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“excellent holiday - am planning to go back in spring!!”
Review of Il Paretaio

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Il Paretaio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 December 2009

I went to Il Paretaio with my non-riding husband, and my 2 year old. The staff couldn't have been more helpful. They arranged my riding lessons so that I had plenty of time to spend on lovely day trips in the area and they helped with suggestions of places to go. There is more than enough to see for at least a week and Tuscany is full of beautiful little villages. We were there in November and were really surprised to be wearing t-shirts most of the time. The countryside around Il Paretaio is beautiful. We stayed in the self catering appartment near the house as it was easier for us to cook for ourselves, but I've heard great things about the food that is provided if you stay in the main house. The accommodation is a very charming old farmhouse, with lots of lovely pictures and horsie touches. The whole feel of the place was extremely welcoming and the staff bent over backwards to make our stay special - they were lovely with my son and he had a few riding lessons, which he LOVED. The horses are amazing - I had 2 lessons a day, but could have had more if I wanted. They were very flexible. The quality of instruction is very high, and very tailored to your individual needs - they were very careful to make sure that I was matched up to the right horses to make sure that I was learning something new every day. I rode a lovely lucitano called Notte and fell completely in love! It felt like such a safe environment to be learning in, as everyone is so lovely and there is no pressure to perform. I feel that I came on more in one week than I would have with months of sporadic riding at a riding school in the UK. I will definitely go back to Il Paretaio, and will take my family too as it is equally good for riders and non-riders, which is quite difficult to find. I'm going to recommend it to all my friends. It actually works out a bit cheaper than some riding holidays in the UK, even with the flights included. Brilliant place, lovely staff :-)

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Lindy58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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175 - 181 of 289 reviews

Reviewed 14 December 2009

Il Paretaio restores the soul, teaches you more about yourself than you could ever have guessed, and shoots your riding into new dimensions. The horses are wonderful. The instructors are inspired, insightful, incisive, perceiving the tiniest detail, the merest hint. Listening to others having their lessons is a privilege. Having your own lessons is a revelation. And then there are the evenings making new friends, seated in the grand old dining room around the big table laden with delicious Italian food and jugs of local wine. What a joyous place to visit. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone, from the complete beginner, to the instructor. I have watched lessons with both ends of the spectrum and marvelled.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled solo
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Thank bbacg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2009

I have been a regular visitor to Il Paretaio for many years and always feel at home. Whether you are just visiting the area or experiencing the wonderful horses and tuition you can't fail to fall in love with the setting, surroundings and Di Marchi family and staff. A truly magical and charming experience you will want to return time and time again for the wonderful Italian home cooking served round the huge farmhouse table. Exercise of some sort is a must unless you want to return home heavier than you arrived!!

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wilcox1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2009

I spent the month of October at Il Paretaio ( not my first time) and will return in May. The scenery is spectacular, the people warm and welcoming, the food great, the guest house utterly charming. As a solo traveller, I always find new friends at the Il Paretaio weekly welcoming reception. Needless to say, the riding lessons are top notch. But, as a B&B only, the central location is quite condusive to day trips to the famous towns in the area, such as Siena and San Gigmignano.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled solo
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Thank sadiemae212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2009

In November 2009 my husband and me were the very first time at Il Paretaio. The location of the country house in the middle of wine and olive groves is extraordinary. It is absolute silent there – exactly right for relaxing. And if you are interested in culture the location is top: it takes 30min. to Firenze or Siena by car.
The rooms are in typical country house style and very clean with beautiful view of the surrounding. With much engagement and outstanding service no wish is left open and the atmosphere is very warm.
At the country house there are about 30 horses. Hacking in the beautiful landscape is unforgettable. Beside that I had some Dressage lessons with very sensitive and light in the aid horses. Someone would not believe that every week there is sitting another rider on the back of these horses! At that time I was the only riding guest so I had a private lesson at the price of a group lesson. And because Giovanni and Christina are really interested to improve the riding skills of their guests and no one else were waiting for the next lesson the output was the factor for ending the lesson not the time!
Thank you to family De Marchi and their team for the pleasant time we had on their country house. I strongly recommend to everyone – rider and non rider - a stay at Il Paretaio!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bee022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2009

Balm for the soul as we experienced gentle training on wonderful horses, sightseeing deluxe amidst autumn colurs and ancient towns, gourmet Italian cusine and the incredible warmth of Christina and Gianni and their wonderful staff's hospitality. Laughter abounded around the communal table at night as we shared the days experiences and feasted on course after course of delicious food. For riders and their non riding friends, this holiday is a must. Don't miss the fabulous shoe factory shop down the road!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank JemimaNatal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2009

Since 1999 I visited Il Paretaio over twenty times.. Could I say more how I love this place? Nothing beats the romantic view, sensitive horses, excellent cuisine and above all the special owners and staff. Sometimes my family accompanies me. But I also travel alone, when I get too homesic for my second home. In both situations I completely relax. It's the perfect place for horse lovers ànd their loved ones.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled solo
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Thank Ariaen
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: $117 - $172 (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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