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“There must be a reason why people keep coming back...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Il Paretaio

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Il Paretaio
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Strada delle Ginestre, 12, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Nesodden Municipality, Norway
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“There must be a reason why people keep coming back...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

There must be a reason why people keep coming back. I have been to Il Paretaio 12 times so far, but there are others who have come, and come again more than 2o times!
The lovely rooms, beatiful view and Tuscan homecooking are good reasons to come here, but to me IL Paretaio is first of all a riding centre.We scandinavians tend to use too strong aids, but after a week at Il Paretaio you return home as softer rider. Lessons with perhaps only two riders meen you get a lot of attention.Relaxation and softnes is very much emphasized. The horses are lovingly kept, and you get a horse that suits your ability, - old or youg, novice or experienced rider! I have come with friends who tell me that they nerver learned so much in one week. When you come back Cristina and Gianni remember how you rode last time, even many years later!
A holiday with a meaning!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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193 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

Good food and wine, good riding if you want to think and understand the lightness in aids, good people. My favourite of the riding centres I've visited! I also recommend to go to wine tasting trip, either ride there of for non-riders, by car. Ricardo's wines and food je serves with them are wotrh of every penny. You'll miss them :)

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

From the first contact with the Di Marchi family, life in Italy became an absolute pleasure. The whole experience at Il Paretaio was positive and uplifting. As an Equestrian centre it is world renowned. We were two non horse riding visitors and were shown such a warm welcome by the Owners and all the staff. The dining experience was a memory in itself as we sat outside overlooking the hills of Tuscany and shared many stories with the guests. Do not hesitate to visit Il Paretaio for the true meaning of peace and tranquility. It was hard to leave. Thank you Gianni and Cristina.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Since 1999 I visited this place once or twice a year. It's the combination of family atmosphere, sensitive horses, very experienced trainers, delicious cuisine and perfect location that make this place so wonderful. I enjoy the attention you get during your lesson (only 2-3 people at the same time) and the classical dressage way of teaching.

Whether you are traveling on your own, with your partner or with your family, you sure will have a great time. My husband knows how much this place means to me, because he asked me there... to marry him!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Zurich, Switzerland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

For everyone the right horse, from a 3 year old beginner to a passionate Dressage rider who loves the lightness of the classical dressage education. Combined with the great view of the tuscany and the tasty food we are enjoying our stay everytime.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

Definitely one of the Classical Dressage Riding Centres I will continue to visit for many years to come. I have been going to il Paretaio since 2004 because it is certainly one of the best riding centres to ride beautiful and sensitively schooled horses.

It is heaven to be riding in the arena on the highest point of the 18 acre property with the beauty of the Tuscan hills surrounding you and looking down onto these hills with vineyards and olive groves. With the shade along the sides of the arena from the pine trees, you don't realise the heat so much or then, jump into the swimming pool after your riding lesson!

The whole venue remains as charming as always with friendly staff who speak very good English and Italian of course. It is always great to return and have your favourite dish served again at the communal table which seats 32 guests. And your favourite pudding or those baked fruit and ricotta tarts! What a jolly crowd at the dinner table each night discussing their riding lessons, where they drove to during the day for sight seeing and which horse they might be riding the following day.

And the horses, you get to ride your favourite horses again and feel your improvement with each lesson you have (2 lessons a day is my suggestion, group or private lessons). The owners Gianni and Cristina are such knowledgeable instructors and so is Jenny a B.H.S. instructor who has been teaching there for 8 years. Gianni and Cristina's training at the Portuguese Stud in Portugal with Pedro de Almeida, a direct student of Nuno Oliveira, is very clear in their whole approach to riding in the classical way. The Lusitanos as well as other breeds of horses are very sensitively schooled and it is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to ride such well trained horses.

Now il Paretaio also offers jumping lessons taught by the owner's son who is a showjumper. Lungeing lessons are so valuable and there are very few riding centres who take the time and who have the horses to teach riders a lunge lesson, do make use of this opportunity, it improves your position and seat tremendously.

Fit in a ride out or two amongst the olive groves and vineyards during your stay, a wine tasting can be added at destination and then ride back to il Paretaio feeling very calm and tranquil.

I could go back there straight away again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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NYC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

This past July I made my 4th visit to Il Paretaio, and after another great week, I'm already looking forward to going again next year. I love the riding lessons. The horses are well-cared for and lovely to ride. Cristina, Gianni and Jenny are thoughtful, master trainers. After each visit I go home with some new insight or experience that advances my riding. Dinners are served family-style and the good food and wine create a warm, welcoming atmosphere, with lively conversation. I can't really say enough about the setting. Il Paretaio is in the heart of Tuscany and everywhere you look, it's just stunning. The pool offered a much-needed respite from the heat this summer. The guesthouse and grounds are beautiful. It's so easy to relax and enjoy the ease and quiet and beauty of the area. And there are lovely towns to visit just a short bus ride away. Like myself, many of the guests are repeat visitors who come again and again to enjoy the beauty, the horses, and the camaraderie.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Barberino Val d'Elsa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Barberino Val d'Elsa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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