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“My 10th riding visit to Il Paretaio!”
Review of Il Paretaio

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Il Paretaio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 October 2011

Once again, I spent a super 2 1/2 weeks at Il Paretaio during August. All of the other riding guests were very nice and interesting and I formed some new great friendships again. We had quadrille shows each Friday which is always a fun way to end the week of lessons for the guests whom only spend 1 week. Everyone was enjoying the one new chef's dinners she prepares, the breakfasts and dinners remain plentiful and delicious, the desserts are scrumptious!

My riding level improves so much each time I have spent a week or more at Il Paretaio and taken my lessons with any of the 3 instructors. I am studying Classical Dressage and Il Paretaio has the most sensitively trained horses to really help you understand how to approach riding in a much more gentle way than in Germanic dressage. The 2 owners Gianni and Cristina, and Jenny, are master teachers each in their own way. They quickly help you undo your bad riding habits and guide you how to conform to the improved way of being on a horse.

The surroundings are beautiful and tranquil and visits to many historic and interesting towns in the area are a great way to use up the time between the morning and afternoon lessons. I also had time to spend in Sienna and Florence which are 1/2 hour away, by car.

I'll be returning in 2012!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Lusitan0s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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114 - 120 of 283 reviews

Reviewed 17 October 2011

My finance and I spent almost a week at this lovley place and had dressage lessons. The horses were very well trained and the instructors were helpful, well educated, spoke good English, and were also very nice. The rooms vere nice and our room had a great view over the tuscan landscape. All meals were very nice, no risk for starvation. Since dinner were together will all other guests, we all got to know eachother which was good. Nice pool and nice environment in this small village. Also a good place for children. Beautiful landscape to ride in, although a bit too warn when we were there. The staff could help arrange other events, such as wine tasting. On the whole we would strongly recommend the place if you are interested in good riding and nice food! /E&D

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2011

This was my first stay at Il Paretaio and Italy, and it was fantastic. I felt very welcome in (what it felt like) the "family" of staff and other guests. The room was spacious and the bathroom was gigantic! I wish mine looked like that. We were quite a large group and after getting to know our experiences in dressage we were divided into groups. I got the lovely Jenny to teach me (I'm not such an experienced rider) and I loved the graphic way she was showing me how to do things! I also attended Christinas "Body awareness" class. That was probably one of the highlights of the trip. After that class I feel that we all got more calm and sensitive towards the horses and between ourselves as a group. We all rode excellent the lesson after the class!
The surroundings were wonderful, and it helped a lot to have a car. Between lessons, we could explore Tuscany, and if necessary, we could always ask to have our lessons moved so we'd have more time.
This was a perfect getaway, and I'm sure I'll return to improve my riding (and waistline...)
Did I mention that the food and wine was excellent!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank jeanettevdb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2011

Recently I spend a gorgeous week at Il Paretaio. I got very good instructions in the dressage lessons on well-kept horses. A challenge to go on with training at home.
The atmosphere is familiar, accomodations and food are superb. This was my fourth visit to Il Paretaio located in the wonderful Toscany.

Gustav G.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Gustav G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2011

My non riding husband and I have just returned from another wonderful visit to Il Paretaio, we have been here so many times now, we have lost count...... somewhere in the teens I think.....and like a good wine this holiday destination just keeps on improving with age. Gianni, Cristina and Jenny are fantastic hosts and teachers, along with Katuscia and Christina on reception, the stable and kitchen staff, to name but a few who make the whole holiday as relaxing as possible.
We love the calm serenity and beauty of Il Paretaio......my husband enjoys relaxing with a book, while I put myself under the ever watchful eye of Gianni twice a day. The horses have changed over the years (sadly through loss) but never the standard, I feel privileged to have ridden many of them and my moments of enlightenment have improved my riding dramatically.
Dinner is one of the highlights at Il Paretaio.... we have met some wonderful people over the years from all around the world and I know that the traditional Tuscan food and gallons of Chianti will be remembered fondly with many who have sat around that huge dining table.
Il Paretaio is a perfect base for seeing the many wonders around Tuscany, you really do need a car to travel further afield (between lessons) such as Pienza or even Assisi, which is a must once you've been to all the local tourist centres. But I have been here solo and the local taxis are very good and easy to book through reception, having said that, sometimes I haven't left at all except to buy shoes at the warehouse in San Filipo..... who would wish to....See you all next year xx

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank davybaby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2011

This was a brilliant experience, from the horses to the people everything more than surpassed expectations. Christina, Gianni and Jennie are all focused on improving the relationship with the horse through centred riding. It was refreshing to go to an environment that was so relaxed and yet so focused on improving you as a rider. We look forward to visiting again soon! And the lasagne was to die for!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Alison H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We have just come back from our 6th stay at Il Paretaio. We can not believe how we could NOT go there in the previous two years and are already making plans to go back next year.
We are a family of four and all four of us love this place. First, the owners Cristina and Gianni give wonderful lessons which you can't find anywhere else. They make sure each rider gets the horse that suits him or her best. The horses - Lusitanos, Spanish, Razza Maremma, etc. are very well kept and extremely well trained and sensitive. Cristina's and Gianni's instruction enables everyone - no matter what level you are - to improve substantially during a week, to have some moments of "enlightenment" and real connection with your horse. We really like their philosophy of riding. Jenny - who mainly taught our children is a wonderful instructor as well. The children loved her, improved their English and their riding at the same time and could learn a lot from her metaphors as well as the games she organized (thank you also to Becky and Maisee) They had ideal horses for the children too - Mousse - the French pony and Espoir were particularly "popular". We also love the location of Il Paretaio, the view over the Tuscan hills, the old stone building, the good taste in decoration, the sense of tranquility and beauty that pervades everywhere. If you go to Il Paretaio in summer the pool is great to relax after the riding lessons. Last but not least there are the great meals in the evening when everyone has dinner together at a long table and conversations across cultures take place about riding, horses, the great Tuscan cuisine, the nearby place to visit - such as San Gimignano, Certaldo, Florence and Siena. We can wholeheartedly recommend Il Paretaio to everyone - families, couples and individual travellers - riders and non riders who are looking for a relaxing break in a beautiful and quiet place. Sabine

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank sabine k
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 31 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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