Over the past few years, the agriturismo has become a popular choice for those traveling in Tuscany. How could it not? Rural settings, farm breakfasts, relaxed pace -- all spell vacation! There is one, in particular, that is very special to me and draws me back each year: Livernano.
I discovered Livernano 4 years ago, shortly after it opened following more than a decade of restoration and renovation. The staff was surprised and excited when I called asking to visit (I believe I was their first visitor!). Since then, Livernano has become more than a place to stay. It is home away from home; and the folks at Livernano are family!
Located in the hills outside Radda in Chianti, the hamlet was first inhabited by Etruscans, whose reign reached its highest point more than 2,500 years ago. Yet, it was the Romans who gave Livernano its name. During the 17th century, Livernano became a quiet farming village until the system of share-cropping was abandoned. By 1953, Tuscany became a poverty stricken land and there were no more farmers left to tend Livernano.
The hamlet was revived in 1990 when restoration began. Today, Livernano is once again a working farm producing fine wines, olive oils, honey, vegetables and fruits. Surrounded by 38 acres of vineyards, ancient olive groves, and 130 acres of beautiful woodlands, Livernano serves as a magical retreat for weary travelers.
Two houses have been restored and furnished with local antiques. Brick tile floors, beamed ceilings, plush bedding, and modern bathrooms await you in each guest room. The songs of nocturnal creatures serenade you to sleep each night while the moon lights up the Tuscan sky. Morning comes with the sound of hunters' shotguns blasting in search of wild boar and the clanging of dishes being prepared for the morning breakfast.
Livernano is truly a special place that embodies the spirit of Tuscany. Once you arrive, you will find it very hard to leave!