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If you are going to stay in Tuscany for an extended period of time for your holidays, then it is preferable to stay in a Tuscany holiday apartment. They are much more affordable than villas or farmhouses and there are such a wide variety of apartments available in Tuscany.
Tuscans in the countryside often rent out their farmhouses which are being restored into apartments to supplement their incomes. The prices are cheap and most of the apartment owners are easy going people. Plus, such tuscany holiday apartments offers great panoramic views of the tuscan countryside. You can surround yourself in nature with vineyards and grapevines nearby. Definitely a great choice for agritourists.
If you are in one of the major tuscan towns or cities such as Florence or Pisa, you will find beautiful apartments that are available. Holidays Apartments in the Tuscan cities are unique with cream-colored walls draped with flowers. They also offers breathtaking views around the city. Prices vary a lot depending on how luxurious you want your holiday apartment to be. Typically they cost between 100 USD to a few thousand a night.
Whether you are vacationing in the tuscan countryside or city, a holiday apartment overlooking the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, basking in the tuscan sun is a memorable experience.
Just one holiday spent in Tuscany, Italy isn’t enough; this magical area offers much to see and do. You can find different types of leisure and recreations throughout Tuscany, to serve and delight every traveler. At the end of your first visit you’ll just want to come back to Italy as soon as possible and try a different place to stay in Tuscany every time.
When you step outside your rented farmhouse or B&B in Tuscany, you will find water sports, Tuscan winemaking and olive oil production that can only be found in Italy. Not to mention Tuscany, Italy’s vast variety of historical monuments such as The Tower of Pisa.
Of course, like every big tourist destination Tuscany has luxurious hotels. But if it’s a little bit of Tuscan culture you are looking for, then you’ll probably want to stay in an ancient Tuscan castle or farmhouse where you can explore the history of Tuscany or see the production of Tuscan wines and Italian olive oils. And the next time you come, try one of Tuscany choice of bed and breakfasts, villas and condominiums.
If watching the production of Tuscan winemaking and Italian olive oil is up your alley, Tuscany provides many places where you can book a tour through a Tuscan winery or olive oil production mill and take part in the actual making. You will also be able to sample the many wines, such as Chianti or Super Tuscan; taste the famous Italian olive oils, and of course purchase the ones you enjoyed the most. You wouldn’t want to leave Italy without its two best products.
When you want to relax in Tuscany, and you’ve had your fill of Italian wines, there is always the Tuscan cuisine, some of the finest Italian food you will find, such as Italian meatballs, pastas and Italian breads.
After your taste buds have been satisfied (at least for the day), there are still a few more things to do around the region of Tuscany. The coastline of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea provides for all the great water sports during your time in Tuscany. This area of Tuscany is well-known for its fishing; however you can also go swimming and windsurfing, or simply lie down in the sun and relax. Many of the accommodations in Tuscany have swimming pools on site for a more private swimming.
For drier activities there are several places around Tuscany where you can rent bicycles to ride while you tour the Italian countryside. And lest we forget the Tuscan historical monuments such as the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa or the less famous old churches throughout the region.
So, the question is not what you are going to do while in Tuscany, but when will you be coming back.
With its diverse cultural heritage, Kenya is one of the most interesting destinations to visit around the world. The people are warm, friendly and welcoming. There are over forty ethnic groups in this country which are all unique in various ways and live together in peace and harmony.
We have the Maasai, Samburu and the Turkana who still have their cultural practices and beliefs intact. The Maasai especially have their red trademark ‘shukas’ (type of square clothing wrapped around the body) which they adorn as their attire, and the maasai ‘morans’ (warriors) whose dance moves are characterized by very high leaps in the air. These three ethnic groups are semi-nomadic. The Samburu and Turkana women adorn beaded necklaces around their necks and large round earrings are hung from their earlobes. These decorations are not only meant for beauty purposes but are also used to show a woman’s rank in the society i.e. different age groups of the females.
