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“Superb”
Review of Il Paretaio

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Il Paretaio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 22, 2013

My lessons here, including lessons on the lunge, were the best riding instruction I have ever received. My instructors understood perfectly what each horse and rider needed, and carried an array of arrows in their quiver to come up with the best approach to improve each individual. From Cristina, I finally have a taste of what is meant by Classical Dressage and how it must infuse every aspect of one's approach to the horse.
The rooms are beautiful and comfortable. The evening meals, held family style at a long table, are outstanding -- fresh, sophisticated, and delicious -- and the other guests were delightful company and great horse lovers from all over Europe.
The location is ideal. My husband enjoyed a week of cycling through challenging and endlessly entertaining countryside.
The facility is well-staffed with friendly and helpful people, and the atmosphere is gracious and fun.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dinerlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 - 91 of 282 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2013

It was our sixth stay at Il Paretaio at Easter this year and our two sons would like to go back right away. I have to add that we usually don't return to places - Il Paretaio is an exception. Why is this so? First of all it is located beautifully in the Tuscan countryside - we love the old farm house, its garden and the view over the hills. As this was our first visit during the cold season we experienced the big dining room upstairs with a fire on in the fireplace all the time. This was very comfortable. The riding lessons were excellent - all of them. It's a very special instruction in small groups of up to three riders and it enables everyone to have these rare moments of "enlightenment" on horse back. The owners Cristina and Gianni of course have made all this possible. It's all based on their philosophy of horse riding and they are wonderful instructors very much supported by Jenny whose lessons we also enjoyed. Our sons had the pleasure to be partly instructed by Pietro - they really liked his creative activities and exercises and learned a lot. We like the rooms for their simplicity and style and we find the food delicious. The long dinners in the evening, in good company with other guests from many different places are very special too and are a great way of communicating across cultures. For those who are non-riders - there is a lot to see and do with San Gimignano only 15 minutes away, Certaldo, Siena, Florence... For those like us who ride and take two lessons a day there is little time (and energy) left after the riding. So now we already look forward to our next stay at Il Paretaio on 2014.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank sabine k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We went as part of our honey moon there in March. It was our first time in Il Paretaio but I am sure we will be back. What a lovely place! Weather were not brilliant and we had flu when we arrived but Cristina and Giovanni made our time so enjoyable. Horses are well looked after and very well trained, the house is so special with that big dining room with very warm fire place, food is fantastic! Oh, I miss this place so much already!

Room Tip: We stayed in the top floor room with fantastic views.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank bonanza11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We visited Il Paretaio in October last year and were truly satisfied with what we found! Beautiful countryside, incredible sunsets and great company. I had lessons every morning and then spent the afternoons visiting the area, everything is in such easy reach. The lessons were incredible, a high level of sensitivity from all the horses I rode and from the instructors.
Even though my Boyfriend is a non rider he is just as enthusiastic as I am, the fabulous food is very convincing! We will most definitely be back.

Room Tip: The robinia room had a fantastic light in the morning
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank mgjb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Il Paretaio is a magical place, whether you are riding the beautiful horses under excellent instruction, swimming in the pool, or watching the sun go down with a cold beer!
Dinner all together is friendly and fattening, and is somewhere that non riding partners are welcomed. I am one of many returning guests since my first visit in 2000.
Also well placed for visiting the areas many ancient towns, as well as Florence and Sienna.

Roll on my 2013 visit.

Room Tip: Hire a car so you can get out and about.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sheila H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I would definitely return. The accommodations are such an experience. Family style dining, riding, lessons, picturesque backgrounds this place has it all! I would recommend renting a car so that you are not stuck at the farm house during your off hours. I think this is not a bad choice for a complete visit it Italy. You are close e ought to experience surrounding cities with the maximum drive to Rome is 1.5 - 2 hours. Not bad for sights

Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
1  Thank CaliCoKid18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Ritva070
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
Location: 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 32 Specialty Lodging in Barberino Val d'Elsa
Price Range: $88 - $130 (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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