This is a delightful horse riding holiday in the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy with accommodation in typical farmhouses each night with hot showers. Western saddles are utilised on this holiday which explores the region of Maremma and the traditions of this area. You will also join the Butteri (Tuscan cowboys) at work with their Maremma cows and horses, an experience that you will never forget!
Incorporated into the week is also a mini-trail enabling riders to explore a little further afield; encounter ancient Etruscan roads , the stunning Lamone Forest Nature Reserve and the medieval village of Sorano en-route, then it's back to the farmhouse for a sumptuous farewell dinner.  For a nature loving rider this horse riding holiday is a wonderful way to discover nature in all its hues!

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Day 1:
Transfer from airport or train station (see notes). Arrival and accommodation at the farmhouse, dinner with the guide and other participants.

Day 2:
After breakfast guests will spend the entire day on horseback to verify horse & rider compatibility. We have a picnic lunch  en route and return to the farmhouse for dinner and overnight.

Day 3:
We start on a two day trail which brings us to Ischia di Castro. We head to the medieval village of Sorano, riding along an Etruscan road, and from here we continue through hills until we reach our overnight accommodation near Lake Mezzano, a crater lake of volcanic origin, and an absolute paradise.

Day 4: 
We enter the Lamone Forest Nature Reserve. This dense woodland, with its wild flowers and birds such as woodpeckers and various species of falcon unique to the area, has grown up on rocky terrain of volcanic origin. In the late afternoon we reach our agriturismo Pietrafitta, where we will be staying for the next 3 nights.

Day 5: 
The first day working with the "Butteri" (Tuscan cowboys). Ride through the woods of Baccano and reach Vulci castle where a delicious picnic will be waiting for us. In the afternoon riders have the opportunity to visit the archaeological park and begin working with the Butteri and their Maremma cows.

Today guests ride back from Vulci to Pietrafitta, where in the afternoon they help the Butteri to move the Maremma foals from their fields to the corrals; another day is spent lost in the ancient culture of the Butteri cowboys. 

Day 6:
A hearty breakfast is necessary today as riders will spend the entire day in Vulci with the Butteri and their cattle, learning the style of their cattle work as well as the traditions of the Butteri and their Maremma horses. For lunch guests will have a barbecue, enjoying the fresh produce and recipes of this beautiful region.

Day 7:
We ride back from Vulci to Pietrafitta, where in the afternoon we move Maremma foals from their fields to the corrals. In the late afternoon, we head back to the original agriturismo by mini-bus where we enjoy our final dinner together during which every participant will receive small souvenir and a map of our journey.

Day 8:
Breakfast and departure (see notes).

Please note that on occasion this itinerary may be run in reverse.

Some dates from 2018 will include camping: accommodation on Day 4, 5 and 6 will be at the butteri farm in comfortable double tents. There are hot showers and bathroom on site. If the programme runs in reverse then the camp will be used on Day 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Transfers

Chiusi Train Station, Rome Fiumicino or Rome Ciampino Airport

If you would like a transfer from Chiusi train station:
Once you land in Rome, you have to take the Leonardo Express to the main train station (Termini). From there you can take the train to Chiuisi-Chianciano Terme. Make sure you take a fast train between Florence and Rome that stops in Chiusi. Here is the link to FS (the Italian train company) http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html. You might want to consider purchasing a reservation along with your train ticket to ensure that you get to sit on the Roma-Chiusi segment . The set transfers take place on Saturdays (Day 1) between either 9am and 10am or 5:30pm and 6:30pm. A return transfer costs 35 Euro and is payable either at the riding centre or at the agency. Transfers out of this time incur an extra charge (please ask your consultant). Transfers from the train station take approx. 1 hour.

If you would like a transfer from the airport:
Depending in which airport you are flying into (Ciampino or Fiumicino) there are 2 set transfers from both on Saturdays (Day 1) - from Rome Ciampino airport the set transfer will leave at 15:00 and from Rome Fiumicino airport at 16:00.  A return transfer costs 250 Euro and is payable either at the riding centre or at the agency. Transfers out of this time incur an extra charge (please ask your consultant). Transfers from the airports take approx. 2.5 hours. A one-way transfer is available for 130 Euro.
 
On Day 8, the transfer back to Rome will leave the riding centre at 09:30, arriving at Rome Fuimicino at 12:00 and Rome Ciampino at 13:00.

Please note that if there are guests arriving at both airports, the driver will collect first the guests in Ciampino and then go to Fiumicino airport and collect the guests arriving at this airport. For guests taking the transfer back to the airport, the first stop will be in Fiumicino and the second in Ciampino. Please ensure that you book afternoon flights home in order to take this set group transfer. Other time times/days are possible for an extra charge.

