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Il Paretaio

Special Offer!

Special Offer Weeks

No single supplement for 7 night stays between 6th - 20th April or a €150 discount per person on a booking of two if you share a room in that period. €100 discount per person for stays in the week 8th - 15th June. Discounts apply to riding packages only.

Offer ends June 8, 2024

Overview

Il Paretaio is a charming country house offering a high standard of riding tuition in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Located in a picturesque valley, in the heart of Tuscany, the centre offers guests the chance to learn according to the principles of classical riding on well-schooled and ge…

Highlights

  • Professional, kind instruction from expert teachers
  • Spectacular Tuscan farmhouse setting
  • Delicious three-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.
    more info May occasionally be able to accept a rider up to 90kg - please enquire.

Description

Il Paretaio is a charming country house offering a high standard of riding tuition in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Located in a picturesque valley, in the heart of Tuscany, the centre offers guests the chance to learn according to the principles of classical riding on well-schooled and gentle horses.

Owned by Giovanni and Cristina de Marchi for nearly 30 years, who have devoted their lives to their passion for horses - the riding centre is F.I.S.E. affiliated and lessons are now given by Giovanni and Cristina's son, Pietro and his partner Natalie.

Pietro is certified by both the Italian professional coaching bodies and the British Horse Society as an Accredited Professional Coach, having spent several years working and qualifying in the UK. He has competed in the Burghley Young Event Horse (with a top 20 finish) and qualified other young horses for Badminton and Blenheim. He has trained under Richard Davison (four-time Olympian) and international eventer Andrew Downes. Alongside Pietro's competitive career, he shares his parent's passion for coaching and training riders, always with respect for the horse. Pietro is calm and has an open approach to teaching and a wonderful way of explaining, which can help riders of all levels to better understand and improve their own riding.

Natalie grew up around horses in the UK, competing at the Royal International and Horse of the Year Show before gaining experience in show-jumping and eventing. She has trained with Olympic show-jumper Geoff Billington, renowned coach Susie Gibson and dressage legend Dorothy Johnson to name a few. Natalie particularly enjoys teaching children and helping all riders to gain confidence and believe in their abilities. She has a very happy, calm and patient attitude.

Between them, all levels of rider can be catered to, from total beginners to those wishing to improve their dressage. 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.

Il Paretaio is also an excellent base for those who also enjoy exploring Tuscany. Located halfway between Florence and Siena there is plenty of sightseeing available and Tuscany has more UNESCO sites than any other part of Italy. Siena, Firenze and San Gimignano to name a few. It's also possible to organise cookery classes, wine tastings, yoga and bike rental for those interested.

Holly and Cathy have visited Il Paretaio - please just get in touch with any questions.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English / Dressage

Horses

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

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Dressage Programme is a based ride
  • Beginners Programme is a based ride

Ages

5+ years for lessons

Health

None specific.

Weight

85kg / 187 lbs / 13 stone 3 lbs. May occasionally be able to accept a rider up to 90kg - please enquire.

Food & Accommodation

Food

Tuscany is an area renowned for its excellent cuisine and you will not be disappointed by the food at Il Paretaio! Stays are generally half-board to include breakfasts and dinners. Light 'a la carte' lunches can be ordered and paid for directly, ordered from a simple menu each morning as needed.

Dinners include three courses and you are able to purchase 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 delicious pastas 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.

There is an honesty bar for additional drinks/snacks if you get peckish during the day.

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.

Beginners 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

Rachel B., April 3, 2024

In an era when horse sport is increasingly under social scrutiny, it is so refreshing to find a riding school that is so focussed on horse welfare. From the care that they provide the horses pre and post lesson, to their acute understanding of every character (horse and human) that comes to the manège, to the pressure/release techniques front and centre in every lesson, this place embodies what horse riding should be. In return, their horses truly love their job, are beautifully schooled and are feather light. The teaching here varied from home - mistakes are embraced as key learning tools, and the focus is on the takeaway from each exercise by the horse and his understanding of the situation rather than just the rider, their riding position and their goals. Despite riding for twenty years, through their professional instruction and new perspectives, I was able to achieve some longstanding riding targets even within just the one week. More importantly, I have returned with a new understanding of how to do better and be better for the school ponies that I ride at home.


