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Holiday in South Tyrol: The Renaissance of Agritourism

In South Tyrol, agriculture has always played an essential role. For this reason, agritourism – that is, vacation on a farm - has developed into a significant economic factor.

Hinterpasseier, Pill, Tradition, Blumen
Hinterpasseier, Pill, Tradition, Blumen - © TV Passeiertal
Badia 1
Badia 1

South Tyrol has been shaped by agricultural land for centuries. There are a total of around 20,250 agricultural farms here, with almost 10,000 farms being livestock farms. The pasture land and meadows often extend beyond the forest line, while below 1000 meters above sea level, fruit and wine growing are predominant.

From one generation to the next

Farming in South Tyrol mainly consists of small family farms, and in order for these to continue, the regional law of the so-called "closed farm" was introduced. This means that the owner transfers the farm to the successor during their lifetime, and it cannot be divided. In addition, "closed farms" can be designated as "heritage farms," which is a special recognition. For this, the farm must have been in the same family's possession for at least 200 years and must be cultivated and inhabited by the owner.

Additional income

For many small family farms, income from agriculture is usually not sufficient, so in addition to a second job, they often rely on additional income from the farm. This includes the direct marketing of their own products, a tavern, or agrotourism or farm holidays, under which all South Tyrolean farmers have formed the brand Roter Hahn (www.roterhahn.it) and thus revitalized an important niche in tourism.

High-quality concept

Farm holidays in South Tyrol have been developing since the mid-19th century. At that time, it was mainly wealthy city dwellers who were drawn to the pre-Alpine and Alpine regions, seeking peace and relaxation during the summer. Until the opening of the Brenner Pass, the affluent guests from the city were mostly among themselves, but then South Tyrol became a holiday destination that could be easily reached, attracting more and more guests. In 1971, 236 farms offered farm holidays in the region, and by the early 1990s, there were more than 1000 farms. Agrotourism continues to be a significant economic factor and an important second pillar for numerous farms. In addition, there are special support programs for farms that expand their tourist offerings, and the agricultural quality products are also marketed through the Roter Hahn website.

Relaxation and warm encounters

A farm holiday is a very special experience for both adults and children, as it offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in the rural everyday life and gain insight into various agricultural activities. In the evening, the family also enjoys spending time with their guests and shares a lot of interesting and valuable information about life on the farm over a cozy glass of wine.

Into the barn!

Especially the children enjoy pitching in during a visit to the barn, helping the farmer feed the cows, or witnessing where the delicious milk comes from. They also love to care for the calves, feed the sheep, rabbits, or goats, and pamper them with loving caresses. In doing so, the little ones not only learn how to properly handle the animals but can also form new animal friendships.

South Tyrolean specialties

Guests on the farms are also treated to culinary delights. Special evenings are regularly scheduled, where visitors can taste traditional dishes and learn a lot about the way of life in South Tyrol. A fine drop of wine and exciting stories about farm life round off the culinary experience.

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