It seems that our winter closure has gone on forever.
Castellare closed last year in November, and we are finally reopening to the public on Friday.
The whole resort is a hub of excitement, with the team of builders hurrying to finish up the restaurant, apartments, and Spa renovations.
The farrier was here this morning to shoe the horses required this month. We have our first riders arriving on Saturday, and we are busy all month with back to back riding programs.
Last week Alessio and Lhoussain spent days working on the estate trails, fixing the washed out bridges, filling in holes in the trail, and clearing fallen trees.
I took Brownie out on Friday to Castelfalfi, and we also found a few hairy spots down in the Carfolo park. Brownie started the ride much like any young horse that hasnt done much all winter..a little insecure and wanting to play.. but after three hours of hard work, he was back to his usual relaxed and calm self.
This year we have the additions of Scout and Boy (yes, they belonged to a married couple.. hence the names). Both horses were exported from a well known Argentinian stud to Italy a few years ago, and are wonderful, surefooted horses for trail riding.
Unfortunately the last few days have not been great weather wise – though Friday is set to clear, and next week should be lovely and sunny for our guests.
Below is a great little article that came out recently in a new equine mag in the Uk. ‘Nagmag’
One of the similarities between horses and humans is the desire to be part of a group. For both our children and our horses, this desire to be part of a community supports feelings of safety and connection.
Our horses are specially selected for their friendly and social personalities. At Castellare di Tonda children can experience safe and successful interaction with these magical creatures, watched by professional instructors.
Motor skills are developed as children learn to ride, groom and tack up their horses. Our covered tondino and arena offersa safe and secure environment where experienced instructors are always close at hand as new skills are learned. As children learn the skills required to prepare and ride a horse, their own self-confidence increases which in turn transforms into a willingness to learn skills in other areas of life.
Learning to ride at Castellare is not a scary experience, but rather an interesting and rewarding one.
Just to give you an idea why our reining lessons are so popular…
After a fairly wet February, we were treated with spectacular weather this weekend, just in time for Carnevale.
The horses were all out and enjoying the sun too, enjoying respite from what has seemed to be one of the wettest months experienced in years. This year the warm, wet weather has left the countryside green and lush, and the first spring blossoms and daffodils are filling the hills with color.
Below Dali expresses what he thinks about being stuck inside a box the past three days – I didn’t notice his tongue until after the photo was taken :)
The restaurant and outdoor terrace at Castellare di Tonda is the hub of the estate during the summer. It is here that breakfast is served every morning, and where dinner is served every night.
Once a week there is live music or a dj in the summer season, and our guests can sit outside and enjoy the balmy weather and beautiful view of the medieval church and surrounding Tuscan countryside.
The restaurant also organizes cooking classes in the kitchen once a week, where guests can learn some of the culinary secrets of our local chefs.
This is the place to meet for a cold beer or wine after a days riding, and where we all sit down for dinner through the evening.
Pietrafitta is one of the more isolated farmhouses, located very close to the litle village of Sughera, and overlooking the horses 20 acre turnout field, our lake, and the medieval village of Tonda. The stone building has been divided into 6 superior style apartments and is furnished in a contemporary-style with natural, warm Tuscan tones. This is the perfect villa for families or groups looking for private outdoor space and views, or even for those looking for a picturesque wedding cerimony. This is always one of the first farmhouses to book up, so we reccommmend getting in quick if you would like to stay in this very beautiful villa.
The Castellare di Tonda setup is different to many other smaller agriturismi, and can seem confusing on the website.
Rather than having simply one renovated farmhouse, we have 12. Each farmhouse has been divided into apartments, and since not all of the architects were the same, each farmhouse is particular in its own way.
The houses are all part of the historic farm that surrounds the village and medieval castle of Tonda. Some of the houses are located near the Castellare reception and restaurant, whereas others require a car (or bike) to get back and forth from the main hub.
Since the purpose of renting a holiday appartment in the Tuscan countryside is often more about relaxation and enjoying the rural tranquility of the area, many clients actively search for the more isolated farmhouses. Others, looking to base themselves near the horses or the reception, stay in the farmhouses that are a little busier.
Each farmhouse has its own private swimming pool, and is located near a tennis court.
Below is the stunning San Nicola, located near the old village of Tonda and doted with spectacular views and a very private swimming pool.