Italy’s Farmhouses Enjoy a Post-Pandemic Boom

A new study found that more than seven in 10 Italians plan to visit a local farmhouse this summer.

Jul. 5, 2022
By Paolo DeAndreis

Recent News

Research from Noto Sondaggi and Coldiretti shows that 72 out of 100 Italians plan to visit one or more farm­houses this sum­mer.

Farmhouses offer the oppor­tu­nity for leisurely meals in pic­turesque sur­round­ings and the abil­ity for vis­i­tors to expe­ri­ence tra­di­tional agri­cul­tural and food pro­duc­tion activ­i­ties.

The immense pop­u­lar­ity of vis­it­ing these agri­tourism busi­nesses also does not come as a sur­prise.

See Also:Tourism Awards in Italy Promote Industry Innovators

According to the research, one-third of Italians said they would like to be involved with farm­houses. Slightly more than 20 mil­lion Italians said they would start their own farm­house given the right con­di­tions.

The researchers also sug­gest that the immense pop­u­lar­ity of farm­houses is indica­tive of the grow­ing inter­est in the farmer-chef phe­nom­e­non, where high-pro­file chefs are com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing local tra­di­tional food spe­cial­ties.


Away from food and nature, other rea­sons cited for farm­house vaca­tions are the need to relax, avoid crowded envi­ron­ments and par­tic­i­pate in out­door sports and activ­i­ties.

Coldiretti said farm­house restau­rant oper­a­tions grew two per­cent in 2021, com­pared to 2019, despite peri­odic clo­sures as a result of the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Recent research car­ried out by the Italian Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea) found that there are now 25,060 licensed farm­houses in Italy.

Of this total, 82 per­cent offer overnight stays, while 62 per­cent have a restau­rant. Nearly one-third of reg­is­tered farm­houses also orga­nize tast­ing activ­i­ties for their local prod­ucts.

Ismea said farm­houses have become ambas­sadors for tra­di­tional regional recipes and prod­ucts, such as extra vir­gin olive oil and wine, allow­ing vis­i­tors to taste and learn about these prod­ucts’ sto­ries.

Recent sup­port for farm­houses has also come from Italy’s oleo­tourism law, which is meant to develop new touris­tic oppor­tu­ni­ties akin to what pre­vi­ous leg­is­la­tion achieved for the Italian wine sec­tor.

The ris­ing inter­est in start­ing farm­houses has also led the Sicilian Parliamentary Assembly to review its bureau­cratic pro­ce­dures to found one of these estab­lish­ments. The stated goal of the assem­bly is to make it more sim­ple for farm­ers to open restau­rants, tast­ing rooms and hos­pi­tal­ity accom­mo­da­tions.

The deci­sion is likely to be greeted with approval from local farm­ers, espe­cially since Sicily is the lead­ing domes­tic vaca­tion des­ti­na­tion for Italians.

One of the dri­vers of farm­house tourism is also the high num­ber of Italians who do not plan to travel inter­na­tion­ally dur­ing their vaca­tions. A recent sur­vey from TouringClub found that 73 per­cent of respon­dents plan to take their upcom­ing sum­mer vaca­tions in Italy in 2022.

Coldiretti said that two of the main rea­sons for the grow­ing suc­cess of farm­houses are the abil­ity to book accom­mo­da­tion and make reser­va­tions at the last minute and the loca­tion of many of them in non-tra­di­tional tourist loca­tions, allow­ing vis­i­tors to avoid more crowded areas.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has also taken notice of the ongo­ing changes in the Italian touris­tic pref­er­ences, with its south­ern branch in Campania announc­ing a recent part­ner­ship with Terranostra to cre­ate a net­work of sport-friendly farm­houses.

According to local media reports, 20 farm­houses have par­tic­i­pated in spe­cial­ized CONI/Coldiretti work­shops to refine their sport-related offers, and new work­shops are planned in autumn.

The project is part of a broader effort by the two enti­ties to pro­mote the Mediterranean diet as a cru­cial con­trib­u­tor to a healthy life.

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