Italy

Learn to ride - Tuscan Farmhouse

A traditional Italian riding holiday based at a 17th century farmhouse offering a high standard of riding tuition and hacking in Tuscany's beautiful countryside. Take riding and classical dressage lessons from passionate and experienced instructors and enjoy rides through the surrounding sun-soaked Tuscan vineyards and olive groves. Out of the saddle, you can relax by the pool, taking in the panoramic views, before enjoying traditional four-course Tuscan dinners and quality Chianti wine.
Book now Print ride details
Dressage stays
8 days/ 6 days riding
From £870
Family holidays
from 5 y.o
Open to non-riders
  • Tuscan Farmhouse and Equestrian Centre
    Riding holiday in Tuscany
  • Horse riding holiday in Tuscany
    An ideal destination for friends and families
  • Riding in Tuscany, Italy
    Classical dressage training in Tuscany
  • Equestrian Centre and Tuscan Farmhouse riding holiday
    A rider getting her horse ready
  • Group riding in Tuscany
    Enjoy hacks out in the glorious Tuscan countryside
  • Horseback trail ride in the vineyards of Italy
    Riding through the vineyards of Tuscany
  • Riding holiday in Tuscany in a traditional farmhouse
    Comfortable accommodation in a traditional farmhouse
  • Riding holiday in Tuscany
    Tuscan Farmhouse and Equestrian Centre
  • Tuscan Farmhouse on a riding holiday
    A beautiful Farmhouse at the heart of Tuscany
  • Equestrian Center in tuscany
    Air view of the equestrian center
  • Tuscan Farmhouse and Equestrian Centre
    A fun and relaxing riding holiday in Tuscany
  • Swimming pool in Italy
    Relaxing by the swimming pool
  • Tuscany and classical dressage training
    Classical dressage training

Itinerary

Highlights

- A range of programmes to suit the needs of riders of all levels - riding lessons, hacks in the countryside and relaxing or sightseeing
- Stay in a 17th century Tuscan farmhouse with swimming pool surrounded by beautiful countryside
- Be taught by passionate and highly-qualified instructors
- Benefit from lessons in small groups, adapted to the level and age of each rider
- Enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and Chianti wine
- Explore the Tuscan landscape - sun-soaked rolling hills covered with cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves
- Discover the historic towns and nearby villages - Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, etc.
- A great opportunity to improve your riding technique in the magnificent central Italian countryside
  • Day 1 1: UK - FLORENCE - BARBERINO VAL D'ELSA

    AGROTURISMO 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

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    The programme described here is for Programme A - Lessons for Beginners/Low Intermediate Riders. Other programmes are available, please make sure to check the page for our "Classical dressage in Tuscany" for more experienced riders.

    This programme is designed for beginner riders looking for general riding tuition. Lessons are designed to improve riding technique, 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. More intensive riding programmes for more experienced riders are also available - see our Classical Dressage in Tuscany ride.

    ----

    Lessons are usually with just two riders. Occasionally there may be a small group riding together but the maximum is four, to ensure that participants receive a high standard of instruction. Lessons are 50 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon.

    Children's Riding Programme
    This week long riding programme is suitable for children and incorporates ten riding lessons during the stay. Children between the ages of five and nine will receive basic riding tuition whilst older children from ten to fourteen can be trained in dressage (depending on their previous riding experience). Children up to nine receive lessons of 30 minutes in duration whilst the older children will have 40 minute lessons if shared or 30 minutes if they are being taught individually.

    Please note: for safety reasons, beginners and children under 14 years cannot take part in the countryside hacks. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis by the instructors, however, Italian law stipulates that riders should be over 12 years old to ride outdoors.

    Your instructors , Giovanni and Cristina De Marchi, began their careers as instructors under the wings of the greatest horsemen of the Portuguese Riding School. Their son, Peter, who also teaches, is a show jumper but is still very attached to the basics of dressage.

    Lunch is not included but can be taken at the farmhouse if you wish (there are various salads and pasta on the menu). After a busy day, guests enjoy a hearty Italian dinner with Chianti. This is the time to share your thoughts of the day!

