Monthly Archives: February 2014

Reining Lesson at Castellare di Tonda

Just to give you an idea why our reining lessons are so popular…

Sunny days at Castellare di Tonda

IMAG0282After 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 🙂



Restaurant and nightlife at Castellare di Tonda


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.

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Our Twelve Farmsteads: Pietrafitta

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.


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Our farmhouses. San Nicola

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.




Riding through Pinocchio’s home turf


Carlo Collodi, the author of Pinocchio, was a Florentine. The most recent adaption of his famous children’s book was filmed in his own home region of Tuscany, in Castelfalfi and San Vivaldo; both areas that we ride through on our day trips.

Within only a couple of hours riding from Tonda,lie the remains of the set for the film Pinocchio. This is one of our nicest and longest day rides. 

Set among the wheat fields is the house of Geppetto.

Further around is the castle and village (Castelfalfi),  the lake, the fairy’s house and even the ‘sea’ where the whale was swimming (see the below pictures of Gepetto’s house and the lake).

The riding through here is straight out of a film set, and there are not many places in the world where you can enjoy such extreme beauty mixed with exciting and interesting riding. Just after Gepetto’s house is a long canter on a dirt road, where the horses can literally just go. The road winds up a hill, and stops at a panoramic ruin with 360 degree views all around. On the path down towards Ghizzano, we often have seen wild boar. There is a nice cool stream for the horses to drink from, and then we stop in an olive grove for lunch while the horses graze tied to tree’s.

This ride is Tuscany at its finest.

Interested? Come join us for the 2014 season!