Giovanni de Marchi, il Paretaio

Classical Dressage in Tuscany

A riding holiday in Tuscany ideal for those wishing to refine their dressage skills in the care of warm and highly-qualified riding instructors, with over 25 years of experience. Il Paretaio is situated in a peaceful, picturesque valley in Tuscany's heart; based at this 17th century farmhouse, you will follow the traditional principles of classical riding practised by riders competing in modern dressage.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Dressage stays
8 days / 6 days riding
From £1,100
Family holidays
from 14 y.o
Open to non-riders
  • Giovanni de Marchi, il Paretaio
    Lessons follow the principles of classical dressage
  • Dressage lesson at il Paretaio in Tuscany
    Dressage lesson with owner and teacher Giovanni
  • View of the Paretaio stables
    Dressage vacation in Italy
  • Traditional farmhouse on a hill in Tuscany
    Discover Tuscany on a riding holiday
  • Rider riding a dressage horse in italy
    Open to intermediate or experienced riders
  • Riders during a dressage lesson in Italy
    Classical dressage in Tuscany
  • Dressage lesson at il Paretaio
    Dressage lessons to achieve elasticity and lightness
  • Dinner table at il Paretaio, Italy
    Delicious food is a highlight of this holiday!

Itinerary

Highlights

- Lessons with groups of 2-3 riders maximum
- Authentic Italian cuisine in a very charming farmhouse in the heart of beautiful Tuscany with an outdoor swimming pool
- Benefit from highly-qualified instructors at an equestrian centre established over twenty five years ago
- Explore typical Tuscan landscape, rolling hills covered with cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves
- Discover the historic towns and nearby villages - Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, etc.
- Perfect also for the non-riders in your life!
- Other itineraries are available for less experienced riders
  • Day 1 1: FLORENCE- BARBERINO

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    On your arrival in Florence, you will travel to the region of Barberino Val d'Elsa. To reach Barberino Val d'Elsa, you can either hire a car or request a private transfer (30-45 minute drive).

    You will have the chance to meet the team and your hosts at a welcome reception at the Il Paretaio equestrian centre and guest house at 7 pm.
  • Day 2 2: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.

    ---

    Lunch is not included but can be had at the farmhouse if you wish; on the menu you will find a variety of delicious traditional Tuscan pasta dishes and salads. After a busy day, you will be able to relax around the communal dining table and enjoy a hearty Italian dinner with Chianti wine. This is the time to share your experiences from the day!

    In your leisure time, you can visit Florence and Siena, or the village of San Gimignano which are all easily accessible. There are buses that run from Barberino Val d'Elsa - although the journey by bus is a little longer than that by car, it does allow you to avoid traffic jams and parking problems.
  • Day 3 3: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.
  • Day 4 4: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.
  • Day 5 5: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.
  • Day 6 6: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.
  • Day 7 7: BARBERINO - 1 lesson

    Agriturismo Il Paretaio
    The training methods used at Il Paretaio are based on loosening your horse up and encouraging supple movements in order to achieve elasticity and lightness when using aids. They follow the traditional principles of classical riding that are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. Throughout your lessons, they will teach you to feel physically and emotionally connected to your horse.

    Each dressage lesson consists of a maximum of 3 riders per instructor. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

    During your lesson, you will address exercises such as the shoulder-in, lateral movements, leg yield, counter canter and flying changes... The sessions will show you the importance of rhythm, impulsion and how to appropriately employ aids.
  • Day 8 8: BARBERINO - DEPARTURE FROM FLORENCE

    After breakfast, you will head to the airport in Florence to catch your return flight.
    If you wish to extend your holiday, Florence and Siena are very close by and are waiting to be explored! Both cities are easily accessible by bus, contact us for more details.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights are not included.

