When I was working in tourism, I found that many people came to Florence with the romantic idea of horseback riding in the vineyards on their free afternoon. The idea is charming, however finding information on “how to” and then the practicality of getting there was all a bit daunting for the causal tourist. Most of the good information is in Italian, which of course doesn’t help anyone who speaks anything else. Another small, however influential factor, is that though the Italians can be quite friendly, and they have a unique manner of resolving problems in a most creative way they also have an annoying habit of (as the Italians themselves would say) Mette le mani avanti – which translates into putting their hands out so they don’t fall flat on their face. It’s pretty much a way of saying, hey I can’t guarantee you anything but we’ll try.
I will give them points for trying, but in order to get to a workable solution you need to be quite persistent, unusually patient (as you repeat the same thing over and over and over again) and pretty much fluent in Italian. Where does this leave you? Sticking around the city center of Florence buying leather handbags and eating gelato instead of horseback riding in Chianti.
However for those of you who wish to persevere, I have found a list of equestrian centers around Florence – it is a bit out dated, however with links to websites and phone numbers you are bound to find someone who speaks your language. What I liked best (besides the fact that it is English) it tells you how you can arrive at the different farms. Let’s face it many people who are travelling and have a hotel in the city center – don’t have a car, so “how to get there” becomes a vital part of the adventure, therefore when I saw that this list of directions using public transport (which by the way is assessable to everyone indifferent to your language skills) I felt it was one of the best I have come across.
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