This is a gentle introduction to trail riding in the Etruscan region of Italy with 4 nights in country houses in beautiful rural sites beside your horse. Western saddles are utilised on this trail. You will ride along mountain trails, passing via Montevitozzo, Onano, Grotte di Castro, Bolsena, and Montefiascone.
The scenery is varied and there is no particularly difficult terrain or drop offs; enjoy rolling hills and fields and relax by the stunning waters of Lake Bolsena. Ride on through medieval villages and open fields, at a steady pace peppered with comfortable lope canters, and finally reach the beautiful Mezzano. For a nature loving rider this horse riding holiday is a step back in time riding through rural Italy.
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Arrival and accommodation at the riding centre. In the evening, meeting with the guide and the other
participants to chat and get to know each other.
Entire day on horseback to verify horse-rider compatibility, with picnic and return to base for overnight.
Today we ride to Montevitozzo and start our descent towards Stridolone Stream, which we will cross many times before entering the region of Lazio. In the late afternoon we will reach the Castello di Santa Cristina where we will dine and spend the night.
We ride towards the Bolsena Lake which we will reach by lunch time. Here we will have picnic by the lake, there will also be opportunity to swim during the lunch break. In the eving we will reach the country house Le Vigne in Bolsena.
Today we continue to ride around the Bolsena Lake with gourgeous scenery above the lake. We will spend the night in another country house not far from the town of Montefiascone.
We ride along the lake and then ride into the town of Marta, with it's streets paved with ancient Roman rock. Then, we'll go towards the town of Valentano and ride through it's hills, which form the northern border of our second lake destination, Mezzano. Before dinner guest can have a swim in the lake or if they prefer, use the wellness facilities of the country houses (not included in the price).
From Mezzano Lake, From Mezzano Lake we ride trough hills and head to the medieval village of Sorano, then continue along Etruscan roads towards Montevitozzo before returning to the riding centre. In the evening we will enjoy our final dinner together during which every participant will receive a small souvenir and a map of our journey.
Departure after breakfast.
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 at the riding centre. Transfers outside 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.
There are about 40 horses, including Haflingers, Appaloosas, Paints, Maremmanas, 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. There are no real difficulties on this trail and the routes are predominantly Mountain trails, field roads, Etruscan cavern roads river beds, lake shores and gravel roads. This ride is approximately 90 miles in total, with daily trips of 15-20miles. Daily riding time is about 5 - 6 hours shared between the morning (longer ride) and the afternoon. An experienced guide rides with the group.
Riders should be able to walk, trot and canter and be able to mount and dismount unaided. Western experience or riding in rough terriain 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 and shown how if they do not have experience of western riding. A friendly hand is always nearby!
The weight limit for this ride is 16 st/220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
On the first, second and last nights we stay at the base - the horses' home. Here there the accommodation consists of comfortable double rooms. Some rooms have a private bathroom but you may have to share a bathroom with one other room. The other nights we sleep in country houses in comfortable double rooms. The picnic is prepared in the morning and is carried in the saddlebags. Dinner and breakfast are served at country houses we stay at during the trail. Meals are traditional Tuscan dishes, with influences from the cusines of Umbria and Lazio and are home made with a lot of the products locally grown.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
The coastal regions, have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot and generally dry summers.
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
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.
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.
There is electricity to charge batteries on each night. We recommend bringing all necessary equipment with you.
There is internet access available on the first, second and last nights. Internet access is also available in the country houses we stay at during the trail. Phone reception is generally quite good although it depends on the provider. In some areas during the trail there could be no or poor mobile signal.
Clothes should be comfortable and already worn (especially shoes) as new clothing might mean unpleasant surprises. Important: comfortable shoes, suited even 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, and sleeping bag that should not be too light. 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.
Set dates are available from from March to November. Groups of 6 or more please enquire for other dates.
2019: 28 Sept
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Wildlife includes deer, horses, porcupines and wild boar.
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.