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Italian Agriturismos Updates: Tuscany Law

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Tuscany stands out as the premier region in Italy for agritourism, boasting the highest numbers of agritourism establishments in the country. According to data from ISTAT, Tuscany’s agritourismo sector is unparalleled, regarding accommodation, catering and tasting opportunities, this is the leading Italian area.

This region’s commitment to preserving its rural charm while providing high-quality hospitality services underscores its position in the agritourism industry. Let’s check the main legal framework.

Legal Framework: National Legislation

The foundation for agritourism activities in Italy is established by the National Framework Law (Law 20 February 2006, No. 96). This law defines the fundamental characteristics of agritourism and sets broad guidelines that regional laws can elaborate on.

The Tuscan Foundation Law: 30/2003

The cornerstone of agriturismo legislation in Tuscany is Regional Law 30/2003, “Regulations for Agritourism Activities, Educational Farms, Wine Tourism and Oil Tourism in Tuscany,” along with its implementing regulation n. 46/2004 (and subsequent amendments).

What Constitutes Agritourism?

According to Law 30/2003, agritourism activities encompass:

  • Accommodation: Offering lodging in designated farm spaces, including rooms and apartments.
  • Camping: Hosting campers in open areas (agri-camping and agri-camper areas).
  • Educational Activities: Organizing educational, informative, cultural, and traditional activities related to rural life.
  • Community/ Social Services: Providing social and service activities for local communities.
  • Food and Beverage Services: Serving meals, food, and beverages, including tastings (including wine tourism), using farm products supplemented with local and/or certified Tuscan products.
  • Educational Farm Activities: Organizing educational farm activities.
  • Beyond the Farm: Educational Farms and Wine Tourism

Non-Agritourism Activities

Notably, Educational Farm and Wine Tourism activities can be carried out even without a primary agricultural activity.

  • Educational Farms: Detailed regulations for Educational Farms are primarily found in Title II-bis “Exercise of Educational Farms” of Law 30/2003 and Title II-bis of Regulation 46/2004 (and subsequent amendments).
  • Wine Tourism: Regulations for Wine Tourism are primarily outlined in Title II-ter “Exercise of Wine Tourism Activities” of Law 30/2003 (and subsequent amendments).
tuscan landscape countryside chianti fiorentino

Key Documentation and Extra Resources

For those seeking in-depth information, the following resources are crucial:

  1. Regional Funds Website: Offers a database of administrative acts, including those related to agritourism.
  2. ARTHEA Website: Provides information on submitting the Single Farm Declaration (DUA) for agriturismos.
  3. Municipal SUAP Websites: Search for your municipality’s platform for submitting the Commencement of Activity Report (SCIA) for agriturismos.

Requirements for Classification Levels of Agritourism Companies in Tuscany

Here we go introducing the score metrics displayed in the “Allegato B – Classificazione delle Strutture Ricettive”.

The classification is divided into five levels. The minimum level of classification (one sunflower) is granted with the authorization title. For agritourism structures offering overnight stays, the classification level from two to five is determined based on the company’s compliance with various requirements, each assigned a range of score.

Thematic Sections and Minimum Scores

  • Company and Landscape Context
  • General and Management Requirements
  • Accommodation Services and Facilities
  • Agricamping Services and Facilities
  • Meal Services

For a company to achieve a certain classification level, it must meet the minimum score criteria in each thematic section. Additionally, some requirements are deemed “special” and are particularly significant for attaining higher classification levels.

Section 1: Company and Landscape Context

RequirementPoints
1.1 Buildings for guest accommodation are located on a plot of at least 2 ha or in prestigious rural villages3
1.2 The location is not disturbed by significant sources of acoustic pollution (near roads, railways, airports, factories, etc.)3
1.3 The main company buildings are predominantly traditional to the local agricultural landscape (farmhouse, estate, village, house, villa, etc.)2
1.4 Industrial and residential settlements (excluding prestigious historic villages) with significant landscape impact are at least 2 km away (as the crow flies)2.5
1.5 At least one company building is subject to historical-cultural constraints0.5
1.6 Buildings for guest accommodation are located in an area subject to naturalistic or landscape constraints2
1.7 The company has an accessible forest/garden/park for guests, of at least 0.5 hectares0.5
1.8 The company has a renewable energy production system (wind/solar/biogas). Wind and solar systems occupying over 2000 sqm are excluded1
1.9 The company practices waste separation and/or has a composting system for organic waste0.5
Total Section15

