Agriturismi: Italy's Best Affordable Spots
Friuli: La Subida
The first thing to know about La Subida, in the northern Collio wine region bordering Slovenia, is that it houses the best Michelin-starred restaurant in the area. Hosts Josko and Loredana Sirk match quirky details with updates of rib-sticking Friulian specialties such as zlikrofi (potato dumplings), plum gnocchi scented with cinnamon, and an epic veal shank, slow-roasted in an old bread oven and then paraded around on a cart under a copper lid. The Sirks prefer to use the phrase vacanze verdi (green vacations) to refer to their 16-cottage property. The shingled-roof mini-chalets, scattered along a slope at the edge of an oak forest, espouse an Alpine-Zen aesthetic with swaths of blond wood, sleigh beds, and plenty of firewood for the fogolars, or traditional fireplaces. Spend an afternoon at La Subida’s aromatic acetaia (vinegar factory) where Josko produces an extra-puckery, barrel-aged vinegar from local wine grapes, or hop on one of the property’s bright-yellow Vespas to visit the terraced vineyards on both sides of the border: Venica, in Collio Gorizia, and Movia, in Dobrovo, Slovenia.
Great Value 52 Via Subida, Cormons; 39-0481/60531; cottages for two from $172; dinner for two $172.