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Fabulous Horse Riding Holiday Italy

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

Key information

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

Meet the instructors

Jenny, Eraldo, & Franca
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  • 5 days of riding
  • Walk on Pratomagno mountain
  • Visit to a cheese farm and a winery with Eraldo
  • Ride through woods on Pietro trail and hills
  • An excellent horse suitable for you
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Intermediate


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Italian
Group size: 2-6 participants
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Rendola Riding holiday center 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 center, 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 center 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 beds 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.



Own arrangements to reach Florence main station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella). At 5:50 p.m., 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 opposite platform 14. There is a luggage depot further up if you need it.

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


A two-and-a-half-hour ride with Eraldo, your English-speaking guide, great fun to ride with. After a light lunch, an informal talk over coffee with Jenny about Pietro, a peasant farmer, and his traditional Tuscan cooking. You will have received a free copy of his cookbook. Then a stroll through the woods on the Pietro trail and back to Rendola for dinner.


A two-hour ride with Eraldo. After a light lunch, a visit to Pratomagno, the mountain (1,591 meters) on the other side of the Arno valley, first to see the Romanesque church of Gropina, and then a visit to the medieval town of Loro Ciuffenna for icecream. Dinner at Rendola.

Saturday - Free day

You can visit Cortona, Assisi, or Orvieto, all reachable by train. Alternatively, a guided visit to Florence. Dinner at a local osteria.


Day ride in the Chianti hills guided by Eraldo, with picnic lunch. Dinner at Rendola.


Two and a half hour ride with Eraldo and after a light lunch, an excursion to a cheese farm and a winery. Dinner at Rendola.


A day ride with Eraldo or a trip with Jenny to a place of your choice (Arezzo, Lucca, or Cortona). Transport to be paid for on-site. Dinner at Rendola.


Departure after breakfast.

Included excursions

  • A guided walk on Pratomagno, the mountain on the other side of the valley
  • A visit to a cheese farm and a winery


Jenny Bawtree

Eraldo Tuveri

Franca Filippelli


This horse riding experience takes place in Tuscany, Italy.


  • Village of Mercatale Valdarno, 2 kilometers
  • Town of Montevarchi, 6 kilometers
  • Arezzo city, 30 kilometers
  • Siena, 48 kilometers
  • Florence, 50 kilometers


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 specialties: home-made tiramisu, pannacotta 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 to vegetarians.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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

  • 5 days of riding
  • 1 visit to Pratomagno
  • 1 excursion with Eraldo to a cheese farm and a winery
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with wine and coffee (except lunch on a free day)

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Expenses incurred on a 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 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 traveling 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.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants


Arrival: Wednesday September 14, 2022
Departure: Wednesday September 21, 2022

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