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

There are about 50 horses, including Haflingers, Berbers, Appaloosas, Paints, Maremmanas, Arabs, South American Thoroughbreds and some horses of mixed breeds. The horses live in different herds in big pastures throughout the year. They are reliable and secure, which makes it easy for you to deal with even the most difficult situations like steep slopes or the fording of a river.



Western saddle are utilized for comfort and ease. Simple guidelines will be given if you have not ridden western before - it is very easy, relaxing and addictive. The main difficulties of this ride are fords, uneven trails, and the trails of the Maremmana Mount. The routes used are predominantly mountain paths, roads in fields and gravel roads.



This ride is approximately 100 miles in total, with daily trips of 12-25 miles. Daily riding time is about 5 - 7 hours shared between the morning (longer ride) and the afternoon. There will be a local ride in the area for the first riding day to get used to your horses and check compatability before the trail.

Rider requirements

Riders should be able to walk, trot and canter and be able to mount and dismount unaided. Western experience or riding in rough terrain is nice to have but not essential by any means.
Riders will be ask to assist with the care of their horses such as catching, grooming and saddling. The minimum riding age for this holiday is 14 years. This trail is for intermediate and advanced riders only due to working with the butteri, where riders will need to spread out and control their horses while moving cattle.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 16 st/220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Typical farmhouse or agritourismo accommodation with comfortable double rooms. Some rooms have a private bathroom but you may have to share a bathroom with one other room. The accommodations en-route have been carefully chosen taking into consideration their typicality of the area, comfort, cuisine and stables for the horses and equipment.

Meals are traditional Tuscan dishes, with influences from the cuisines of Umbria and Lazio and are home made with many of the products locally grown.

Dinner and breakfast are served at the farmhouse. The  lunch picnic is prepared in the morning and is carried by minivan to meet the riders.


On camping trails there will be 3 or 4 nights camping (depending on which direction the itinerary runs) in place of the agritourismo. Comfortable tents will be shared between 2. There are hot showers and a bathroom on site.



For swimming, Bolsena Lake is beautiful and 45 minutes drive from the farm and the nearest beach is 1 hour 15 minutes. 

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the 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 on request.

General information:

Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.

The British Embassy can be found at Via XX Settembre 80a, I-00187 Roma RM. Tel: + (39) 06 4220 0001. Email: consularrome@fco.gov.uk.

The Italian Embassy in the U.K can be found at 14 Three Kings Yard, Davies Street, London W1K 4EH. Telephone: (020) 7312 2200. Email: ambasciata.londra@esteri.it.

Climate Summary

The coastal regions, have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot and generally dry summers.

Climate Chart

Health

We advise taking plenty of sunscreen!

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Health (ride specific)

A supply of common medicines is kept at the camp and the guide keeps an emergency kit in his saddle bags. Specific needs of medicines or specific health-problems must be communicated before starting the trekking. Participants with allergies should carry along their usual medicines, just as all participants allergic to common medicaments.

Electricity

Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity to charge batteries on the first and last night only and the nearest villages are 20km+ away so we recommend bringing all necessary equipment with you.
There is internet access available on the first and last nights.

Packing List

Clothes should be comfortable and already worn (especially shoes) as new clothing might mean unpleasant surprises. Important: comfortable shoes, suitable for riding and for walking, but with a stiff sole to guarantee a good contact between feet and stirrups; avoid boots with a smooth sole and tight clothes, the trousers should be comfortable and strong, rain coat, sun-hat, electric torch, small knife, bathing suit. Furthermore one should remember that even during the hottest periods you need a jumper for the evening. The luggage should be reduced to the minimum as space on the means of transport is limited, please avoid using hardtop suitcases.

Programmes

This is an 8 day / 7 night semi trail with set dates in October.

Departure Dates

2019: 27 April; 4 May - Camping
2019: 12, 19 (FULL) October - Guest house

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6double pp1,285
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6single supplement139
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6double pp1,609
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6single supplement139
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6double pp1,435
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6single supplement155
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6double pp1,795
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6single supplement155
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6double pp1,705
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6single supplement185
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6double pp2,129
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6single supplement185
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6double pp15,769
2019 Camping Trail8d/7n6single supplement1,689
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6double pp19,715
2019 Guesthouse Trail8d/7n6single supplement1,689
Wildlife

Wildlife that may be seen includes deer, wild horses, porcupines and wild boar, and wolves in the park.

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 incredibly cultured and refined 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 commandeered 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):
Chiusi Train Station, Rome Fiumicino Airport or Rome Ciampino Airport
Transfer:
Flight Guide:
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) or Rome Ciampino (CIA)
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