Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   18 May 2019

Earl Grey who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. A Non-rider's Perspective | A Non-rider's Perspective.

The Accommodation

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4 star rating
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Before Your Holiday

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I accompanied my wife on this holiday, choosing the non-riding option. For other's thinking of doing the same thing it's definitely worth it. On a couple of days of the week I took the option to join the handyman who transported the lunchtime picnic out to meet the riders, which gave you a much better feel of where they were riding.

The resort is ideally placed between Pisa, Florence and Sienna for sightseeing, but you really need a hire car to be able to take full advantage of the wonderful scenery. I enjoy photography, so I was particularly keen to see the morning mists and rolling countryside. The area doesn't disappoint, though it is a couple of hours driving north of the Belvedere area and some of the iconic locations of images you will have undoubtedly seen in photographs. I loved San Gimignano about half an hour's drive of the farmhouse we were staying in. Well worth a visit - don't forget to check out the world's best ice cream shop!

Around the farmhouse you have your own private pool (unheated). It's a really relaxing location, surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. There's plenty of options for walking or cycling (though watch out for those hills). In the evening you get together for an evening meal in the restaurant where you hear all of the stories of the day's riding. I enjoyed watching the riders learn 'western style' riding, which apparently is almost opposite to english style in controlling the horse. We were also entertained by demonstrations of this style of riding by the trainers. Amazing.

The week flew by, despite being by myself on some days. I'd have no hesitation to recommend the holiday if you have a riding mad partner but don't ride yourself.

[ITS Comment: Thank you very much for taking the time to write this feedback, it's so useful to have a non-riders perspecive and we are so pleased you enjoyed your holiday :-)]