05/13/2015 05:24 pm ET Updated May 13, 2016

Italy's Rural B&Bs: Cow Country With Panache

I spent the better part of yesterday popping in on the wonderful agriturismos we recommend in my Italy guidebook. An agriturismo is a rural B&B run by small farmers who are trying to survive in a modern economy. Here in Italy, you can't call yourself an "agriturismo" unless you are actually a working farm. This place (Casanova Agriturismo near Asciano, in the province of Siena) certainly is. But, as you'll see, you can go in less than a minute from the sweet smell of cows to the sweetness of doing nothing poolside with a vast Tuscan view. (BTW, the trendy thing these days is what's termed a "Zero Kilometer Meal" -- serving food that is virtually all grown on the farm from zero kilometers away. And it's a meal you'll never forget.)