A most spectacular view is one of the Seven Wonders of the World at the Masai Mara Game Reserve- the wildebeest migration, the wildebeests and zebras migrate to Kenya in the months of July and October. They cross the Mara River which runs along the reserve where some of the animals are caught by crocodiles which lie in the waters waiting for a moment to present itself for them to have their meal.
Sample the big five-lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and leopard at Tsavo National park. The Kenyan coast has a lot to offer; the historical sites of Fort Jesus, Gedi Ruins, the old town of Lamu, sandy beaches, coral reefs among others. The snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya are an amazing and breath-taking site to behold.
The Great Rift Valley is home to lakes Nakuru, Baringo and Bogoria. Lake Nakuru is famous for its pink masses of flamingos which feed on the algae which grow in this lake. On the other hand Lake Bogoria is well known for its hot springs and geysers, and the large numbers of lesser flamingos. The lake is also home to the Greater Kudu, a shy type of antelope with long spiraling horns.
Visitors in Kenya are both international and domestic, they engage in diverse kinds of tourism ranging from cultural tourism, adventure tourism, beach tourism, ecotourism, and agritourism. Activities to participate in at various attraction sites in Kenya include but are not limited to: balloon safaris, game drives, camping, mountain climbing, hiking, bird watching, sunbathing and boat rides.
Good marketing strategies put in place by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), tour operators and agents have made Kenya a most important travel destination in the world.
Rising at cock’s crow, an easy lifestyle, nature and fresh air – these are the intrinsic charms of agrotourism. Rural tourism or agrotourism is becoming more and more popular in Karelia, the Altai, the Leningrad region, the Kaliningrad region and some other regions of Russia. The visitors are offered the traditional Russian meals: honey, kvass, kasha (Russian porridge) and borsch made of organic food products. The tourists are happy to be engaged in farm activities ranging from picking berries and vegetables or feeding animals, getting acquainted with the traditions of a Russian village. During their vacation they are learning crafts and are engaged in lots of other farm activities: milking cows, weaving willow baskets, riding a horse or driving a field tractor.
The city dwellers wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and longing for fresh air and rural quietness are happy to spend their vacation in rural farms located in the Kaliningrad region. The farmers invite their guests to take part in fishing or hunting adventures.
In Bashkiria, the landlords of the agrotourism sustained farm Boursian invite their guests to spend their vacation in a traditional Russian house with a lovely garden, banya (the traditional Russian bath) and a hayloft. They also arrange trips to Shulgantash Nature Reserve, horseback riding tours or tours on boats propelled by oars, gathering medicinal herbs, mushrooms and berries. While staying in Kutan, another Bashkir agritourism sustained farm, the tourists may taste honey from local bee yard, medovukha (a traditional Russian drink made from fermented honey and water), take part in fishing and hunting activities, bear´s paths hiking, or learn about beekeeping.
Another option is to visit three ancient villages: Romanovo, Nesterovo and Kiucher, which are located not far from Pereyaslavl-Zalesskiy (the Yaroslavl region), in the picturesque forest surroundings on the bank of the Roksha river. The visitors may participate in excursions with an overnight stop in Nikitskiy Monastery. In winter time they may have a New Year’s Eve party with a real New Year tree, banya and snow piles.
The city dwellers may also have an agritour in Volgograd region to spend their vacation in Nizhnegnutov farm yard located not far from the Tzimlyansk water reservoir and the Tzimlyanskiye peski natural park. The main tourist attraction of the park is a herd of wild horses grazing on the steppe grasslands.
In the Pskov region there is a village with a huge bath which may accommodate 30 people. The foreign tourists visit this place on their way from Saint-Petersburg to Moscow. The hostess will attend the guests during the traditional bath procedure and flap them with the special bath besoms. After the bath she will treat the visitors with the newly drawn milk and fresh curd (or farmer) cheese. This village is as popular with the tourists as the national museums.
Visit Russia to enjoy your holiday in a traditional Russian village!
Italy, a veritable treasure chest of culture and heritage – with its food, wine, culture and history, is always on the top of a European tour list. A tour to Italy would not be complete without going to Florence. This city is in the heart of Tuscany and is sometimes considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is a place that is famous for its abundance of fine art and architecture and in the modern day, its fashion and leather goods.
