Sunday, March 11, 2012

Agriturismo in Loro Ciuffenna.

Loro Ciuffenna is a tiny but delightful town in the Valdarno region of Tuscany. The Valdarno is Chianti's "poorer" sister and little considered by visitors from America and Asia, but very popular with European and Italian holiday makers. It's located about an hour south east of Florence, and due to the rural nature of the region, a car will be necessary. However the Valdarno area is well served by train from the main towns of San Giovanni and Montevarchi. If you don't want to drive you can always hire a driver guide, and I live on the spot. You can find me here: Scenic Wine Tours in Tuscany.

Most of the accommodation in Loro Ciuffenna is "Agriturismo" (vacation accommodation on farms), with locations in rural and remote areas. Some Agriturismo in Loro Ciuffenna are rather basic, while others offer high levels of luxury and every comfort. The common denominator is a countryside location and self catering. However, the degree of extra services can vary greatly from basic to five star, but this is an option for your consideration and not a fault. You can save a lot of money in the basic Agriturismi, or spend more and be pampered to the full. By Italian law the farm should be operational, and in Loro Ciuffenna most are. A small number have little to do with farming, and could be classed as country hotels. Again this isn't a shortcoming, but an option to consider when making your choice.

Loro Ciuffenna a view of town
Why choose an Agriturismo in Loro Ciuffenna? Well prices are a little lower than in the other more popular areas, and if you're looking for peaceful isolated locations with stunning scenery, this is the place to be. It's also well away from the usual tourist routes, and you get a much closer feel of what everyday Tuscany is all about. 

The best scenery is to be had in the hills in and around Loro Ciuffenna, which also offers a breezy climate in summer. A Godsend after a day in Florence! The tiny but pretty town sits on a gorge, and offers a choice of three restaurants, a pizzeria and three bars for breakfast or evening aperitif, not to mention a first class Gelateria open in summer. On Saturday evenings during July and August the centre of town is closed off to traffic, and you can sit at a table with the locals enjoying a drink in the central piazza. If you're need  groceries for you meal back at the house, you'll find all you need in the local Supermarket and grocery store. The grocery store in particular, offers a wide choice of local goodies such as sheep's cheese, cold cuts and olive oil. They also have homemade precooked dishes well worth trying. An Agriturismo in the Loro Ciuffenna area will give you the advantage of an isolated refuge, while being close enough to a town that can cater for all your basic needs.