Section 2: General and Management Requirements

RequirementPoints
2.1 The owner or an assistant lives permanently on the farm during agritourism activity periods2
2.2 Someone is present on the farm or easily reachable for at least 12 hours a day to take care of guest reception and assistance2
2.3 At least one staff member for guest reception and assistance speaks and understands English fluently2
2.4 At least one staff member for guest reception and assistance speaks and understands at least one other foreign language fluently1
2.5 At least one operator has a certificate of competence related to product tasting (taster, sommelier, certified taster, etc.), foraging, or food knowledge. The company organizes at least 10 initiatives per year related to this competence (tastings, courses, conferences, etc.)1.5
2.6 At least one operator has a certificate as a tourist guide, cycling/excursion guide, or similar. The company organizes at least 10 initiatives per year related to this competence (cultural visits, excursions, etc.)1.5
2.6 bis At least one operator has the title of Agritourism Operator or Educational Farm Operator3
2.7 There is shaded parking available for guests’ vehicles (natural shade or cover)0.5
2.8 A service card for guests is available on the company’s website and in every accommodation, indicating contractual conditions, reception instructions, behavioral rules, and information on essential services available nearby1
2.9 Brochures, guides, and books illustrating local tourist attractions are distributed or available for consultation (at least 15 publications)2

Section 3: Accommodation Services and Facilities

RequirementPoints
3.1 Each accommodation unit has a private bathroom5
3.2 The accommodations are equipped with heating systems2
3.3 The accommodations are equipped with air conditioning systems2
3.4 Each accommodation unit has a kitchenette or access to a common kitchen2.5
3.5 The accommodations offer internet access (Wi-Fi)1
3.6 The accommodations are equipped with TV0.5
3.7 The accommodations offer daily cleaning service1.5
3.8 The accommodations provide bed linen and towels1
3.9 The accommodations have a safe for valuables0.5
Total Section15

Section 4: Agricamping Services and Facilities

PointsPoints
4.1 The camping area provides shaded pitches2
4.2 The camping area has electricity connections for each pitch2.5
4.3 The camping area has a water supply for each pitch2.5
4.4 The camping area offers sanitary facilities (toilets and showers)3
4.5 The camping area offers waste disposal facilities1
4.6 The camping area provides recreational facilities (playground, sports fields, etc.)1
4.7 The camping area offers cooking facilities1
4.8 The camping area has a laundry service1
4.9 The camping area provides Wi-Fi access1
Total Section15

Section 5: Meal Services

RequirementPoints
5.1 The company offers breakfast service2
5.2 The company offers lunch and/or dinner services2.5
5.3 Meals are prepared using primarily local and/or organic products2.5
5.4 The company offers vegetarian and/or vegan meal options1.5
5.5 The dining area is accessible for guests with disabilities1
5.6 The company offers meals in outdoor dining areas1
5.7 The company organizes culinary events (cooking classes, tastings, etc.)1.5
5.8 The company has a certified kitchen (HACCP)2
Total Section15

Section 6: Recreational Services and Activities

RequirementPoints
6.1 The farm has a swimming pool2
6.2 The farm has an indoor pool3
6.3 The farm has a relaxation/wellness area3
6.4 The farm provides sports facilities2
6.5 The farm offers bike rental services1
6.6 The farm organizes at least 10 recreational activities per year (e.g., workshops, guided tours, horseback riding)2
6.7 The farm has a playground for children1
6.8 The farm offers a library or reading room1
6.9 The farm provides spaces equipped for outdoor dining (e.g., picnic areas, barbecue facilities)1

Section 7: Agricultural Activities and Typical

RequirementPoints
7.1 The farm carries out certified organic farming3
7.2 The farm produces and sells its own typical products2
7.3 The farm organizes at least 10 educational activities per year related to agricultural practices2
7.4 The farm maintains traditional animal breeds or plant varieties2
7.5 The farm participates in local farmers’ markets1
7.6 The farm offers educational farm (fattoria didattica) programs2
7.7 The farm has a kitchen garden for guests’ use1
7.8 The farm offers tasting experiences of own-produced products2

Public tenders and funds for investing in agritourism 2023-2027

The platform called “Complemento sviluppo rurale 2023-2027, investimenti – Regione Toscana” provides detailed information about the Tuscany Region’s Rural Development Plan for 2023-2027. This plan outlines various investment initiatives aimed at enhancing the competitiveness, resilience, and diversification of agricultural enterprises. It emphasizes overcoming critical developmental barriers through strategic investments designed to strengthen the structure and growth potential of these businesses. The plan allocates €295.4 million (40% of the total financial allocation for the Rural Development Plan) to support productive investments, promote sustainability, reduce environmental impact, and offer support services for start-ups and new farming opportunities. 

The corresponding grants can cover up to 100% of the total investment, depending on the specific intervention. 

Need help? Contact ILF today

The legal landscape for agriturismos is constantly evolving. 

It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest regulations and amendments to ensure compliance. 

Consulting with legal professionals specializing in agritourism law is highly recommended for navigating the complexities of this unique sector.

Contact Italylawfirms.com today!

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