If you are feeling a little tired out after a few days of sightseeing in Florence, a Florence hills tour can be a great way to relax and wind down. With a great ambience and an aura of solitude the hills of Florence are very popular and ideal for those who wish to take a break from the city.
If you only have a few hours to spare and don’t want to venture too far from Florence, then a trip to the town of Fiesole is highly recommended. Set amongst the hills, just 5 miles from Florence, Fiesole makes a pleasant half-day trip from Florence and provides a wonderful view of the city. You can get there by bus from the centre of Florence in around 20 minutes.
If you’re feeling more energetic or have a little more time to spare you can walk from the centre of Florence to Fiesole in around 2 hours. Once in Fiesole you can easily spend two or three hours wandering round, taking in the sights and the views of Florence and the valley below. Sights include a Roman Amphitheatre and baths dating from 1 BC, the Duomo and a few small museums.
If you have a full day to spare there are numerous tour companies that can organise day trips by bus, walking tours or biking trips. Alternatively you can hire a car and use a map to discover the delights of the Tuscan countryside for yourself.
A guided walking tour of the Florence hills will provide you with an insider’s view of Florence & Tuscany – you can discover the hidden treasures and learn of great legends and stories, giving you a more intimate experience of the region of Tuscany. A walk through the Florence hills is invigorating and you can soak up the beauty of the surroundings as you breathe in the fresh air and bask in the warm sun. You’ll also find plenty of photo opportunities as you pass by churches, castles, hill top towns and villages, olive trees and vineyards
If you’re reasonably fit and have cycling experience you may want to take a Florence Hills Tour by bike. There are many tour companies that offer guided biking expeditions of the area. With these tours you will cover more ground than the walking tours and you will see many of the different terrains and landscapes that the Florence hills have to offer. Be sure to find out as much information as possible about the cycling route before you go, as many tours of the Florence hills by bike can be arduous because of the steep climbs that you have to make.
If you want to make the most of the peace and quiet and spend a few more days enjoying the countryside you may want to book a stay in one of the many bed and breakfasts, hotels or villas in the Tuscan hills. Hiring a car will allow you to venture just that little bit further afield and visit some of the beautiful Tuscan hill towns such as San Gimignano, Colle Val D’Elsa and Monteriggioni.
Regardless of how much time you have to spend there, a trip to the hills surrounding Florence will give you a taste of the Tuscan countryside that will help to make your trip just that little bit more special.
Agritourism or Agrotourism is defined as a vacation or holiday taken on a farm, vinyard or other working agricultural site.
In its purest form these types of breaks include the chance to help with farming and agricultural tasks during the visit.
Agritourism is often considered to be a new form of niche holiday or adaptation of the usual forms of tourism.
To me it is a confusing use of an old established practice of city dwellers going, as families, into the countryside to help with the harvest. In the UK tales of whole families leaving London in late summer to go hop-picking in Kent are legend. In many other parts of the world this form of working holiday is also a part of local history.
Today the term Agrotourism has been, in my opinion, hijacked by the world of tourism to include Boutique Hotels housed in former large farm houses and on former Country Manor Estates.
Don’t get the wrong idea I am all in favour of tourism in the countryside as it brings benefits to the rural community and allows tourists to experience first hand the traditional countryside activities. Surely it is more appropriate to call these activities Rural Tourism.
The other term I find confusing is Sustainable Tourism! I decided to turn to Wikipedia for some help and found the following statement.
“Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for local people.The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies; and tourists themselves. But sustainable tourism is not the same as ‘ecotourism'”.
We are all becoming increasingly aware of the fact that we are responsible for the sustainability of our planet. We all like holidays and want to fly off to exotic locations primarily in search of the sun. However we often miss the obvious in our quest for self fulfillment.
