Pick the Harvest at Sting's Tuscan Estate

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 02:45

How about a working farm vacation in the Italian countryside to cure your stress – perhaps at Sting’s own Tuscan farmhouse?

That’s right, the British singer is opening the doors to his property near Florence, Il Palagio, which he bought in 1999 and transformed into a thriving farming business, complete with vineyards, olive groves, and beekeeping. The estate extends to some 350 hectares, where grains, wine, oil, sugar beets, peaches, apricots, cherries and more are grown. The property features a shop selling everything made or grown on the estate, including fresh vegetables and fruits, and the local salami.

Now, for the price of 262 euros for a one-day visit, visitors to Il Palagio will be given a short lesson on harvesting, before heading out onto the fields to pick olives and participate in the annual grape harvest. Participants will also get to taste the farm’s products, including Sting's "Message in a Bottle" Sangiovese wine.

Sting is not alone in his holiday proposition: the number of agri-tourism businesses offering the option of a working farm vacation as a cure for stress and a chance to get closer to nature is increasing in Italy. The Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti has cited several studies showing the positive health benefits of this type of vacation, including one that says that a bacteria found in agricultural soil produces serotonin, known as the "good mood" hormone.