Italy - Classical Dressage, Tuscany
Some of the best Classical Dressage training in Europe!


We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £1,315 or €1,515

Horse Riding Holidays Italy – Classical Dressage, Tuscany

Classical Dressage: Prices 2024

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Rates are quoted per person sharing.

  • Classical Dressage for Beginners – Includes 10 Lessons
    • GBP: 1,315
    • EUR: 1,545
    per person sharing
  • Classical Dressage Training – Includes 10 lessons 
    • GBP: 1,450
    • EUR: 1,704
    per person sharing
  • Groundwork, Horsemanship & Bodywork – 3 lessons
    • GBP: 110
    • EUR: 129
    per person can be added to the above programs
  • Single Supplement $236
    • GBP: 185
    • EUR: 217
    per week
  • SHORT BREAKS available on request
  • Yoga available on request
  • CHILDRENS RIDING PROGRAMME available on request
  • Children 0-5 yrs / Free of Charge
  • Children 5 – 14 years / Discounts are offered if children share with adult, please enquire at time of booking

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All the riding & half board accommodation.

Excluded – Flights, transfers, tips, lunches, drinks and Tourism Tax (approx. €1.50 per person, per day), Wine Tasting.

Classical Dressage: Dates 2024

Open 15th March – 17th November & over NYE, 26th December 2024 – 6 January 2025

Getting There
International flight to Florence or Pisa.

We recommend hiring a car to give you the freedom to tour this beautiful region, but we can also easily arrange a private transfer from various places, see list below.
Florence airport – €100 each way
Pisa airport – €170 each way
Prices based on per car each way up to 4 passengers.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.


A fantastic horse-riding holiday in Italy, which combines horse riding through the beautiful Tuscan countryside with some of the best and most empathetic, classical dressage training in Europe. Your hosts are Pietro and his partner who has been classically trained in dressage and show jumping and competed for many years. Situated in the heart of Chianti country, this Classical Dressage holiday offers a wonderfully flexible agenda, with lessons for every level and a great base for you to go out on wine and olive tasting trips to visiting mediaeval villages nearby, or simply hanging out at the pool after a morning’s riding lesson.

Of course, you are in Italy, so the food is worth a mention… dinner during your Classical Dressage holiday is a social event and served at a long table at the heart of your Tuscan Villa, where you are joined by other guests. The meal is 4 courses, and beautifully cooked. They use the freshest of ingredients, which is locally sourced, served with home baked bread and washed down with good Chianti wine. Always a perfect way to end a perfect day.


Classical Dressage: Horses – Lusitanos, Arabs, Anglo-Arabs, Sella Italiano, Holsteiner, KWPN, Maremmano, Merens & Children’s Ponies.

Classical Dressage: Level of Riding & Pace – Beginner to Intermediate. Groups are organised so that similar levels of riders are together. Lesson sizes are kept small, so that each guest gets individual attention (expect 3-4 people being taught at any one time).

Classical Dressage: Tack – English.

Classical Dressage: Weight Restriction – 14 stone / 90 kg / 198 lbs.

Classical Dressage: Group Size – Maximum 4.


During your Classical Dressage holiday, you will stay at Il Paretaio – a typical Tuscan 18th century, country villa, simply & tastefully furnished in an Italian country house style, all rooms ensuite. In addition to the main house there are 2 lovely apartments which suits families with young children. There’s also a lovely outdoor swimming pool with plenty of lounging areas.

As mentioned before on this Classical Dressage holiday, the food is simply delicious – breakfasts are light and continental, fresh bread, cheese, hams and preserves. Lunch can be taken at the villa if pre ordered the day before, however most guests take this time to get off the yard and visit a nearby town and have lunch. Dinner is a 3-course event, and very sociable. Everyone sits down together at one long table, catching up with each other and talking about the day’s events – it’s a very relaxed, enjoyable affair and can be accompanied with some really great local wines.

Horse Riding Holidays like our Classical Dressage Tuscany, are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Italy.

Please Ask About

Il Paretaio is a very good base for touring this area of Tuscany as many cultural attractions are close by and include Florence, Siena, Colle Val d’Elsa, San Gimignano, Certaldo, Greve in Chianti, Pisa, Pienza, Volterra and Lucca.

In general, the Classical Dressage riding programmes will leave you with plenty of time to tour the area, lots of the places mentioned are less than a half hour car drive away from the villa.