In the Mediterranean lies the island of Menorca is just 47 kilometers from east to west and 17 kilometers north to south. The island may be small in size but it is hugh in its environmental standing having learned very early from the follies of its sister Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
The Menorca Biosphere Reserve was created in 1993 as a result of the Island status as a Natural Park. Sixteen years ago this was a bold step but one which has been instrumental in the Island managing its development as a major holiday destination without succumbing to the worst excesses of mass tourism. The Island is unique in that although small its varied landscape offers the diversity of habitats that virtually represents the whole of the Mediterranean region in miniature.
Over the years Menorca has built on this early foresight and now offer traditional beach based holidays away from concrete jungle resorts together with ´Turismo de Interior´ in beautifully renovated manor houses located in villages. These locations offer not only tranquility, but also provide genuine contact with the island’s customs and people. Visits to historical mansions gives you the opportunity to know about the rural Menorcan life in years past. Such locations will also provide the opportunity to sample food cooked with local produce fresh from the local Finca (farm)
Hawaii, traditionally thought of as only for beach savvy travelers is fast becoming a destination for food minded tourists. This melting pot of ethnicity meets a jewel of agricultural diversity; the end result being defined as Hawaiian Regional cuisine which was started in the 80’s by 12 Hawaiian Chef’s.
Maui offers many self-guided food tours. Travel through the Maui Uplands by car to find the Surfing Goat Dairy (3651 Omaopio Rd. Kula, Maui 808.878.2870). Maui’s only Goat Dairy Farm which produces top Artisanal Cheeses is located on one the beautiful slopes of Maui’s Haleakala crater in lower Kula. There are many tours and activities to choose from; check website for more information. Highly recommended is the 1-2-3 BBQ Tour. $59 pp. Walk with the herd, touring the Orchard while stopping to pick a fresh Tangerine from one of the fruit trees. Finish with a Ranch BBQ complete with upcountry steaks grilled to perfection on Kiawe wood topped with our “Men’s Challenge” horseradish cheese and for dessert try their delicious Fruit Quark! Farm tours are daily with hands on milking, cheese making demonstrations, and finally tasting the award winning goat cheeses.
Alii Kula Lavender Farm, (1100 Waipoli Rd. Kula, Maui 877-878-6058) where visitors can wander through the lavender fields with unobstructed views that stretch out over the Ocean as far as the eye can see. Learn how the terroir of Maui sustains the growth of Lavender bushes in this volcanic rich soil and end with a culinary demonstration of how to cook with Lavender. A Lavender Chicken Salad lunch is offered tying up the last question remaining; What does Lavender taste like?
Journey on to the Shim Protea and Coffee Farm (625 Middle Rd. off HWY 37 1-808-876-0055) located in the historic Chinatown section of Kula. Learn about Hawaiian Coffee and Protea flowers through a guided tour. Culturally speaking the Chinese had a hand in shaping what is Hawaii today, as the Shim tour points out historical dates of significance.
The final destination is the Tedeschi Winery (Ulupalakua Hwy 877-878-6058)
located on a working ranch in Ulupalakua. The tasting bar is open to anyone over the age of 21, offering 5 different varietals of wine to sample. Try the “Hula O Maui”, a crisp dry sparkling pineapple wine , with overtures of green apple. Just down the road is the Ulupalakua Ranch Store; try the BBQ lunch or made to order sandwich offerings under the trees of the Tedeschi Vineyard paired with a bottle of wine.
While there is still the traditional Lu’au available; Maui is fast beginning to offer so much more. Through defined Hawaiian Regional Cuisine and
Agritourism and Agritainment – What is it?
Those of you who may ask what exactly an agritourism or agritainment venture is, it is simply using existing resources such as farm land or other natural resources to increase the profitability of a farm or ranch operation. For example, the farmer who owns 2,200 acres decides to advertise guided hunting on his land for a per-gun or per-day fee. Many landowners in rural America have prime hunting habitat in the canyons and hills surrounding their fields, and allowing hunters to “pay to play” can be an added source of income for these farmers and ranchers. Other examples of agritourism activities include bed and breakfasts, a day on the farm, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides, horseback riding, cabin rentals, native trail walks, bird watching, vineyard tours and more.