- The above rates are per person sharing a double room, half-board basis with one lesson a day. It is possible to add more lessons to a total of 10 lessons for a week, for the cost of €1605.00/$1605/£1380 in the high season, and €1525.00/$1525/£1315 in the low season
(*Low season: 18/3 - 31/3; 15/4-22/4; 6/5-22/5; 17/6-30/6; 1/10-15/10; 4/11-11/11)

- Lessons are held with a maximum of 3 riders. Lessons in the morning are usually 50 minutes and those in the afternoon 40 minutes. In the summer - from June to September included, as it can be very hot, the length of the morning lessons will be shortened to 40 minutes

- Non-riders are welcome and will receive a discount - please ask for prices

- Please note that there is a small tourism tax payable locally: €7 (for guests over 14 years of age)

- An additional charge of approx. £30 (€35) is required for the trip over New Year cover cost of the New Year's Eve meal

- If you have signed up for this trip on your own, a single room charge of approx €280/£245/$280 will be added to your invoice.

- If you wish to reserve the panoramic 'Tower Room', there will be an additional cost of approx. €130/£115/$155 per week

- RETURN TRANSFERS ARE TO BE PAID LOCALLY, BUT NEED TO BE ARRANGED IN ADVANCE (prices in £ are approximate and may change depending on the euro):
Florence Airport - Equestrian Centre return : £160/$180 (€180) per car (1 - 3 people)
Pisa Airport - Equestrian Centre return : £280/$320 (€320) per car (1 - 3 people)

IMPORTANT :
- For riders over 85kg, please contact us before booking to ensure there will be a suitable mount available to you during your stay
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 instructor for 1 to 2 riders

Logistics

Several horses equipped with the classical dressage equipment

Accommodation

Double or family room in a guest house

Meals

Half-board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the final day

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras
Lunches (had and paid for locally)

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tourism tax payable locally (see dates and prices)

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Transport

Transfer from Florence Airport/Train Station to the Riding Center, outward and return, per car and to be paid locally
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/03/2023 25/03/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    25/03/2023 01/04/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    01/04/2023 08/04/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    08/04/2023 15/04/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    15/04/2023 22/04/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    22/04/2023 29/04/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    29/04/2023 06/05/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/05/2023 13/05/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    13/05/2023 20/05/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    20/05/2023 27/05/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    27/05/2023 03/06/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    03/06/2023 10/06/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    10/06/2023 17/06/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    17/06/2023 24/06/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    24/06/2023 01/07/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    01/07/2023 08/07/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    08/07/2023 15/07/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    15/07/2023 22/07/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    22/07/2023 29/07/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    29/07/2023 05/08/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    05/08/2023 12/08/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    12/08/2023 19/08/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    19/08/2023 26/08/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    26/08/2023 02/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/09/2023 09/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    09/09/2023 16/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    16/09/2023 23/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    23/09/2023 30/09/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    30/09/2023 07/10/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    07/10/2023 14/10/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now
    14/10/2023 21/10/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    21/10/2023 28/10/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
    28/10/2023 04/11/2023 £1,165 €1,372 $1,363 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/11/2023 11/11/2023 £1,100 €1,295 $1,287 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

A small stables of well-trained horses (Lusitanos, Anglo-arabs, Barb Arabs, English Thoroughbred, Dutch and Italian sport horses) which are assigned according to the skill level and wishes of the riders.
IMPORTANT: riders over 85 kg should contact us to ensure that suitable horses are available.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

For this particular itinerary you should be an intermediate to experienced level rider and have established the basics of flatwork in order to best benefit from the dressage lessons. You also need to have experience of riding in open country.

This is ideal for outdoors riders who would like to gain more academic experience.

Please note that riders over 85 kgs should get in touch with us.

Pace

Ideal for riders who are eager to improve their dressage skills or competent riders with knowledge of basic flatwork who are looking to start dressage.
You will work from the ground as well as on horseback to get the most from your lessons.

