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As the sun hits the ground we all want to put ourselves out there, into the wild. Sometimes in the company of our dear family members, including those who are only learning to walk, sometimes tête-à-tête with our loved one. “Let’s get in the car” – after you hear this sacred phrase, your imagination runs ahead of you, picturing the sweet escape from the city, to the wild green lands, the calm and clarity of mind, and another thrilling adventure story to share at dinner, fresh from the garden.
I am talking about farm holidays or agriturismo, where everyone from young to old will find their own source of joy, from horses and other animals, to simply biting into freshly made mozzarella, maybe the best one you’ve ever tried. Following in the footsteps of the agricultural tourism trend supported by the famous and exemplary Cascina Guzzafame with Ada and Augusto’s exquisite gourmet proposals, here is our list of the best farms around the city – let our adventure never stop!
ZIPO AZIENDA AGRICOLA | Zibido San Giacomo
Photo credit © Zipo Azienda Agricola
These beautiful green fields with 47 happy cows are more than meets the eye, rooted deeply in history with a splendid hunting house dating back to the 1300s, in the unmistakeable late-gothic Sforzesco style (take a look at those windows!). But among this historic beauty and uncontaminated nature hides the genius of innovation: the expertise of the owners transforms the local milk into the highest quality products on premises, including the Zipotta signature cheese, the Latteria cheese of different aging, Zipolizia to be spread on toast, and Zipoyo – the yogurt. Order these tasty treats online or directly in store, and spend quality time with your kids enjoying numerous workshops and many events organized by the hospitable staff – agriturismo at its best!
SAN GIACOMO HORSES & AGRITURISMO | Arluno
Photo credit © San Giacomo Horses & Agriturismo
A truly dream experience is offered by San Giacomo Horses&Agriturismo. Extreme beauty of its premises in the North West outskirts of Milan, which you can explore by bike thanks to the rental service available (if you have to leave kids alone, a babysitter is at your service!), is complemented by luxurious 6 rooms for rent, including the Appartamento dei Sogni (eng. Apartment of Dreams) suite and many others, which will take you and your partner’s breath away in this paradise. An organic morning breakfast in the refined rustic style veranda with a view on champion horses exercising outside is another chapter of this fairytale. You can visit them in stables, too, with a guide from the staff helping you discover one of the top sports horse breeders in Italy. If you are here by car, a Flawless move is a day trip to Lake Como and coming back here for another night. Unforgettable!
CASCINA SANTA BRERA | San Giuliano Milanese
Photo credit © Cascina Santa Brera
In the heart of Parco Agricolo Sud, 10 km away from Milan, there is a peaceful island of natural relax, Cascina Santa Brera. Apart from enjoying Saturday and Sunday dedicated menus in their restaurant and delicious pizza, feed your mind by learning deeper concepts of sustainable agriculture from the dedicated and passionate staff participating in their many events. Take a guided tour of the garden, or enroll in courses and master classes for ancient agricultural know-how, green building techniques, and even making your own soap! That’s what we call combining business with pleasure. The kids will love their time making friends with animals and exploring the soil – there is a lot on schedule to satisfy all their curiosities. On weekends excellent local products will be waiting for you to take home, such as honey, bio eggs, cured meat, fruit and veggies and more! Alternatively, pick veggies right from the garden yourself, the initiative is called «adotta un orto» (eng. adopt a garden) – straight to your home dinner table!
CASCINA ISOLA MARIA | Albairate
Photo credit © Cascina Isola Maria
This farm in the town of Albairate, near Milan, doesn’t focus on the agriturismo branding or luxury, instead, it goes the old fashioned way which deserves some serious respect: deeply knowing its craft of sustainable farming (having converted to bio since 2009) and doing it flawlessly, and providing the authentic bed&breakfast service. The logo of the farm speaks volumes, picturing a fearless cow destroying a piece of agricultural machinery. About 50 cows on premises immersed in the green daily provide raw materials for exceptional dairy and cheeses: crescenza, cremino, aged «Testone», and beyond! Buy it fast online or in Milan’s bio shops Mio Bio and Maren Bio, or take it slow, spending the night in the quiet farm with the magic of authenticity from back in the days, getting to know the cows (and the local dogs!), having a homemade organic breakfast that exceeds all expectations and, most importantly, being in a happy place – right at home.
CASCINA CAREMMA | Besate
Photo credit © Cascina Caremma
Cascina Caremma is a very well known agriturismo in Parco Ticino for a 360-degree battery recharge away from the city life. One of the few which apart from bio-agriculture, a gourmet restaurant with homemade delicacies and a hotel includes an elegant spa with beauty treatments ready to be booked! Enjoy a massage or a fresh BIO-scrub made from seasonal natural ingredients, follow it up with a dinner savoring such gems as homemade salumi and local wine, and in the morning enjoy breakfast with homemade desserts – you will want to pinch yourself. We all know how much you craved this luxurious weekend, equally perfect for a group of friends, a family or a couple! These organic products will have you head over heels in love, luckily you can buy them and take home a piece of Caremma. And a morning yoga class on premises before heading to the city will add a spiritual vibe while burning off all the calories!
Photo credit © Cascina Guzzafame
The Cascina Guzzafame, owned by the Monti family, has a historical tradition in the agricultural world, and it was Augusto Monti in particular who, in 1973, together with his wife Ada and their five children, decided to move and set up in the Giaggenese suburb of Vigano the new agricultural centre, which today consists of two restaurants, an organic garden – which covers two hectares and is dedicated to growing vegetables whilst completely respecting seasonality – and a ranch of around 400 cows from which they obtain salami and meat both for consuming on the premises and for selling to the public. At the end of February 2016, the gourmet restaurant Ada e Augusto was founded, the evolution of the most classic agritourism. Frequently, especially at the end of the week, it’s in the on-site shop, pride of the Cascina, where one can buy high-quality products: salami, freshly-picked vegetables, sweets and local cheeses, prepared naturally dal on-site cheese factory. Many activities of the Cascina are open to the public, especially schools and families and there is an area dedicated to yoga lessons. A real “journey” of discovery of its very own, in which the path is more important than the destination.
Photo credit cover picture © Cascina Caremma