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Il Paretaio

Overview

Il Paretaio is a charming country house offering a high standard of riding tuition and scenic hacks in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Located in a picturesque valley, in the heart of Tuscany, the riding centre is well known for its wonderful location and the professionalism and dedication o…

Highlights

  • Professional, kind instruction from expert teachers
  • Spectacular Tuscan farmhouse setting
  • The most delicious four-course dinners and Chianti wine
  • Wonderful nearby sites like San Gimignano
  • Well-schooled horses to suit all abilities

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 4 riders per group
  • Average of 1 - 2 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 85kg / 187 lbs / 13 stone 3 lbs

Description

Il Paretaio is a charming country house offering a high standard of riding tuition and scenic hacks in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Located in a picturesque valley, in the heart of Tuscany, the riding centre is well known for its wonderful location and the professionalism and dedication of its staff to the principles of classical riding. It is home to a range of well-schooled horses, known for their gentle and willing temperaments which are the result of careful training. The guest rooms are warm and inviting, decorated in a traditional Italian style, and guests enjoy four course Tuscan dinners accompanied by quality Chianti wine.

The house and riding club are owned and run by Giovanni and Cristina de Marchi who have devoted their lives to their passion for horses - they have more than 30 years experience in teaching riders from all over the world. They personally train the horses with a focus on suppling techniques, ensuring that the horse can respond to light and sensitive aids with elasticity and expression in their movement. The riding centre is F.I.S.E. affiliated and Giovanni and Cristina are supported by experienced, well-trained instructors. Their aim is to teach with a calm and sensitive approach, leading you through softening exercises to improve your balance and position regardless of your riding level or age (children welcome). They can cater to all levels of rider, from beginners to those wishing to improve their dressage, and this destination is also a lovely option for families as children can receive friendly and encouraging tuition and then enjoy the swimming pool and gardens when not in the saddle.

As of 2020 Pietro de Marchi, Cristina and Giovanni's son, is also based back at Il Paretaio. Pietro is a BHS accredited professional coach and rider in dressage, showjumping and eventing. Pietro teaches internationally and spent the previous four years training young event horses in the UK, including participating at Burghley and qualifying a horse for Badminton in the young event horse classes. Pietro has had the opportunity to train with many international riders including dressage master and four times Olympian and European medalist, Richard Davison. He now brings this knowledge and experience to Il Paretaio's guests.

Il Paretaio is an excellent base for those who also enjoy exploring. Located half way between Florence and Siena there is plenty of sightseeing available and your hosts are happy to provide tips on how to make the most of your experience. The region of Tuscany has more UNESCO sites than any other part of Italy and there are several places well worth a visit including Siena, Firenze and San Gimignano. Cookery classes are also recommended - you won't want to forget the taste of the delicious meals you have here so it's worth learning how to cook one at home! If you prefer just to ride and relax then you can ride a few hours each day before settling down by the pool to admire the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and fields.

Holly has visited Il Paretaio and enjoyed both their tuition and hacking, so please just get in touch with any questions.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English / Dressage

Horses

Lusitano, Anglo-Arab, Berber, Arab, English Thoroughbred, Dutch and Italian sport horses.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Dressage Programme is a based ride
  • Beginner Programme is a based ride

Ages

5+ years for lessons, 14+ for half day hacks.

Health

None specific.

Weight

85kg / 187 lbs / 13 stone 3 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Tuscany is an area renowned for its excellent cuisine and you will not be disappointed by the food at Il Paretaio! Dinners include four courses which are served with a good Chianti wine. The food is of a traditional Tuscan style, created using fresh local ingredients and their home-produced extra virgin olive oil. Specialities include homemade lasagne and pizza as well as a famous Tuscan soup known as ribollita. Vegetarians can be catered for on request.

All guests eat together at one long dining table in the dining room which features a large fireplace.

Cookery classes are also available at an additional cost.

Accommodation

Guests are accommodated in the warm and inviting 18th century country house. There are ten guest rooms, each with their own bathroom, and they are all decorated in the traditional Tuscan way but each with their own style. They are simple but warm and welcoming. Some rooms are big enough for three or four to share so are suitable for families.