    During your leisure time, you can visit Florence and Siena, or the village of San Gimignano which are all easily accessible. There are buses from Barberino Val d'Elsa - they take a little longer than by car but allow you to avoid traffic jams and parking problems.
  • Day 3 3: BARBERINO

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    Choice of programme A, B, D
  • Day 4 4: BARBERINO

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    Choice of programme A, B, D
  • Day 5 5: BARBERINO

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    Choice of programme A, B, D
  • Day 6 6: BARBERINO

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    Choice of programme A, B, D
  • Day 7 7: BARBERINO

    AGROTURISMO IL PARETAIO
    Choice of programme A, B, D
  • Day 8 8: BARBERINO VAL D'ELSA - FLORENCE - UK

    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 (or b&b in the low season) and are based on programme A. Different itineraries are possible - please enquire for prices.

- It is possible for some riders to choose one of the above programmes whilst others in the same group choose the Classical Dressage in Tuscany trip.

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

- There is a single supplement payable if you end up in a single room (c. €196/£180); it will be refunded to you if later someone to share the room is found.

- Please note that for trips taking place over New Year's Eve, there will be a £30 supplement for a special New Year's meal.

- 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 : £150 (€170) per car (1 - 3 people)
Florence Train Station - Equestrian Centre return : £140 (€160) per car (1 - 3 people)
Pisa Airport - Equestrian Centre return : £230 (€270) per car (1 - 3 people)
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 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 (it is possible to buy locally)

Transports

International flights

Extra

Tips to the local team

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

Transfers from Florence Aiport/Train station to the riding center, outward and return, per car and to be paid locally
  • January - February 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    22/02/2020 29/02/2020 £980
    £870
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    14/03/2020 21/03/2020 £980 Open Book now
    21/03/2020 28/03/2020 £980
    £870
    Open Book now
    28/03/2020 04/04/2020 £980
    £870
    Open Book now
    04/04/2020 11/04/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/04/2020 18/04/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/04/2020 25/04/2020 £1,075 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/04/2020 02/05/2020 £1,075 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/05/2020 09/05/2020 £1,075 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/05/2020 16/05/2020 £1,075 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/05/2020 23/05/2020 £1,075 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/05/2020 30/05/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/05/2020 06/06/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    06/06/2020 13/06/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/06/2020 20/06/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/06/2020 27/06/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/06/2020 04/07/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2020 11/07/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/07/2020 18/07/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/07/2020 25/07/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/07/2020 01/08/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    01/08/2020 08/08/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    08/08/2020 15/08/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/08/2020 22/08/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    22/08/2020 29/08/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    29/08/2020 05/09/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/09/2020 12/09/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/09/2020 19/09/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/09/2020 26/09/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    26/09/2020 03/10/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    03/10/2020 10/10/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/10/2020 17/10/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/10/2020 24/10/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/10/2020 31/10/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    31/10/2020 07/11/2020 £980 Open Book now
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    07/11/2020 14/11/2020 £980 Open Book now
    14/11/2020 21/11/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/11/2020 28/11/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/11/2020 05/12/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    05/12/2020 12/12/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/12/2020 19/12/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/12/2020 26/12/2020 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now
    26/12/2020 02/01/2021 £1,140 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Over 30 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

Open to riders of different levels, from complete beginners to experienced riders.
Children from 5 years old can have lessons in the arena, but only competent children over 14 years old that are comfortable riding outdoors will be taken on hacks.

IMPORTANT: Riders over 85kg/ 13st/ 187lbs must consult us before booking.

Pace

You will work from the ground and mounted at different paces, with dressage up to High Level, depending on your experience.
Rides out in the countryside are mainly at walk and trot with some canter if you feel comfortable.

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

From beginners to experienced riders. No particular requirements are necessary 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.

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

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.

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)
- 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

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 nationals don’t need a visa to enter Italy. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

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

BREXIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The UK is leaving the European Union. The rules for passports, entry requirements, driving, EHIC cards and more may change after Brexit.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

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

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://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/111/italy#General_information

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