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Italy - Chianti Riding
Berardenga Equestrian Centre is surrounded by meadows, woods, and beautiful gardens with a view of a medieval castle. This is a wonderful destination for competent riders looking to explore the Tuscan countryside, groups of mixed abilities and families. You can arrive and depart on any day and stay as long as you like.
The surrounding area is a delight to explore. Perhaps visit Siena, the best conserved medieval town in Italy; or medieval Montepulciano where you can taste the famous Nobile di Montepulcianoto wine.
When not riding, walking, exploring, or cycling you can relax around the salt-water swimming pool, or in the gardens with the view of the neighbouring castle.
Chosen not by breed but by their ability to give good results in work in the school and in the countryside, there is a wide selection of horses and ponies to suit a broad range of riding abilities and ages. They have the good character necessary for the frequent changes of rider as well as being easy to handle over different terrain. The horses, besides working in the riding school and on trails, always spend some hours in the paddock resting and playing freely.
Riders of all ability are welcome; there is a minimum age limit of six years for children. Beginner and novice riders will find a good selection of horses, and encouraging instructors, whilst more experienced riders can choose to have tuition in flatwork, show jumping and cross country, or alternatively trail rides around the Tuscan countryside with your guide.
Throughout the year the Chianti Riding seven night programme offers ten hours of riding, which can be a combination of instruction and trail rides. Lessons and hacks can be tailored to the individual. Please note that trail rides can be very restricted during July, August, and into the middle of September, due to the heat and horse flies. Additional riding and full day picnic rides can be added at an extra cost, subject to availability. Shorter stays are also possible.
There is a rider weight limit on all rides of 88kg (13st 11lbs).
Riding tack and style is English.
Hard hats are mandatory.
Guests are accommodated in the elegant farmhouse. There are three ensuite rooms, one with a private entrance. Two further rooms share a bathroom and are ideal for family groups or friends travelling together.
For those on a self-catering holiday there are two apartments sleeping from two to eight guests, each with its own outside entrance and sitting area.
The communal living area has sofas and easy chairs for relaxing with a glass of Chianti wine and a large dining table where meals are taken. There are a range of books to browse through and an open fire to warm up a chilly evening. WiFi is available in the main area and most of the rooms.
When not riding or exploring you can relax around the salt-water swimming pool.
You can choose from full board and half board accommodation options (minimum two guests), or the full flexibility of self-catering. There are shops and restaurants locally which your hosts will be happy to recommend to you.
At Berardenga the jams, bread, yogurt and cakes served at breakfast are home made; lunches and dinners are a typical Tuscan menu prepared with the freshest of homegrown or locally sourced preferably organic ingredients.
You can arrive and depart any day subject to availability (minimum stay three nights).
Sample Itinerary for Chianti Riding
Select your preferred arrival date:
|2018||7 nights (10 hours riding) per person sharing|
|Full Board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) (min 2)||£1,355.04|
|Half Board (breakfast basket & dinner) (min 2)||£1,054.18|
INCLUDES Accommodation; meals as per meal plan (including wine with meals); 10 hours riding.
Non-rider discounts are available.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £238.42 If you are willing to share, this will be refunded if we find you a sharer.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Meals (unless on full board); drinks; airport transfers; additional riding.
NEAREST AIRPORT Florence or Pisa.
TRANSFERS We recommend a hire car. Alternatively we can arrange private transfers from Florence airport (c.€130) or Pisa airport (c.€220) per vehicle each way (up to 3 people) payable locally.
Based on the flanks of the Chianti hills of the unspoiled region between Florence and Siena in Tuscany; Siena is just 20km away and Florence 70km.
Tuscany has a mild climate. The hottest months are June to September when the evenings are warm.
From March to April and October to November the days should still be warm with day, but evenings in spring and autumn can be cool so be sure to take warm clothes that can be layered.
Rain is possible at any time of year but less likely in summer. Winds can be strong in the hills.
They were lovely hosts, proving a magical experience for my family, with (several) horses to suit each of us. We were of mixed ability and age (from eventer to happy hacker) and all had a fantastic time.
Elizabeth ,KinrossOverall rating: 5/5
This is a lovely holiday for all the family and a great way to improve your riding skills.
A visit to Siena is a must whilst you are in the area.