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8 Day Discover Tuscany 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


(No availability) 8 Day Discover Tuscany Riding Holiday, Province of Arezzo

Rendola Riding Holiday Centre, Via della Fonte 45, Rendola, Arezzo Province, Tuscany, Italy

Exciting Horse Riding Holiday in Italy

As one of the first farm holiday centres in Tuscany Rendola Riding has long experience in providing enjoyable riding holidays on docile, well-trained horses. With your friendly English-speaking guide you will have marvellous rides walking down Roman roads, cantering along vineyards and clip-clopping through picturesque medieval villages. Fulfil your dream and savour this beautiful countryside the best way - on horseback!

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 192 pounds / 87 kilograms
  • Tack type: English
  • Horse breed: Arab, part-breds, Sicilian

Meet the instructors

Jenny, Eraldo, & Franca
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Highlights

  • 3 half-day rides
  • 2 whole-day rides in groups of not more than six
  • Optional an afternoon riding lesson with your friendly BHS instructor
  • A visit to a local market and a lunch in a gourmet restaurant
  • A visit guided by your host of the ancient city of Arezzo
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, two picnics, and 7 dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Italian
Group size: Maximum of 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

Saturday

Make your own arrangement to reach Florence main station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella). At 17:50, meet either Jenny Bawtree (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 nearby if you need it.

You will be accompanied on a 40-minute train ride to Montevarchi and then on a 10-minute drive to Rendola, the 400-year-old typically Tuscan home of your hosts. Settle in and then enjoy a chat over a glass of Chianti Classico wine. Dinner will be prepared by the jovial cook, Isabella.

Sunday

Have breakfast and about two and a half hours of morning ride with your English-speaking guide, Eraldo, through vineyards, olive groves, and woodland, passing near an 11th-century tower and a 14th-century church. Return to Rendola for a light lunch. After a short siesta and possibly a guided walk to introduce you to the local flora and fauna, join your host for a lesson in Italian pronunciation which will prove useful over the following days (learn, for example, that the “ch” in the Italian word bruschetta is pronounced like a 'k'!). For dinner, you will have freshly made pizzas followed by dessert.

Monday

Have breakfast and about two and a half hours of morning ride in the wooded hills north of Rendola, scattered with charming hamlets and traditional farmhouses. After a light lunch, go to the ancient city of Arezzo and enjoy a guided visit to the fascinating, world-famous frescoes of Piero della Francesca of which your host has made a special study and then to the main square made familiar by the film “Life is Beautiful”. There is a chance to do some shopping. Have dinner and spend the night at Rendola.

Tuesday

Have a day ride and picnic in the Chianti hills south of Rendola (about five hours in the saddle). During your ride, you will pass the medieval village of San Leolino, a lake, and the castles of Cennina and Lupinari. Have dinner and spend the night at Rendola.

Wednesday

This is a free day for you to make your arrangements for sightseeing, perhaps to visit Florence (if she is available, your host will gladly give you a guided tour of the main sights) or the hill towns of Cortona, Assisi, or Orvieto, take your pick. All three are an easy train journey from Montevarchi and you will be driven to and from the station. Alternatively, there could be a wine-tasting visit to Montepulciano and Pienza (minimum of three people), to be paid for on-site. Have dinner and spend the night at Rendola.

Thursday

Have a guided visit to the local town of Montevarchi and its famous weekly market, a good chance to pick up bargains! Have lunch at a gourmet restaurant in Loro Ciuffenna, a medieval village built around a ravine on the other side of the Arno Valley. Drive back to Rendola and have either an afternoon ride or a lesson with the BHS instructor in the school. Have dinner and spend the night at Rendola.

Friday

Have a final day ride (five hours in the saddle) to the top of the Chianti hills (nearly 2,500 feet) behind Rendola. Enjoy a barbecue on the ridge beside a boar hunter's hut and ride back to Rendola via the village and castle of Montegonzi. A farewell dinner will be had and, if desired, a visit to the local pub.

Saturday'

Have your breakfast and then a ten-minute journey to Montevarchi station 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 and inexpensive train from Montevarchi every two hours.

Included excursions

  • A guided visit of the ancient city of Arezzo
  • A visit to the local market and a gourmet lunch in a medieval village

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: homemade 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 drinks are included:

  • Coffee

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

  • 2 whole-day rides with picnic
  • 3 half-day rides
  • An Italian pronunciation lesson with the host
  • A guided visit to a weekly market in Montevarchi
  • A tour to the ancient city of Arezzo
  • Transportation
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 7 dinners with wine and coffee
  • 7 nights’ accommodation

What's not included

  • Expenses incurred on the free day

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 Sol.
  • Leave the motorway at Exit number 25, Valdarno.
  • Drive to the center of Montevarchi.
  • Follow the road signs for Mercatale Valdarno but 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 the train-travel in Italy is pleasant and is 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 Santa Maria Novella Railway Station) takes 40 - 60 minutes, depending on the number of stops. Contact Jenny if you need up-to-date train schedule. The Rendola Riding Ranch 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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