Before heading to the canals of Venice, my daughter and I spent the day at Fattoria Poggio Alloro in Tuscany for my first experience with agritourism (which I knew was a combination of agriculture and tourism, but didn’t know what that meant).  We were ready for a respite from the hustle and bustle of Rome.  Knowing that this was on an Adventures By Disney tour, I knew that I would not be disappointed. And believe me, this was NOT just visiting a farm!
The day began with a pasta-making class led by Italian celebrity chef and author, Sara Fioroni, who is the the third generation of the Fioroni family to own the farm.  All of our ingredients wereproduced within 200 yard of where we were standing. As we worked the flour, water, and eggs, Sara enchanted us with stories of growing up with three generations living under one roof running the farm together. 
As our strands of lemon hued tagliatelli and linguini dried, Sara led us on a tour of their winery which produces 200,000 bottles a year.  
We headed over to the cattle barn and the kid in each of us couldn’t help feeding the cows.  My daughter, Sarah, exclaimed “they were really cute.”  The farm raises about fifty head of cattle a year for meat and a few for milking.  Everywhere we walked, something different was growing  -  three thousand olive trees line the lanes of the farm, patches of herb and vegetables, and groves of fruit trees grew everywhere.  Having enjoyed a farm-to-table lunch at another farm the day before, I realized classic tuscan farms are not big-agri, but truly self-sufficient. They don’t grow just one crop, they grow everything.  They even have beehives for pollination and to harvest their own honey.
While some of our group enjoyed a wine-tasting, others learned how to flavor olive oil. My daughter and I picked the herbs to flavor the olive oil we bottled and brought home.  The wine and the olive oil?  You guessed it, produced on premises!
Our group reunited for a true farm-to-table lunch that included our pastas.  My husband says that the best thing that I make for dinner is reservations, that’s because he wasn’t there.  We sat on the back patio and enjoyed our lunch overlooking the hills of the Tuscan countryside covered with fields and dotted with centuries-old terra-cotta tiled stone homes.  If that wasn’t enough, the view of the medieval walled town of San Gimignano was.  This is agritourism.
Johanna Green owns and operates Mayfair Travel with her husband Steve and travels extensively.  Sarah Foironi published an award-winning book titled “A Family Farm in Tuscany,” full of stories, pictures, and recipes from Fattoria Poggio Alloro available in the US.