The country house or villa has original terracotta flooring, wooden beams, stone walls and traditional arched ceilings. There is a swimming pool which offers wonderful views of the Tuscan hills.

There is free WiFi in all public areas of Il Paretaio (and all rooms).

Itineraries

Dressage Programme Standard accommodation.

Beginner Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Non-riders are welcome. We recommend cookery classes and sightseeing in the local area. There is also the possibility of wine tasting, golf, tennis and Italian lessons. Both Florence and Siena are just a 30 minute drive away.

Local places which are nice to visit:

Florence - the capital of the Renaissance and one of the world's most beautiful cities. Your hosts can give you plenty of tips to ensure that you make the most of a trip to Florence.

Siena - this town offers the highest quality of life in Italy and for good reason.

San Gimignano - a very charming place with wonderful towers. Also serves the best ice cream in Tuscany!

Volterra - a magical town from the Etruscan period which has a special reputation for their alabaster crafts.

Chianti area - your hosts can propose nice itineraries for you to help you discover the real beauty of the area (and its famous wine!).

Travel

The riding centre is situated in the heart of Tuscany, 30 minutes car journey from Florence or Siena. We recommend that you fly into Florence - you can hire a car (recommended) or we can arrange your transfer from the airport or train station at an additional cost.

Transfer also available from and to Pisa airport or, for a cheaper option, from and to the nearest station at Poggibonsi - we can happily talk you through the journey. It's also possible to come by bus to San Filippo and we can get you picked up from there.

Testimonials

Rebecca T., Dec. 2, 2016

Really relaxing. Very easy to get to without a car, yet still very remote so you get that 'in the middle of nowhere' feeling. Scenery was also incredible. The food was incredible - I think the highlight for me was the pear, chocolate and ricotta strudel! The horses were perfect for my level and really well cared for. I can't fault it!


Caroline & Tom, Dec. 2, 2016

Truly excellent! Very memorable.


Jenny T, Dec. 2, 2016

Excellent holiday with riding on lovely, well-schooled and well cared for horses. First class instruction. They catered very well for me being a vegetarian, lovely food. The tack was good and the care of the horses was excellent - the horses came first which is how it should be.


Itinerary & Pricing

Days 1 to 8

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

This week stay is specifically focused around tuition and includes either ten dressage lessons, or the option to exchange dressage lessons for up to two jumping lessons. It is suited to intermediate or experienced riders who have established a good standard of riding in the menage and are looking to improve their skills in dressage and classical riding.

For 2021, you may also choose to exchange one or two of your dressage lessons for jumping lessons instead. These will be with either Pietro or his partner Natalie, who are both experienced professional jump riders.

The dressage and jumping lessons range between 40 - 50 minutes. Please note that lessons in the summer months may be shortened due to the heat to ensure the wellbeing of horses and riders. It's also possible that two lessons can be run in the morning if the afternoon is expected to be especially hot.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in comfortable guest bedrooms at the farmhouse, all with private bathrooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to experienced riders who have established the basics of flatwork in order to benefit from the dressage lessons. You also need to have experience of riding in open country.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: March 13, 2021 - Nov. 14, 2021  (Dates available to suit, with Saturday arrivals and departures)

At any time during: Dec. 26, 2021 - Jan. 6, 2022  (Dates available to suit)

