This is a point-to-point horseback riding trail, on well schooled horses, exploring the medieval villages and virgin forests of Tuscany.  While riding the mountain ridges of Siena you will have stunning 360 views of the surrounding valleys.  Visit historical castles and ruins built over 1000 years ago.  Highlights of this equestrian adventure include the Porceno Castle and the tufo caves where people lived up until the 1900s

Your main luggage is moved by van from one location to the next, this allows faster riding where the terrain permits including long stretches of canter, therefore we recommend intermediate horseback riders or above.

Accommodation includes a mix of high quality lodgings from the very comfortable Hotel Resort Sovana in the the medieval town of Sovana in southern Tuscany to the medieval Proceno Castle. There are swimming pools at most of the overnight locations, so don't forget your bathing suit!   

Meals are of excellent quality and large in size.  Evening meals are served with wine as well as tea and coffee, breakfasts are continental in style but plentiful and lunches picnic style out on the trail, expect simple but tasty home cooked Italian dishes, salad and cheese, also served with wine, soft drinks and coffee.  

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 TD of Batemans Bay on 11/10/2023

Ride Summary
Tuscany Horse Ride
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
If anything it was underplayed. The accommodation and meals were unique.
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?
Maybe a few more one minute stops for photo shots! Not a criticism just a thought.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
There was far more trotting and cantering than I expected. Some of the surfaces were hard and you needed to be wary of slipping. A lot of climbing and descents.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
The professionalism and friendliness was excellent of Sarah at Unicorn.
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
The ride was beyond my expectations in scenery and especially in accommodation and meals. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. The price was excellent value for money.
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Day 1 (Sunday)
On arrival at the beautiful Hotel Resort of Sovana, you will be greeted by your guide and will enjoy an aperitif before heading to the restaurant, just a short walk from the hotel to enjoy a delicious 3 course 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 population of just 300 people. Here you are 350m above sea level and only 1500m from the horses, where you will start your adventure.

Day 2 
Breakfast is served from 8am and is continental in style and plentiful. After breakfast you will meet around 9:30 to be driven to the stables to meet your horse. From here head out towards the Castle of Porceno. On route cross an old path with stunning scenery before pausing for a long picnic lunch at Castell’ Ottieri some 472m above sea level. This is a medieval citadel with a beautiful roman church. Take the opportunity to explore the village while the horses rest. As you continue your journey towards Porceno you will change regions moving from Tuscany to Lazio for one night spent in the medieval Castle of Porceno, built over a thousand years ago. Enjoy and an aperitif before settling in to your room, then head to the Castle's restaurant for a gourmet 3 course dinner. Today you will cover approximately 30km.

Day 3
Today breakfast is served at 8:30am. Meet at 9:30 to start your 35km journey along the ridges of Siena heading from Porceno in the direction of Radicofani. Ride 3-4 hours northwards until returning to Tuscany in the province of Siena. During this 4 hour ride we will journey up and down hills and cross rivers, stopping only for a picnic lunch on a cliff with the perfect view of Radicofani.  By the evening we will arrive at Radicofani passing a small medieval village called Celle sul Rigo. Tonight, you will stay with Antonello and his wife, at his loveable guest house with a beautiful pool. Here you will eat well, from freshly hunted boar to delicious homemade pasta and meat dishes, you will not be disappointed!  
 
Day 4
Breakfast is served from 8am, continental in style, with a range of cakes, cheeses, bread and hams. Today meet around 10am for a shorter day of riding. Travel through the town of Radicofani and ride down the Sienese Hills to a beautiful view point, before attacking the large rock basalt standing 896 meters high, on which the castle/fortress of Radicofani sits, dominantly overlooking the town below. At the top of the ruins there is a stunning 360 degree view, be sure to explore the history of the ruins while you are there. Lunch will be taken at the lovely restaurant and grill at the foot of the ruins, enjoy homemade pasta and barbecued meats before taking a one hour ride back to the Sterposi lodgings. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool and watching the horses from the garden or explore the town of Radicofani on foot before enjoying another delicious meal cooked by Antonello's lovely wife.

Day 5
After breakfast (served from 8am) meet at 10am to begin the journey back to Porceno Castle, this time following a different route, one that descends one of the most beautiful ridges. From here you can see Celle su Rigo, Castell’ Azzara and Proceno to the left. Continue along the old Cassia road that passes along the new Cassia (one of the most important roads in Italy that links Florence and Rome) Stop for a picnic lunch while the horses rest, enjoying home cooked Italian dishes and a glass of wine. In the afternoon ride through meadows and along old tracks, cross the river and head to the castle.  Enjoy an aperitif  before settling into your room, then enjoy a gourmet evening meal back in the castle restaurant. If you get the opportunity to take a tour the castle take it, it will be well worth it!

