the border of Siena.
The town still offers visitors traces of its Etruscan past, most notably the intact defence walls and entrance arches. It was one of Italy’s 12 power centres from the 4th through to the 6th-centuries.
If you’re staying at an Agriturismo Volterra we suggest driving into the city for a day trip. The ancient Tuscan town offers an impressive collection of museums, art galleries, ruins, churches, palaces, cafes and restaurants.
Things to do in Volterra
- Alabaster EcoMuseum: Volterra has an ancient alabaster tradition. Art fans can watch sculptors at work and purchase locally made alabaster in the studio shop.
- Etruscan Museum: Volterra’s best museum features one of the world’s largest collections of funeral urns from the Hellenistic and Archaic periods.
- Volterra City Museum and Art Gallery: Housed in the Minucci-Solaini Palace, the city’s Art Gallery features a famous painting, Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino.
- Palazzo Vitti: This ornate palace is still a residence of the Viti family. Guests can stroll through 12 elaborately decorated rooms.
- Roman Amphitheatre: North of the town walls, the city’s Roman theatre dates back to the first century AD. Visitors can see 19 tiers of seating built on a natural slope.
- Roman Cistern: Located at the top of the hill by the Medicean Fortress, the Roman Cistern can be accessed by a winding iron iron staircase.
- L’Incontro Cafe: A popular local restaurant serving coffee, Tuscan pastries, aperitivo, panini, and gelato.
- Volterra Cathedral: Volterra’s cathedral dates back to 1120 and features a mix of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Be sure to visit the 13th-century baptistry next door.
- Palazzo dei Priori: The heart of Volterra’s old town is the Piazza dei Priori. The architectural icon Palazzo dei Priori is used today as the city hall.
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