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Agriturismo in Northern Italy?


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We just had the (slightly alcohol-induced) idea to do a long weekend in the Alto Adige with the miniB's. Does anyone here have any insights on places to stay/eat? Or a good resource for looking up places? We're asking friends around here as well (especially ones with kids) but I'd like to prioritize food vs. playgrounds. It's only a three to four hour drive, so should be doable, even with a toddler and newborn.

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We just had the (slightly alcohol-induced) idea to do a long weekend in the Alto Adige with the miniB's. Does anyone here have any insights on places to stay/eat? Or a good resource for looking up pla

Spent another lovely long weekend hiking in Südtirol. Even the extra hour on the highway, because of the G7, didn't dampen our mood.   You can get fresh buttermilk in many of the mountain cabins on

  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for not responding sooner. Had to move the trip up by two weeks due to some last minute family visit. We're in Merano and it is absolutely lovely. Will be happy to share details once we're home.

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I loved Merano.

 

Not that this is even approaching the most of it, but one of the most enjoyable chamber music recitals I've ever attended was one given by members of the local conservatory faculty at the town's Arthaus.

 

Is that once-famous Modern Alpine restaurant still there? It was big in the '80s. I can't even remember the name.

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No idea about the restaurant. We had temps in the mid to high 90's and of course no air conditioning, which put a limit on appetite, and the fact that most places only open around 7pm made them out of bounds for dinners with kids. (This is a self-imposed limitation: we take the ladies to nice places sometimes but only on off hours for the time being.) Luckily our bed & breakfast was really nice. Breakfast in the garden, all very Slow Food compliant. Made up for not being able to go out fancy in the evenings.

 

We had two pretty good meals in the biergarten of the Forst brewery, one (early) nice Italian dinner and lots of gelato. We spent the two hottest days at the Meran Therme, which was wonderful. It's a beautiful set-up, the outdoors area is very kid friendly. Picture sitting on an expansive lawn under big Italian pines next to a lake, and being able to jump into various pools to cool off whenever the temps got too hot.

 

MiniB had her first real swim, and polenta with chanterelles.

 

For a small town, there are a lot of very fine restaurants. Maybe next time we'll get to try one of them. And if the weather cooperates, the Tappeiner hike looks really great. They also have a lot of outdoor concerts in the summer but it was just too damned hot this weekend.

 

We did end up doing one scenic thing by accident. Our navi took us over the Jaufenpass. Stunning vistas, but MiniB had her first experience with car sickness...

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  • 1 month later...

We're here again. The trick to doing vacation with kids is to pack them in a stroller near their afternoon naptime, walk until they fall asleep (usually takes all of ten minutes) and then go for a fancy lunch. For dinner, rent a room with a nice terrace and self- cater speck, cheese, bread and fruit from Südtirol Pur. And wine. Only equipment needed is a good picnic knife. Or, if kids are old enough, hire a babysitter.

DO NOT take kids out to dinner past their bedtime, even if it's just crappy kid friendly pizza. Especially if its crappy kid friendly pizza

If you do come through here, make sure to do the Vigiljoch hike above Lana. Excellent food with a mountain backdrop, what could be nicer?

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I loved Merano.

 

Not that this is even approaching the most of it, but one of the most enjoyable chamber music recitals I've ever attended was one given by members of the local conservatory faculty at the town's Arthaus.

(snip)

 

I was just chatting with a woman yesterday about these local somewhat impromptu recitals. She and her husband visited central Italy last year, following a concert in which he participated.

 

The innkeeper in their next place noticed the instrument case, asked about it, and passed on the word to somebody. Next night he was invited to jam with a local group (dinner with musicians was on the house, in a member's house), and recommends were passed up to their next destination.

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  • 11 months later...

This time we tried an old family hotel in Soprabolzano. Kind of pricey but with a good kitchen and lots of activities for the kids. Also the most beautiful pool with a crazy panorama view of the Dolomites. Rather a lot of preppy German families, felt a little like we'd stumbled onto the set of a Patek Philipe ad. But a lot of nice normal families too, lovely kids.

 

B's had their first hike, organized by the hotel, with a traditional Südtirol picnic lunch. We also went on a second hike on our own, which was on a "kid's trail" organized by an association of family hotels in the area, but actually a real hike through interesting and changing terrain. (MiniB was very excited about spotting the trail markers, though she fell asleep through the second half...)

 

What we really liked was that the kids got real food. Basically what the adults got, but a little simpler and in smaller portions. So first course the same handmade pasta or risotto with a simpler seasoning, similar but simpler meat or fish dishes with vegetables, simpler versions of the desserts. So our usually picky toddler was actually making it through relatively civilized three course meals before running off to join the dust cloud of children running through the place. We've done a few versions of the kid's menu thing by now and this was the first time I didn't feel the kids were getting something cheap and dumbed down.

 

We love this part of the world and would come here without kids, but with kids having this within reasonable driving distance is a huge luxury.

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Parkhotel Holzner

 

I would also look at this one, not specifically a family hotel* but still looks pretty kid friendly. I really want to try it on a future trip: Berghotel Zirmerhof

 

 

*) just realized, it might not be clear -- when I say family hotel, I mean a hotel oriented towards families, so maybe not the best bet for people without kids. (Though in all cases I've mentioned the hotels have been run by the same family for multiple generations.)

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