Victoria M., July 3, 2023

Excellent, exactly what we were looking for. Relaxing as well as incredible instructional and rewarding. Favourite memory? Doing bodywork with the horses before our lesson. Horses and riding? The horse I rode, Saltillo, was incredible. The best school-master I have ever ridden. He was schooled perfectly and clearly loved his job. Tack was clean and in good working order. Pietro was an insightful, calm and intuitive teacher, he taught us in a unique way which enabled a lot of "pennies" to drop!!


Ashley P., May 24, 2023

It was better than expected. The hosts went above and beyond with making me special vegan meals each day. The dressage instruction was wonderful. The instructors were excellent.


Lara A., Nov. 15, 2022

This was my first time on this type of holiday and both the place and training were beyond my expectations. Favourite memory? The friendliness of the hosts and the guests - we were really made to feel welcome. Horses? The horses were lovely and the tack was well maintained. Guides? Pietro was a very patient and experienced instructor.


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!


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.


Caroline & Tom, Dec. 2, 2016

Truly excellent! Very memorable.


Itinerary & Pricing

Days 1 to 8

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

You will arrive in time for dinner on the first day, dining with fellow guests and your hosts at one long table. There will be a chance to discuss your riding level and what you hope to work on during your lessons.

Over the week you will have six lessons (not riding arrival and departure day) - each evening you can discuss the plan for the next day and lessons can be scheduled, as much as possible, to fit with your plans. Lessons are generally in the morning before it gets too hot, and then in the late afternoon once it has started to cool down. When not riding you can enjoy the garden and swimming pool or go exploring - visits to Florence and San Gimignano are highly recommended - if you don't have a hire car then your hosts can advise on the best buses to take.

On departure day you will check-out after breakfast.

Accommodation

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

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Strong novice to experienced riders who have established the basics of flatwork in order to benefit from the dressage lessons.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

March 15, 2024 - Nov. 17, 2024  (Dates available to suit, with Saturday arrivals and departures preferred)

Pricing

2024
Non-Rider (Half Board)
£835 $1045 €980
2024
Rider Sharing (10 Lessons)
£1405 $1755 €1645
2024
Rider Sharing (6 Lessons)
£1165 $1455 €1365
Included 7 nights twin/double accommodation, buffet breakfasts, three course dinners with mineral water and 6 or 10 dressage lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, lunches, drinks, extra activities, Tourism Tax (1-2 euro per person per night), insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Accommodation Upgrade £16 $20 €19 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Upgrade to a Superior room, per person sharing per night
2024 - Florence Airport Transfer €100
Paid locally
Florence Airport, each way, per car (price is approximate)
2024 - Pisa Airport Transfer €170
Paid locally
Pisa Airport, each way, per car (price is approximate)
2024 - Single Supplement £180 $220 €210
Paid to Far and Ride
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 six lessons are included - Il Paretaio is the ideal place to learn to become a balanced and sensitive rider.

Lessons are often individual or with just two-three riders. Occasionally there may be a small group riding together but the maximum is never higher than three, to ensure that participants receive a high standard. Lessons are generally around 45 minutes. You can upgrade to private lessons for an additional cost.

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 the Dressage programme - please discuss with us if you're uncertain.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 4
Departure windows

At any time during: March 15, 2024 - Nov. 17, 2024  (Dates available to suit, with Saturday arrivals and departures preferred)

Pricing

2024
Non-rider; sharing
£835 $1045 €980
2024
Rider Sharing (10 lessons)
£1280 $1595 €1495
2024
Rider Sharing (6 lessons)
£1090 $1360 €1275
Included 7 nights accommodation, buffet breakfasts, three course dinners with mineral water and 6 or 10 riding lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, lunches, drinks, extra activities, Tourism Tax (1-2 euro per person per night), insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Accommodation Upgrade £16 $20 €19 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Upgrade to a Superior room, per person sharing per night
2024 - Florence Airport Transfer €100
Paid locally
Florence Airport, each way, per car (price is approximate)
2024 - Pisa Airport Transfer €170
Paid locally
Pisa Airport, each way, per car (price is approximate)
2024 - Single Supplement £180 $220 €210
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone in a single room.
2024 - Children (under 5 years) Children aged under 5 will stay free of charge when sharing a room with their parents ( non-riding).
2024 - Children (aged 6-13 years) Children aged 6-13 receive a 20% discount per week, based on half board, when sharing a room with one adult. One child sharing with two adults receives a reduction of 30% based on half board. (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.