I love roaming around and discover new cultures, foods and locations, but occasionally I run into a place that makes me want to stop and stay, or at least come back over and over again. One of these rare places is agriturismo campo di Carlo , in Tuscany, where we recently spent 3 truly beautiful nights.
Campo di Carlo is an agriturismo in Tuscany, more specifically in the province of Livorno, about 2 hours from Florence and Siena. ‘Agriturismo’ is an Italian word usually translated as ‘farm stay’, but I feel this definition can be misleading: an ‘agriturismo’ is a hospitality structure in the countryside, operating as a family run hotel, B&B or self catering accommodation. Some of them are working farms, but others, like this one, do not have farm animals on site and are simply beautiful country homes open to guests.
I found this agriturismo while looking for accommodation for three nights in the summer and I immediately felt it would be a place for us. First of all, it had all the things I was looking for:
a beautiful country house, a big garden with play space for the children, swimming pool, spacious rooms and a location in the countryside but close to the sea.
Also, it had glowing reviews and the photos I found on the web suggested a place that was at the same time functional, beautiful and authentic, elements that in touristy Tuscany are not always to be taken for granted.
Finally, when I made contact with Cristina, the owner, I found her to be extremely pleasant, efficient and helpful and so my mind was made up!
We drove down to the agriturismo (or maybe I should say up, since it’s at on a hill) one late afternoon in July and we immediately saw that it matched all our expectation.
Family friendly accommodation in Tuscany
The house of agriturismo Campo di Carlo is a traditional Tuscan building, made of exposed stone and red bricks. Despite its old age, the house has been fully renovated, so as well as a beautifully kept exterior it has newly refurbished rooms, a beautiful patio overlooking the garden and a fully functioning, modern kitchen for the guests.
The agriturismo has 8 rooms and can host a maximum of 20 guests, which is a perfect number for the generous space provided.
We asked for a family room and got a beautiful one with one a double bed, two single beds, a private bathroom, air conditioning and mini bar. We were there in the middle of the summer, but the room also has a huge beautiful traditional fireplace which I am sure would make for cosy winters!
The room was spacious and very clean, and its door opened onto the side of the garden with the pool. Beautiful!
The swimming pool
One of the reasons I chose this agriturismo was the fact that it has a swimming pool. The pictured showed it as an idyllic corner of the garden and this is exactly what it is.
The pool has a shallower end (about 120 cm) which you access with comfortable steps and a deeper end. It’s a generous size and it has beds and umbrellas for the guests.
The agriturismo offers a self catering kitchen and a breakfast service. The buffet breakfast is amazing: bread, jams , croissants, cakes, cheese, cured meat, coffee, cereals…. Basically, whatever kind of breakfast you are into, you will find something to get you start the day. To give you an idea about how good it is, my kids commented: ‘can we have breakfast like this at home every day?’ And I will try, but it’s not that easy to replicate amazing Tuscan food back here!
The kitchen is modern and spacious: if you stay a few days, it is definitely worth using it, shopping in the many local shops in the surrounding villages. If you only stay a couple of nights, as we did, you might prefer going to a restaurant: Cristina has agreements with some restaurants in Suvereto, the small town down the hill from Campo di Carlo, and we were able to have not only the recommendation of a local, but amazing meals at a discounted price. We loved both the restaurants she recommended and were really surprised how child-friendly they were: despite looking pretty posh (white tablecloths, lovely table decorations and interior, rich menu), they were open to special requests for kid meals and offered to prepare half portions of anything on the menu for them, for half price. This is the kind of family-friendly place I love!
Things to do, surrounding area
The agriturismo is in a lovely area called the Etruscan coast, full of things to do.
If you are sporty, you can get bikes delivered straight to your door from a local company, that hires them out at a discounted price to the agriturismo’s guests. In the area, you also have the option to go horse riding, play tennis, go hiking on the beautiful Tuscan hills or even try water sports on the nearby coast. Did I mention you can even go to thermal baths, 5 minutes away from the agriturismo? Well, you can!
If you like the beach, some amazing stretches of sand and clear waters are only about 30 mins away by car (easy to drive, non-trafficked roads – Cristina has detailed maps of the area).
If culture is what you are after, the area is full of places ti visits: small villages such as Suvereto and Castagneto Carducci retain the original medieval charm, Populonia and its archaeological museum will show you how this part of Italy evolved over the course of the centuries and Rocca san Silvestro and its mines will give an insight on medieval life.
So, what do you think: the kind of place you might like?
Practical info and FAQ:
– When to go: we went in the middle of July, a time when Tuscany gets very hot. The location on the hill, the garden and the pool made it the perfect place to escapes the heat. If you prefer milder temperatures, go in the spring.
– Do you I need a car? Yes, especially to make the most of the surrounding countryside and coast I recommend the use of a car.
– Is the agriturismo suitable for children? YES, it’s the perfect family hideaway. At the front of the house there is a lovely playground and the whole property is immaculately kept and very safe.
– Is there wi-fi? Yes, free wi-fi is available everywhere on the ground of agriturismo.