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 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.
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.
Tipping is not obligatory; however one can be made to the local team at your discretion.
- 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
- 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)
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or long leather trousers
- 1 change of trousers (riding trousers or jeans)
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers)
- 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
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- 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
- 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!