This is a point-to-point trail ride, at all paces through the historical Italian region of Tuscany.  Your ride will take you through a range of landscapes, from mountain ridges to dark larch forests and across flowing rivers. This trail ride offers bucket loads of history as you explore roman church ruins and ancient caves, stay in the beautiful 1000 year-old Porceno Castle, and ride along old Etruscan roads.   One highlight of this trail is a guided visit on horseback around the famous Vulci Archeological Park, where you will visit Etruscan tombs and enjoy a delicious meal in the park's restaurant, you will also have some time to explore the park on foot in the afternoon or rest under a tree and read a book.    

This ride offers a variety of accommodation from medieval castles to quaint hotels, all very comfortable, some with swimming pools and serving great quality food.  Wine and beer is included with your evening meal.  The ride is assisted by a Jeep that will transfer your main luggage from one location to another, this allows for faster riding on the trails.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from AM of Halifax on 18/05/2024

Ride Summary
Luxury Etruscan Trail was excellent and I had a fabulous time.
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
We missed out on what was being said if you were near the back of the ride.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Horses were all very well looked after and concern from ride leader for their wellbeing. The horses always came first, which is nice to see.
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
A little more cantering on each day.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
6
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Some challenging terrain at times (which also made the holiday very scenic and interesting).
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
The staff have always been very helpful and knowledgeable.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
It would be better to have an organised transfer from the airport to the hotel with more sharers, as it is a long way and it was very expensive for two - a very nice minibus picked us up and there was plenty more room for others, which would have made the trip much cheaper. It turned out we could have shared this bus with some other riders who arrived at the airport at a very similar time, but who booked with Ride Worldwide. Maybe more could have been done by the ride organiser in Tuscany to facilitate shared transport. This was the only thing that could be done better in future. The return trip to the airport was better planned however.
The holiday itself was great, and the ride leader always asked each day if we were happy with everything. The food and places we stayed were fabulous with very friendly, helpful staff. Also we had a lovely group of people on the ride, which made the experience even nicer. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday.
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Day 1 (Sunday)
On arrival (afternoon) at the beautiful Hotel Resort of Sovana you will welcomed with an aperitif and a short briefing and then sit down to enjoy a delicious evening meal before settling in for the evening.  You should find the hotel very comfortable, it is located in a small but fascinating Etruscan town, with a small population of just 300 people. Occassionally you may stay in their sister hotel,the Scilla hotel, but will have full use of the main Hotel's facilities.  

Day 2 
After breakfast around 10am we will set out for 4.5 hours of riding.  We will follow the the Lente River northwards arriving at Castell’ Ottieri some 472m above sea level just in time for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon the landscape changes and we will see many great hills and beautiful white roads. Here we will get to do some faster riding before arriving at the stunning Castle of Porceno where we will stay the night.

Day 3
Today we ride approximately 6 hours, traveling in a southwesterly direction.  After breakfast around 10am we will set off, first crossing the the Strdolone river and then passing through the Montorio property (2500hectares with many housing belonging to Mussolini's nephew) then on to Vitozza, where we will stop for lunch. Here we can visit the remains of a roman church and fortress.  This area is characterized by the 200 caves that were once the home to the people of S Quirico until the early 1900s.  We will finish the day in the dark and mysterious forest of Lamone.  The horses will rest overnight at the Coalman's cabin, while we will stay at the Fra Viaco farmhouse on the Mazzano Lake or in one of the cute hotels in the nearby village of Farnese.
 
Day 4
After a delicious breakfast we will set off again in a southwesterly direction toward the ruins of the Etruscan-roman town of Castro.  Here we will have lunch then follow the famous path of the robbers before crossing the property of Torlonia, owned by the Prince of Torlonia and his sons.  We will then visit a very small but very cute castle with roman bridges and finish our day's riding in the Vulci Park (a beautiful Etruscan archeological site)  much of which remains undiscovered.  The horse will spend the night here, while we will spend the night at the lovely Le Cascine Hotel and enjoy dinner and a swim under the shooting stars.in the naturally heat pool with warm water of 40 degrees.

Day 5
Today we have a shorter day of riding, we will spend the day exploring the Vulci Park.  In the morning we will be guided around the Etruscan tombs on horseback before sitting down to a delicious lunch in the park's restaurant.  In the afternoon we have some free time to explore the park on foot, visit the Etruscan museum in the castles or rest in the shade by the river and while listening to the parks waterfall, an ideal spot for reading. 

Day 6 
After breakfast we will set off in a northeasterly direction for a 6 hour ride to Selva del Lamone.  We will first follow the Fiora River up to Romitori, an ancient location where monks would pray.  We will pause here for lunch and then in the afternoon we will pass through the fields, over hills and once again arrive on the Etruscan trail.  We will follow the trail through the old town of Farnese, where Napoleon's brother once lived, then on through the woods of Lamone.  We will once again spend the night at the Fra Viaco farmhouse.

Day 7
Today head back toward Sovana. We will ride for approximately 5 hours in a northerly direction.  First passing the property of Mezzano and the famous farmhouse 'Il Voltone'.  After lunch we will continue along the Lente River passing above Sorano and then ascend the long Etruscan road of S Valentino.  Will will drop off the horses at Caggio farm and spent the night in the Castel Sereno lodgings.  We will enjoy one last delicious dinner where we will say goodbye to our guides. 

Day 8 (Sunday)
After breakfast it is time to head home. Taxi or minibus will take you back to the station or airport so that you can begin the journey home. 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Their are a total of 10 horses of mixed breeding and size, some have been homebred. The horses are forward going but responsive to their rider, they have a lovely temperament and are in excellent condition.  They wear English tack, which is regularly renewed, are well schooled, confident and surefooted on all of the types of terrain ridden on these trails.  If they could talk they would be your guide. You are sure to have a truly unforgettable ride. 


