Details: Sicily Agriturismo

Il Gigliotto is convenient to Piazza Armerina, a small town famous for its mosaics of an ancient Roman estate.
Il Gigliotto is convenient to Piazza Armerina, a small town famous for its mosaics of an ancient Roman estate. (Il Gigliotto)

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Agriturismo, or agritourism, options can range from a simple bed-and-breakfast on a working farm to an upscale room in a country villa. Some sites offer the chance to tour the farm or help with tasks like picking fruit or making cheese. Others let you learn about local wines or simply experience eating fresh local produce. Agritourism is still an informal, unregulated travel sector in Italy, like bed-and-breakfasts in the United States.

GETTING THERE: Some agriturismo sites in Sicily are a short drive to a village or town; others are in remote locations and hard to find. For most, you'll need a car. Make sure you have clear directions from your hosts and a good driving map of Sicily.

WHERE TO STAY: Lodging ranges from basic rooms with shared baths to luxurious suites. Rates are usually lower than comparable hotel stays, and breakfast is generally included in the price. (Most can provide other meals for an extra fee.) In general, don't expect the amenities of a hotel. You probably won't have a phone in your room or an Internet connection, and your hosts may not speak fluent English.

Make sure to confirm with your hosts in writing (by e-mail or fax) the dates of your stay, price per person per night, number and size of bed(s) in the room, check-in time, whether the bathroom is shared or private, and if breakfast is included. Bring a printout of this information. Online forums about Sicily, including the ones at Fodor's ( http://www.fodors.com), can be useful for getting feedback from other travelers on agriturismo sites.

Web sites with listings of agriturismo accommodations in Sicily, including basic information, photos and contact information, include Agriturismo.it, http://www.agriturismo.it/enindex.asp; Farm Holidays in Sicily, http://www.farm-holidays-sicily.com; and Agriturismo.com, http://www.agriturismo.com. The sites don't screen the quality or guarantee reputations of the independent operators. You'll need to confirm prices and make reservations directly with the agriturismo hosts.

A FEW OPTIONS: All prices are per night double and include breakfast.

· In Gangi, consider Villa Raino ( http://www.villaraino.it, $95.50) and Tenuta Gangivecchio ( http://www.tenutagangivecchio.com, $123).

· Closer to Enna and Piazza Armerina, there are Il Gigliotto ( http://www.gigliotto.com, $136.50) and Villa Pietra Lunga ( http://www.villapietralunga.it, $136.50).

· Two other options near the town of Enna are San Giovannello ( http://www.sangiovannello.it/framek.htm, $93) and Il Mandorleto ( http://www.ilmandorleto.it, $82).

INFORMATION: Regional Tourist Office of Sicily, http://www.regione.sicilia.it. Italian Government Tourist Board, http://www.enit.it.

-- D.T. and L.S.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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