Day 6 
After breakfast meet at 9:30 and set off in the direction of S. Quirico, a village in the southwest, passing through woods and a tiny farm town on route. Stop for a picnic lunch in Vitozza, a settlement in the woods made from over 200 caves and the remains of a roman church and a fortress all carved into the volcanic rock. This settlement was inhabited up until the early 1900s. Explore some of the most important ruins and caves on foot while the horses rest. Here you have reached the Archeological Park Citta del Tufo. From here ride down the Etruscan trail, dug into the volcanic rock by hand, a rock which is typical of this area (known as tufo) Continue the trail along the river Lente crossing it several times and passing through almost virgin forests until we arrive at Sorano.  Here the horses drink from the river as they cross it one last time before continuing to ride along the Etruscan road (now with a 10m high gorge). Enjoy fantastic views of Sorano as you approach the end of your journey.  Finish the day with a 2km gallop before arriving back at the stables where you will say goodbye to your horse.The Jeep will transfer you back to the Resort of Sovana and finish the day with drinks another delicious evening meal. 

Day 7 (Saturday)
After breakfast it is time to say goodbye. 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 breeds and sizes, available for riding on this vacation.  Many of the horses are homebred and all are very reliable.  The horses are forward going but responsive to their rider, they have a lovely temperament and are in excellent condition. 



The horses wear good quality English tack, 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 very enjoyable ride. 


Rider requirements

Riding is at a walk, trot with several long canters where the terrain is suitable. While the guides are happy to assist nervous riders, some experience of trail riding over rough ground is essential.

You need to be able to mount and dismount with assistance, for lunches out on the trail. Riding helmets are compulsory, for safety.

Children from 14 years of age are welcome to accompany their parents on this ride.

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 including a mix of hotel and guesthouses. All accommodation is comfortable and some are described as luxurious.  Your first night is spent in a beautiful hotel in Sovana, a medieval town. On your second night you will stay in a stunning castle with amenities and pool. Night 3 and 4 are spent in a friendly guesthouse in Radicofani, also with pool. On night 5 you return to the castle and night 6 is back at the hotel in Sovana.  All in all, your nights should be very comfortable.  The ride is assisted by a Jeep that will transfer your main luggage from one location to another, this allows for faster riding.  



All meals and drinks are included, from dinner on the first night to breakfast on the last day. The food is of very high quality.  Breakfasts are continental in style and plentiful, evening meals are large and varied, but always delicious.  Expect a range of meals, from freshly hunted boar to homemade pasta dishes.  During the day you will picnic on the trail in beautiful locations.  Expect a range of homemade pasta and rice dishes, salad and cheeses. Wine is included with lunch and 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 is Tuscany is a big attraction of the area. Summers (July/August) are usually hot with little or no rain. Spring (April/May) and Autumn (October/November) are milder and rainier, but this is a beautiful time to visit Tuscany and there are still plenty of dry, sunny days.

Climate Chart

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

7 days / 6 nights / 5 riding days

Departure Dates

2024: 17, 24 March; 19 May; 16 June; 7, 14 July; 1, 15 Sept; 20 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.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n5double pp1,399
20247d/6n5single supplement219
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n5double pp1,599
20247d/6n5single supplement249
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n5double pp1,839
20247d/6n5single supplement289
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n5double pp18,759
20247d/6n5single supplement2,929
Wildlife

As your ride takes you further from the villages and towns and deep into the Tuscan countryside you may come across European wildlife 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 unlikely to see them en-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.
Between late May and early June the wildflowers are at the best, this is a great time to visit.

Other Information

During your ride you will pass through the Citta del Tufo. The park is expansive, stretching over vast areas of ancient forest in the middle of the fertile Fiora Valley. There are 11 sites of interest within this area, most are tombs, but there are also Vie Caves. The roads and ruins are carved from volcanic rock (tufo) and are an impressive site to behold.

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).
Transfer:
2hr transfers to and from the airport or 1hr transfer from the train station of Orvieto, can be arranged and paid directly to driver (Approx for three people plus luggage: from Rome-Fiumicino 240 euros, from Orvieto railway station 120 euros) (subject to change)
Flight Guide:
London to Roma Fiumicino airport from £60
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