Pricing

2021
Non-rider Sharing; High Season (27 March - 10 April, 24 April - 8 May, 3 July - 4 September, 2 - 24 October & 26 December - 6 January 2022)
£735 $1015 €875
2021
Non-rider Sharing; Medium Season (10 - 24 April, 8 May - 2 July, 4 September - 2 October & 23 October - 1 November)
£675 $935 €805
2021
Non-rider Sharing; Low Season (13 - 27 March & 1 - 14 November)
£590 $815 €700
2021
Rider Sharing; High Season (27 March - 10 April, 24 April - 8 May, 3 July - 4 September, 2 - 24 October & 26 December - 6 January 2022)
£1150 $1590 €1365
2021
Rider Sharing; Medium Season (10 - 24 April, 8 May - 2 July, 4 September - 2 October & 23 October - 1 November)
£1090 $1505 €1295
2021
Rider Sharing; Low Season (13 - 27 March & 1 - 14 November)
£1000 $1385 €1190
Included 7 nights accommodation, buffet breakfasts, four course dinners with wine and mineral water & 10 dressage lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, lunches, drinks, extra activities, insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Florence Airport Transfer €85
Paid locally
Florence Airport, each way, per car
2021 - Florence Train station Transfer €75
Paid locally
Florence Train station, each way, per car
2021 - Pisa Airport Transfer €135
Paid locally
Pisa Airport, each way, per car
2021 - Poggibonsi Train station Transfer €35
Paid locally
Poggibonsi Train station, each way, per car
2021 - Single Supplement £24 $33 €28 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Children (aged 6-14 years) Children aged 6-14 will stay at a reduced cost when sharing a room with one or two adults.
2021 - Children (under 5 years) Children aged under 5 will stay free of charge when sharing a room with their parents ( non-riding).
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Days 1 to 8

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

A week stay for beginner riders who are looking for some general riding tuition. The lessons are designed to improve your riding technique and you can either have ten lessons over six riding days or you can swap one of your lessons for a gentle hack into the countryside. Il Paretaio is the ideal place to learn to become a balanced and sensitive rider.

Lessons are often individual or with just two riders. Occasionally there may be a small group riding together but the maximum is never higher than four, to ensure that participants receive a high standard. Lessons are generally around 50 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon, but please note that lessons in the summer months may be shortened due to the heat to ensure the wellbeing of horses and riders.

NB: Tuition on this programme is really designed for real beginners who are totally new to riding or who perhaps have a maximum of some basic experience at walk and trot. Tuition for more competent or experienced riders is charged at a slightly higher price, so riders who are moved to a higher level group during their stay will need to pay a surcharge. If you are in any doubt as to which programme to book then please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can book you to the right programme from the start.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in comfortable guest bedrooms at the farmhouse, all with private bathrooms.

Experience Beginner

Beginner riders looking for general tuition (as opposed to dressage). This programme is designed for those who are totally new to riding or have some basic experience such as walk and trot only. More experienced riders should choose another programme - please discuss with us if you're uncertain.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: March 13, 2021 - Nov. 14, 2021  (Dates available to suit, with Saturday arrivals and departures)

At any time during: Dec. 26, 2021 - Jan. 6, 2022  (Dates available to suit)

Pricing

2021
Rider Sharing; Low Season (13 - 27 March & 1 - 14 November)
£915 $1270 €1090
2021
Rider Sharing; Medium Season (10 - 24 April, 8 May - 2 July, 4 September - 2 October & 23 October - 1 November)
£1005 $1390 €1195
2021
Rider Sharing; High Season (27 March - 10 April, 24 April - 8 May, 3 July - 4 September, 2 - 24 October & 26 December - 6 January 2022)
£1065 $1470 €1265
2021
Non-rider Sharing; Low Season (13 - 27 March & 1 - 14 November)
£590 $815 €700
2021
Non-rider Sharing; Medium Season (10 - 24 April, 8 May - 2 July, 4 September - 2 October & 23 October - 1 November)
£675 $935 €805
2021
Non-rider Sharing; High Season (27 March - 10 April, 24 April - 8 May, 3 July - 4 September, 2 - 24 October & 26 December - 6 January 2022)
£735 $1015 €875
Included 7 nights accommodation, buffet breakfasts, four course dinners with wine and mineral water & 10 riding lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, lunches, drinks, extra activities, insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Florence Airport Transfer €85
Paid locally
Florence Airport, each way, per car
2021 - Florence Train station Transfer €75
Paid locally
Florence Train station, each way, per car
2021 - Pisa Airport Transfer €135
Paid locally
Pisa Airport, each way, per car
2021 - Poggibonsi Train station Transfer €35
Paid locally
Poggibonsi Train station, each way, per car
2021 - Single Supplement £24 $33 €28 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone in a single room.
2021 - Children (under 5 years) Children aged under 5 will stay free of charge when sharing a room with their parents ( non-riding).
2021 - Children (aged 6-14 years) Children aged 6-14 will stay at a reduced cost when sharing a room with one or two adults.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.