Liability Insurance is Essential
In my experience with farm and agricultural-related insurance coverages, I have had the privilege of working with a premier agritourism marketing company. This company provides not only an online marketplace for agritourism and agritainment activities, but also analyzes the probability of success of a new venture and makes recommendations to help ensure a successful venture.
With all the planning and preparation that goes into starting an agritourism business, one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is the liability insurance coverage for these activities. Many people assume they will have coverage under their current farm or ranch policy. The problem with this assumption is that they probably have very limited if ANY liability insurance coverage with an unendorsed farm policy. Some companies do offer hunting and/or fishing endorsements to their policies, but these endorsements were not intended, nor do they provide any coverage, for the commercial agritourism business.
Your Current Coverage may not be Adequate
The standard farm/ranch insurance policy is intended to cover risks associated with normal “everyday” farming exposures. This includes things like driving your implement down the highway or protecting your new pivot system from toppling in the wind. Farm policies are not a replacement for commercial insurance coverage, and this is where the potential for a devastating loss occurs.
When the farmowner or ranchowner enters a commercial venture that is outside normal farming operations, the farm policy is not designed to cover the additional exposures. Specialized commercial coverage must be purchased that in many cases can only be secured in the excess and surplus (E&S) lines market since most admitted farm insurers do not provide the endorsements required to adequately provide coverage on the farm policy. The benefit of using a specialized carrier is the coverages may be specifically tailored for your specific activity and underwriters and loss control will be experienced and knowledgeable. The drawback is the higher cost of surplus lines coverage. There is generally a higher minimum premium associated with surplus lines policies as well as specialized taxes on surplus lines policies in some states.
Agritourism and agritainment activities are a great way to showcase the resources in many rural areas. Insurance coverage is a necessity to protect the assets of the landowner because as the saying goes, ‘A day in court can cost you a lifetime of work’. Coverage is available for many activities, but your local insurance agent may not be the best source of information concerning these specialized coverages. Don’t assume you have coverage and don’t let your local agent misinterpret policy endorsements. If you have questions about your current policy coverages, contact your insurance company directly and ask specific questions about your coverages.
With the recent increase in Eco friendly travel, there are a few accommodation options to choose from Italy, ranging from couch-surfing and house swaps to camping and agritourism to suit your Eco conscience needs. Camping and couch surfing, while both interesting options are not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea and for many, house swapping is not really an option.
So the relatively new concept of agritourism is an excellent way to experience real Italian culture and still ensure that you are enjoying a more environmentally friendly vacation. The idea behind agritourism is that you can stay in a comfortable and authentic country house or villa in the beautiful Italian country side, the difference is that you can also participate in farming or fishing with the owners of the house or just enjoy all the local produce that is produced by them or the near by farms.
Agriturismi (the plural of agriturismo) are offered in the form of a whole house, apartments, or rooms. In most cases, these farm houses have been carefully restored and furnished with beautiful country-style antiques. Considering the rural setting, one might think that this style of vacation would be a bit too rustic. On the contrary, many agriturismi feature complete modern kitchens, luxurious bathroom amenities, swimming pools, and fine linens. Many of the properties you will find have been fitted out with solar panels and ecologically decorated using renewable resources from the surrounding areas.
Many other options now cater for unique groups such as yoga enthusiasts, artists, and potters. You can also book out an entire house and have it all self catering if you prefer. This approach to holidaying is very hands on and you will have lots of contact with the owners of the villas as in many cases they live near by and so are on hand to help advise you on anything ranging from where to eat or local activities. They can also come in handy when it comes to finding out about local events that could be happening that you won’t read about in the guide books. In researching this article we also came across a agritourism which had its own private chapel on the land and so could cater for small wedding parties.
People from all walks of life can enjoy an agritourism holiday- you just need to research what sort of option suits you and your group best. As always with accommodation, prices can vary but this type of holiday can also work out to be quite reasonable especially for self catering options. Agritourisms can be found throughout Italy’s countryside so it is really just a matter of pinpointing the one that right for you!!