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5 Day A Taste of Tuscany Horse Riding Holiday, Province of Arezzo
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


Fabulous Horse Riding Holiday in Italy

If riding through the Tuscan countryside sounds like your perfect dream come to Rendola Riding. Here you will fall in love with this rustic paradise where you can ride, walk, sightsee or simply relax with a glass of local wine. Spend an idyllic holiday riding docile and well-trained horses in the Chianti hills and the Arno valley.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 187 pounds / 85 kilograms
  • Tack type: English
  • Horse breed: Arab, part-breds, Sicilian

Meet the instructors

Jenny, Eraldo, & Franca
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Highlights

  • Two half-days and one whole day in the saddle
  • Discover the beauty of Tuscany region on horseback
  • Guided visit to the ancient city of Arezzo
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 4 nights’ accommodation
  • Excellent horses

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


2 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Italian
Group size: 2-6 participants
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Accommodation

Rendola Riding holiday centre is not a luxurious villa nor a country house hotel, but a farmhouse which is a family home with an informal and friendly atmosphere. Jenny Bawtree, the founder of the riding-centre, has lived there for many years, while her son Nicholas makes frequent visits, so the guests become their friends and often come back time and time again.

The house is at the centre of a small organic farm with over three hundred olive-trees which supply all the extra-virgin olive oil used in the kitchen. Covered with wisteria, jasmine, and virginia creeper, it is very picturesque and has a wonderful view of the Arno valley and the mountain range beyond it. It has the characteristics typical of a seventeenth-century farmhouse (actually, parts of it may be older), with its small tower, arches, outside staircase and a balcony adorned with geraniums, while inside the floors are of terracotta and the ceilings have oak or chestnut beams.

Rendola Riding has six bedrooms for guests, each with its own bathroom. The rooms have double bed or twin beds. They are mostly on the small side, but cheerful and pretty, with pictures on the wall and a shelf full of books. In each bedroom there is an album packed with photographs and information about local places of interest. In the evenings the guests can gather in the comfortable sitting room to read, chat, enjoy a glass of local wine and, when the weather is cool, enjoy the log fire.

If you wake up early in the morning and look out of the window, you will see horses grazing peacefully among the olives in front of the house. You will hear birdsong (in spring nightingales sing both night and day) and smell, the delicate perfume of wisteria and jasmine. It truly is a Tuscan paradise.

Program

Day 1

Go to the main railway station of Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella) and at 17:50, meet your host, Jenny (middle-aged, white-haired, and wearing a red Rendola shirt), or her son, Nicholas (tall, dark, and handsome), outside the Feltrinelli bookshop and snack bar, opposite platform 14. There is a luggage depot further up that platform if you need it.

After a forty-minute train journey to Montevarchi, take a ten-minute drive in a minivan to Rendola, the 400-year-old typically Tuscan home of your host. Settle in and then enjoy a chat and a glass of Chianti Classico with your host, either in the sitting room or outside the farmhouse with its panoramic views. Have dinner and overnight at Rendola.

Day 2

A morning ride takes you through vineyards, olive groves, and woodland, passing a 14th-century church and an 18th-century manor house beneath the medieval tower of Galatrona. After lunch, a light-hearted lesson in the pronunciation of Italian and/or an hour’s guided walk in the woods and fields to learn about the trees and flowers you will see on your rides, get back for a cuppa and later dinner cooked by the jovial Isabella.

Day 3

The morning ride takes you through charming hamlets in unspoiled countryside and also introduces you to a "casa leopoldina". After lunch, a short trip by train to the ancient city of Arezzo and a visit, guided by Jenny, of some of its most notable sights, including the frescoes of Piero della Francesca. There will be an opportunity to shop. Have your dinner at Rendola.

Day 4

Ride to the tower of Galatrona and along the ridge with fabulous views to the castle of Cennina. Descend to a lake and have a luxurious picnic either there or in the woods nearby. Ride near the castle of Lupinari and proceed with frequent canters towards Rendola. Have a farewell dinner and, if desired, a visit to the local pub.

Day 5

Have breakfast, either through your own arrangements to leave (departure is usually by 10 a.m.), or a ten-minute drive to Montevarchi to meet the train back to Florence. Make your own arrangements for your onward journey from Florence. For those going to Rome, there is a direct train from Montevarchi.

Included excursions

You will enjoy a short trip by train to the ancient city of Arezzo and a visit guided by Jenny of some of its most notable sights, including the frescoes of Piero della Francesca.

Instructors

Jenny Bawtree

Eraldo Tuveri

Franca Filippelli

Location

This horse riding experience takes place in Tuscany, Italy.

Distances

  • The village of Mercatale Valdarno with its bars, food shops, chemist's, and bank - 2 kilometers
  • The town of Montevarchi with all the above, but also station, museums and a weekly market - 6 kilometers
  • Florence (50 kilometers away) and Siena (48 kilometers away) need no introduction, but the nearest art-city, Arezzo, (30 kilometers away), is full of treasures, too.

Food

TUSCAN COOKING

At Rendola Riding you will enjoy delicious Tuscan cooking prepared usually by Franca but sometimes by Jenny. Here are just a few of the dishes, which cannot all be translated as there is no English equivalent:

  • porcini mushroom crêpes
  • Aretine crostini
  • summer spaghetti
  • risotto al Chianti
  • arista (a special cut of pork, ask about the origin of the word!) with roast potatoes cooked with rosemary
  • rabbit with juniper berries
  • Franca's specialities: home-made tiramisu, panna cotta with wild berries and cantuccini, a Tuscan almond biscuit served with vinsanto, a Tuscan liqueur. Of course, you can drink Chianti wine with the meals.

Sometimes the hosts invite you to come with them to dine at 'L'Osteria di Rendola' a short walk from the farmhouse, a beautiful restaurant run by Franca, another Franca, but equally jovial!

Rendola Riding does serve meat and fish with most meals but usually they follow a Mediterranean diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, so they can easily cater for vegetarians.

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 days riding with guiding in English
  • Guided visit to Arezzo
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 4 nights’ accommodation

How to get there

Driving direction from Milan

  • Get on to the main motorway that runs down the whole peninsula from Milan to the South, the “Autostrada del Sole”.
  • Leave the motorway at Exit number 25, Valdarno.
  • Drive to the center of Montevarchi, then follow road signs for Mercatale Valdarno.
  • Before you get there, turn right towards the little village of Rendola (one kilometer), where you will see the signboard on the left.
  • The center is 200 meters from the village.

Arrival by train

Please note that train-travel in Italy is pleasant and inexpensive as long as you avoid the Eurostar and Freccia Rossa trains. Jenny advises you not to travel first-class, which is double the price with no real advantage. Remember to stamp the date on your ticket before leaving the station (there are little machines for this purpose at the head of the platform).

The local station is Montevarchi-Terranuova. It is on the line between Florence and Arezzo and is only ten minutes from Rendola. All local and regional trains stop there, including trains travelling northwards from Rome. The journey from Florence central station (Firenze SMN) takes 40 up to 60 minutes, depending on the number of stops. The Rendola minivan can pick you up at the back of the station (Via Sugherella).

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 16.94% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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