Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Experience Level

Medieval Tuscany

2 star rating   19 May 2018

Best with the most experienced guide (Marco). Had trouble with a gallop in terrain with very bad soil, and a new guide (Kirstin) did not stop before riders on the low horses shouted. It's not ok to write in the material that 'tufo' sand provides excellent footing, because it does absolutely not when it's raining / has been raining. It was incredible wet and slippery soil we rode in, and the horses almost skated around, up/down the hills. We were rather unfortunate with the weather, it happens, but you should rather write that in the rainy weather the routes are quite impassable and that there is not much chance of trot and gallop, if wet terrain in your information material.
Medieval Tuscany may not be the best titel for the ride, it was not so varied (maybe again because of the weather). We became well acquainted with the farmer trails, and great views over the vineyards, but medieval fortresses we definitely saw none of, only some past due recent buildings. Name the ride 'around Tuscany, riding in hilly terrain in vineyards and olive groves', then it fits well with what we have experienced. 😀
It is also stated in the material that you end the week's ride with local drinks overlooking the Hills. We did not do that at all, the ride just finish, pay gratuity and then goodbye.
Overall it was a good trip with lovely horses. The weather is never guaranteed, but badly it seems that it should only rain for 3 days, so the trails in both vineyards and forests were a total wet and slippery, which reduced the possibilities for both trot and canters throughout the week.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
4 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
3 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
3 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
3 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
2 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

Buffet breakfast: reasonable but not ok that the same cake is put on the table 4 days in a row.
Sandwich from shop very dry and boring.
Dinner: Menu ok, not so varied. Salad bar, even all days, desserts again recycling from earlier evenings and it's not that delicious.
Generally, not the great experience, and not ok, to save leftovers, and serve them the following day.
Do not mention the proud Italian cuisine, because it does not match the facts

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
4 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

No need to give you information about horse wishes, food, weight, health, etc., because it has not been recived by the ride. Should I fill in documents again, so waste of everybodys time. They did not know anything about the wishes we had provided from home.
Not all is negative, because we had the most beautiful horses, a skilled and competent guide (Marco), and 3 days of reasonable weather - which of course you can not do anything about.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

Absolutely a beautiful area with beautiful hilly terrain, which provides possibilities for many wonderful experiences with the horses, which are incredibly safe on the legs.
Nice and very authentic surroundings we were accommodated in.
Several things did not work in our apartment, including nightstand lights, televisions and shutters for the windows, but we chosed not to comment on it.
Helpful staff in the restaurant. It would be great if opening hours were adjusted so we had the opportunity to use the shop and bar after riding.
Make guests aware that riding will be on a completely slippery basis if there is rainy/wet weather.
It was my first visit to Tuscany and nature is absolutely amazing, and so definitely a place I would like to visit again.
We had nice experiences with the group, the horses, and not least our guide Marco, who deserves great praise for his commitment, professionalism and, not least, the will to show us the best of Tuscany, under the conditions that was at your stay.