There are also lots of things for non-riding partners to do, whilst their other half ride:

  • relaxing by the swimming pool (open from April to October)
  • private yoga lessons can be arranged just ask us at time of booking, its a great option
  • tennis facilities within 10 km
  • golf facilities in Florence, Castelfalfi or Siena
  • exploring the Tuscan countryside by bicycle
  • join an art seminar, a ceramic course or a cooking class
  • learn Italian (our teacher comes to the farm)


Classical Dressage: The Horse Riding

You will find a small stable of 7 well-trained horses (Lusitanos, Anglo-arabs, Berber, Arabs, English Thoroughbred and Italian horses) as this special place in the Tuscan countryside. The horses are carefully selected for you to ride according to the skills. Beginners can learn riding from the very first steps. Post-beginners can extend their knowledge and skill by participating in lessons or riding out.

The quality of tuition is very high, and instructors and guides are BHS, GEA, FISE UISP qualified. Riding lessons are taken in one of the two training arenas and are in English. The groups are a maximum of 4 riders.

Classical Dressage: The Instructors

Both Giovanni and Cristina De Marchi were born with a very strong passion for horses. Giovanni started to ride when he was just 10 and his first teacher was so impressed by his pupil’s passion that he personally used to go to pick him up from the train station and drive him to the riding school.

Cristina, started as a child to train (or at least try to train) any animal available ranging from hamsters, cats, dogs and even crickets, making them do show jumping! She inherited her passion for horses and horseback riding from her grandmother, who herself inherited the passion from the family.

The couple met very young and 18 years ago they decided to dedicate their lives to their passion for the equestrian art. They moved from Milan to Tuscany to one of the most beautiful spots in the Chianti area where they founded the equestrian riding centre – Il Paretaio.

Their brilliant career as trainers started in Milan when they encountered a French master and later, Albert Moyerson, a very reputable horseman and pupil for many years of the great Nuno Oliveira. At Albert Moyerson’s centre they had the chance to meet the great Master, Louis Valenca, one of the chief riders in the Portuguese Equestrian School.

Both Giovanni and Cristina started to study with this Master at his centre Leiziria Grande. After some time they were introduced to the technical director of the National Stud in Portugal, Mr Pedro de Almeida, with whom they studied for many years, assisting with the training of the horses at the National Stud.

Pedro De Almeida, who was also a pupil of Nuno Oliveira, is still their main reference Master. Following the classical principles and equitation with an Oliveiran approach, Giovanni and Cristina were able to create a little corner of paradise, with 7 horses and 10 rooms for their pupils. At Il Paretaio, you can feel a sense of harmony, beauty and balance wherever you turn.

Their son Pietro De Marchi has now joined them in their quest for dressage excellence. He started riding as a child and soon started attending lessons at the Federazione Italiana and the prestigious British Horse Society, gaining the titles of level 1 FISE.-approved instructor and BHSAI from the B.H.S. He has pursued his competitive career at the same time, first in dressage and then in jumping, benefiting from the teaching of some of the best Italian and foreign riders. His key awards include Gold at the Regional Dressage Championships, Silver at the Italian Youth Jumping Championships and Silver at the Italian Jumping Championships, in the Junior classification, as well as many more other classifications and wins in national competitions and two international wins. He is currently operating as trainer in the UK and comes for regular clinics to Il Paretaio.

Classical Dressage at Il Paretaio

This training method is based on suppling and loosening up the horse to achieve elasticity and lightness in the use of the aids. It follows the very traditional principles of classical riding, but which are also practised by riders competing in modern dressage. When Cristina & Giovanni teach, they feel they are physically and emotionally riding with the pupil.

Courses here range from riders just starting out in dressage as well as for experienced dressage enthusiasts. Weekly courses run throughout the year, and it is possible to partake with or without your own horse. With the emphasis on correct basic schoolwork, riders are also encouraged to work on exercises in the lateral movements, transitions, canter and counter-canter, as well as work from the ground. For very advanced levels, sometimes riders also have the possibility to work on more advanced movements.

It is also possible to arrange 3-day clinics for individual lessons from Crtistina & Giovanni in your own country – they travel across Europe teaching.

Classical Dressage: Children’s Programme

Children from the age of 2 can learn to ride here. In addition, there are fun vaulting lessons, plus the chance to compete in small competitions and dressage displays.


Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

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