Starting in 2013 Italy has used a sector trademark, “Agriturismo Italia”, accompanied by a new system of classification.
The trademark, which distinguishes farms regularly operating in accordance with existing laws and regulations, shows a sunflower enclosing a farm.
As in the case of hotels, the classification of farms is intended to give the public an overall idea of the level of comfort, the variety of services (liveliness of hospitality) and the quality of the natural environment (nature, landscape, tranquillity) that each farm is able to offer.
To construct this system, the Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with all regional and national agritourism associations, undertook a wide-ranging national and international research project to assess the needs of Italian and foreign tourists regarding agritourism, highlighting those features best suited to their needs and desires, and the level of importance of each of these features on a value scale. The results of this research were converted into a simple points system by means of which each farm is classified.
The requirements and related scores are meant to apply throughout the whole country, although regional administrations can adapt the national requirements to the local agritourism context on the basis of the forms of agricultural production and hospitality, the size of businesses and productive systems, the characteristics of the landscape, or to highlight local customs and traditions.
The national system thus offers an overall guarantee which still takes account of specific regional characteristics. Each farm will soon be assigned a classification from 1 to 5, marked by an appropriate symbol.
This system is meant to offer a harmonious representation of the spirit and ‘personality’ of Italian agritourism in its various forms while enhancing the agricultural aspect of the context of hospitality, one of the most important expectations of visitors who choose agritourism for their holiday, and at the same time taking into consideration the environment and landscape where agritourism activities take place.