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“Paradise :)”
Review of Il Paretaio

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Il Paretaio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 July 2011

I had the great pleasure of staying in Il Paretaio during the middle of July this year.
The views are breath taking, the staff are very friendly and are brilliant with the horses, the food was delicious, the accomodation was excellent and Christina and Giovanni are very very friendly people who made me feel most welcome. I recommend this place to a friend 100%.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank AliciaE_1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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127 - 133 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2011

We had a very nice stay, all the staff where amazing, and our kids had the holiday of their dreams, all the horses are very well taken care off, we would def come back again next year.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank MadsNavarro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2011

we had a fantastic stay at Il Paretaio at Easter. This was our 3rd time back in just one year! This time my parents who are 70 years old and non riders came with us and they loved it.
The ridinginstruction is very good. My husband only rides here and Jenny is a great instructor.
You are so well taken care of here.Gianni and Christina always make sure that you are enjoing your stay. We are already planning our next trip back.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank line66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2011

I have been going to this classical dressage centre for 7 years and will keep returning until I am 80. Beautiful surroundings, nicest owners and staff, highest quality of riding instruction and 30 adorable horses, home made Tuscan cooking. Ideal for single people or families, everyone eats at a 20 metre long table and makes friends. Beginner riders to high level of competition riders will all fall in love with their own level of horses and utmost attention is paid to beginners and children to make them feel safe and learn to love riding horses! Sitting under the trees watching other lessons being taught at different levels is invaluable and free information for any riding guest, lifelong friendships form on these wooden benches! Ride outs into neighbouring farmer's vineyards and olive groves are a joy for 3+ hours, wine tastings can be built into your ride out. Mostly Lusitanos, but also KWPN, thoroughbreds, Merens, Arabians, Maremmano. I have been a guest, worked in the stable as a groom and worked as a hostess during the summer, therefor I know the level of professionalism Il Paretaio keeps in order to run this 23 year old horse lover's heaven.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Lusitan0s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2011

If only I were a horse at Il Paretaio! Contrary to the review knocking the IP horses, I have always loved riding them.. They are so well cared for and willing to do your bidding if you know how to "ask" them. That's want the superb instructors teach you to do.
I find that the few guests not satisfid with the horses usually have an unrealistic view of their riding abilities. Less experienced riders are always kept safe, and in 99 percent of the time are thrilled with their results!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank sadiemae212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2011

First of all, Il Paretaio is a great place to stay in tuscany - to relax, to enjoy the marvellous landscape and to discover the famous villages of the region. The house and the rooms are very nice and cozy, the food is excellent and the owners and the staff are always friendly.

What was dissappointing and shocking for me was the way of riding and the condition of the horses.

The horses are poorly educated. All of them are moving with a stiff back and their weight mainly on their fore limbs. This very unhealty way of moving often leads to lamenesses, that seem to be present at many horses to a greater or lesser extent. A lot of them have swellings of their joints (hocks, fetlocks) and show very short and stiff movements of their hind legs (might be due to an inability to angle their hocks and/or pain in their back).

Nevertheless, the horses "do fine", they patiently do what the instructors want them to do. Of course they do - they are mostly Lusitanos, a horse breed that is famous for their calmness, toughness and will to work. And the instructors with their really nice and encouraging way to teach always have a "very good", "very nice", "brava!" for both, horse and rider. So the riding pupils feel good and have fun, the horses DON'T!

Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
8  Thank ridingdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2011

I chose on Il Paretaio primarily due to the rave reviews on TripAdvisor. I booked a week in late May, 2011 to celebrate my birthday. It’s a long way from California to Barberino val e’Elsa and I was really hoping it would be worth the journey. I am happy to say it was. The unique experiences the staff, owners and fabulous horses provide guests, make this heaven on earth for animal lovers. The riding lessons are most of all gentle, and the horses are treated with utmost respect. They are all hand chosen by the owners, Christina and Giovanni, who live on the property as well as teach centered riding, along with wonderful, ever patient, Jen. I quickly became spoiled riding Notte, an exquisite Lusitano.

In addition to the lessons, I did two ride outs into the Tuscany countryside. Maria, from Ireland, led these and they were not for the faint of heart as you go over every terrain possible, up to the top of the mountain and down. But I will hold those hours very dear to my heart. It was breathtakingly beautiful and the horses are so capable I felt safe even though I have a terrible fear of heights. I’ll never forget Maria telling me, “Don’t look down!” Those ride outs alone would have made the long journey worth it.

What about the rooms, food, and other guests? These are important, especially for someone who goes alone. Well, I thought I had the best room, the tower room, but when I checked out the other rooms they were all big yet cozy. The food was excellent and there was always something for vegetarians. I noted that I am gluten intolerant and Rosetta made special breads and desserts just for me. It was amazing and reflected how hard everyone tries to make your stay everything you dreamed.

I was fortunate to pick a week when all the guests spoke English. It was a fun group, a mix of young and old, and I think everyone looked forward to dinner around the big dining room table, eating home made Italian specialties, drinking wine and sharing stories. Winter would be a wonderful time to visit, when the big fireplace is burning, and the air is crisp. I didn’t have a car and I don’t speak much Italian, definite disadvantages, however, most of the staff speak English and even if you know a little Italian they are grateful. Carla and Kat are super helping get you to and from Barbarino val d’Elsa, which is very tiny, and with your other needs.

My only criticism was the beds. We all agreed they could use some toppers.

My advice? Go! Go to this place. Many of the guests were repeat visitors and I know why. They feel like they are going home. What is better than that?

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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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Thank LovetoRideHorses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Il Paretaio

Address: Strada delle Ginestre 12, 50021, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Barberino Val d'Elsa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Barberino Val d'Elsa
Price Range: $113 - $166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Il Paretaio 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
IL PARETAIO is a classical riding centre situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and woods. Its central location, in the Chianti area, makes it a good base for touring the area without changing accomodation (Florence and Siena are just 30 min. by car; San Gimignano only 20 mins). We offer riding programmes for all levels of riders from beginners to advanced or hacking out in the wonderful tuscan countryside. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Il Paretaio Italy/Barberino Val D'Elsa, Tuscany

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