Tacking ability and participation

The horses are brought to you groomed, tacked up and warmed up so you can start work as soon as your lesson begins. You can, if you wish, go down to the stables to help prepare your own horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No particular requirements as there are programmes to suit all abilities.

Equestrian equipment

Dressage saddles.
Helmets are mandatory. We recommend all our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Please bring your own spurs.

Travel info

Comfort

The farmhouse consists of 8 double or family rooms with private bathrooms and 2 private family apartments.
It has original terracotta flooring, wooden beams, stone walls and traditional arched ceilings. There is a swimming pool that offers wonderful views of the Tuscan hills. Free wifi is available.
Tuscany is famous for its excellent cuisine and dinners are served with a good Chianti wine. The food is traditional Tuscan, created using fresh local ingredients and with the farmhouse's home-produced extra virgin olive oil. All guests eat together around one big dining table.

Meals

Half-board accommodation (breakfast and big, hearty dinners)
Lunch will either be had at the guest house or you will be free to make your own plans. You are able to eat at the guest house and pay locally for meals not included in the trip's price, or if you have hired a car you can explore what's on offer in the surrounding villages and towns.

Climate

Tuscany has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, cold winters and a rainy season from the start of autumn to the beginning of winter. The months that are the most humid are October and December - often seeing heavy rain that can last for several days.
However, autumn and in spring, it is still likely that it will be hot during the day, with a lot of sunny days. July and August are the hottest and driest months.

Guide and local team

Your instructors, Giovanni and Cristina De Marchi, started their careers training at a prestigious school in Portugal under the tutelage of Pedro de Almeida and Maître Louis Valenca - who themselves were trained by the great Nuno Oliveira. They work to adapt their lessons to the needs of their riders, whether accomplished or beginner, so that each student ends their course feeling more confident and at ease in the saddle. In their teaching method, passion rhymes with pleasure!

Giovanni and Cristina were recently joined by their son, Pietro de Marchi. Pietro is a BHS accredited professional coach and rider in dressage, showjumping and eventing. Pietro teaches internationally and has been training in the UK for the last four years specializing in training young horses to event and has reported very good successes. He participated at Burghley and has qualified a young horse for Badminton. During his equestrian career, he has had the opportunity to train with many international riders, among which one of them has been with the Dressage master and four times Olympian and European medalist, Richard Davison.

Tips

Tipping is not obligatory; however one can be made to the local team at your discretion.

Packing list

Head
- A riding helmet is mandatory. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding

Upper Body
- Short or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm Goretex-style jacket (water-proof and breathable)

Legs
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or long leather trousers
- 1 change of trousers (riding trousers or jeans)
- A swim suit for the pool
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long boots.
- 1 pair of sandals
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Other useful items
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Toiletries
- Ear plugs (may be useful if sharing)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Vitamin C tablets
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to Italy and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days

At border control you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

Passport validity from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade à l'étranger :
    Piazza Farnese 67
    00186 Rome
    Tél. : +39 06 686 013 02
    Fax : +39 06 686 015 66
  • Ambassade en France
    51 rue de Varenne
    75007 Paris
    Tél. : 01 49 54 03 00
    Fax : 01 49 54 04 10
    ambasciata.parigi@esteri.it
  • Ambassade d'Italie
    ChancellerieElfenstrasse 14
    3006 Berne
    Tél. : 031/350 07 77
    Fax : 031/350 07 11
    ambasciata.berna@esteri.it
  • Ambassade d'Italie
    Rue de Livourne 38
    1000 Bruxelles
    Tél. : 0032/2/543.15.53
    Fax : 0032/2/537.57.56
    passaporti.bruxelles@esteri.itvisti.bruxelles@esteri.it

Health

UK Citizens: A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK.

For up to date information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. UK citizens will require an adapter.

Budget and money

The main currency is the euro. You will find ATM ("Bancomat") in every city, town and most villages. Both credit and debit cards are used.

Telephone and jetlag

Phone code: +39