Rider requirements

Riding will be at walk trot and canter and while the guides are happy to assist nervous riders, experience of trail riding in open space is required. You will need to be able to mount and dismount for lunches out on the trail. Riding helmets are compulsory, for safety.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 176 lb/80 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

You will stay at multiple locations during this trail and including a mix of hotels and guesthouses. All accommodation is comfortable and some are described as luxurious.  Your first night is spent in a beautiful Hotel & Resort in Sovana, a Estruscan town. On your second night you will stay in a stunning medieval Porceno Castle, over 1000 years old, with amenities and pool. Night 3 is at the Fra Viaco farmhouse on the Mazzano Lake or in one of the cute hotels in the village of Farnese.  On night 4 & 5 you will stay in the lovely Le Casine hotel before returning to the Fra Vicao farmhouse on night 6. You will spend your final night at Castle Sereno lodgings. 



The ride is assisted by a Jeep that will transfer your main luggage from one location to another, this allows for faster riding on the trails where the terrain permits.  



All meals and drinks are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the last day. The food is of very high quality.  Breakfasts are continental style and plentiful, evening meals are large and varied, but always delicious.  Expect a range of meals.  During the day you will picnic on the trail in beautiful locations, with a range of homecooked Italian dishes, bread, cheese and wine . Wine or beer is included with your evening meals.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy

Climate Summary

The weather in Tuscany is a big attraction, Spring (April/May) and Autumn (October/November) are warm around 23/25 degrees with the chance of rain but with many dry sunny days these are ideal months to visit. May and June are the perfect time to see the spring flowers in full bloom while Oct and Nov you will be surround by gorgeous autumn reds and golds, both a beautiful time to visit Tuscany. In summer (July/August)the weather is sunny and hot, with temperatures of 30-35 degrees and little or no rain.

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Italy and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Please take along sun cream and anti-allergy medicine for possible insect bites

Electricity

In Italy the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

There will be opportunity to charge phones / cameras each evening at the various accommodation and most have wifi.

Packing List

Riding helmet and gloves
Boots with a small heel suitable for riding and chaps
Good raincoat recommended
Comfortable clothes for riding
Sun cream / sunglasses
Comfortable clothes and shoes for the evening
Swim wear for the swimming pools, you may also want to bring a towel for use at the pool
Items of a personal nature.

Most of the accommodations provide shampoo / shower gel and hairdryers, all provide towels. Water is provided on the trail.

Programmes

8 days / 7 nights / 6 riding days

Departure Dates

2024: 5* (FULL), 26* May; 9*, 23* June; 21 July; 22 Sept; 6 Oct.

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.

Available at request €300

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20248d/7n6double pp1,655
20248d/7n6single supplement259
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20248d/7n6double pp1,919
20248d/7n6single supplement299
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20248d/7n6double pp2,205
20248d/7n6single supplement345
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20248d/7n6double pp22,465
20248d/7n6single supplement3,509
Wildlife

As your ride takes you further from the villages and towns and deep into the Tuscan countryside you may come across European animals such as hare, deer, porcupines, red foxes, dogs, badgers, dormice, pheasants, wolves, and even wild boar. Grass snakes and Vipers are common in this area though you are less like to see them on route. Tuscany is also a great place to go bird watching. A wide range of beautiful birds can be spotted throughout the region. During the ride you will pass along high ridges, ride through thick forest and across open fields as well as cross flowing rivers.

Other Information

The roads and ruins are carved from volcanic rock (tufo) and are an impressive site to behold. A highlight of this trail is visiting the famous Vulci Archaeological park, much of which is still untouched. Visit in late May, early June to see the beautiful wildflowers in full bloom lining the tracks with flecks of colour.

Other Country Information

Italy forms a peninsula in Southern Europe extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Elba and about 70 other smaller islands. It is mostly mountainous, though between the Apennines (which form the spine of Italy) and the eastern coastline there are the fertile plains of Emilia-Romagna in the north and of Puglia in the south. The Alps in the north divide Italy from France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.

The Roman Empire was once the most powerful in the world, covering Europe and extending into modern day Asia. Their horsemanship skills second only to the Mongols further east. The incredible sophistication of Roman culture still leaves its mark across Europe and has been the foundation for countless artistic movements, including the Renaissance, through cities such as Florence and the medieval university city of Bologna.

Italians are understandably proud of their heritage and are renowned as people of great taste and as having an eye for the aesthetic. Their architecture and fashion leave most of the world in their shadow, appearance is very important to them and the majority of Italians will never leave the house without ensuring they are impeccably and elegantly attired.

Italian food, from pizza to pasta, has been adopted by the rest of the world but you will never taste a better pizza anywhere else. As with the rest of mainland Europe meals are eaten late with plenty of wine and preferably al fresco.

Italy is one hour ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. (There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram).

The international dialling code is +39.

Important information regarding rail travel:
Visitors are often caught unawares by train and transport systems requiring validation. Tickets bought in Italy for Regionale and Regionale Veloce trains are not marked for any particular time or train and become valid only when time-stamped at a validation machine. Without this validation, train operators assume the rider is trying to fare dodge, since the ticket could be reused. So validation is absolutely essential before boarding, and there are small boxes in the station or near the platform. After being time-stamped, the ticket is valid for the amount of time shown on the ticket.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
The check-in, at the Hotel Resort of Sovana (Afternoon arrival on Sunday).
Transfer:
2024: Transfers to and from the airport or train station of Orvieto (closer) can be arranged but is paid directly to driver 2024 average for up to 3 pax from Rome-Fiumicino approx €350 (subject to change), from Orvieto railway station approx €160- 200.00. (subject to change)
Flight Guide:
London to Roma Fiumicino airport from £60
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