Riding across beautiful Umbria
Night ride
Dinner in sunset
Delicious lunch selection
Cheese, grapes and wine
Rider enjoying lunch
Umbrian landscape
Horse ears
Group riding
Group of riders
Expert guides
Tasty dessert
Dessert
Stables
View from outside for accommodation in Umbria riding holiday
Living room on riding holiday in Umbria
BBQ area and accommodtion on riding holiday in Umbria

Enjoy the best that Italy has to offer; outstanding food, fun and varied riding in a glorious setting and hosts that welcome you like long lost friends.

This riding centre was founded more than 30 years ago and has carved a reputation as one of the best-run riding establishments in Umbria. In a panoramic setting, surrounded by woodland and overlooking mountains and valleys on all sides, the stables are the perfect antidote to the stress and strains of everyday life. The centre is also the largest of its kind in central Italy.

The centre is a family venture in the best Italian tradition, headed by two brothers, Agostino and Giancarlo Bevilacqua. They are helped by their four children, all expert riders, and their wives Giuliana and Clara, who are amazing cooks! Clare, a British ex-pat who has been living in Italy for a number of years, is on hand to guide trails and be your point of contact.

Explore rolling mountains, hidden valleys and medieval hill villages in this unspoilt corner of Umbria, where time has stood still. Take a day ride to a nearby swimming pool to soak away those aches and pains, and during the summer months experience the magic of a night ride lit by fireflies. There is excellent riding available for experienced riders. Either tuition, with show jumping as a specialty, or endless rides in all directions to explore the surrounding countryside are available. Beginners and novice riders can also receive lessons appropriate to their level as can children.

For those wanting to explore further on this riding holiday, the stables are just 13 km from Spoleto, a Roman, medieval and Renaissance jewel and a great place to spend some time for riders and non-riders alike. The larger towns of Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto and Todi are all within easy reach as are many of the vineyards of the region. Only a short drive or train ride from Rome this holiday is also perfect for a short break in the Eternal City at the start or end of your holiday.

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 MH of ACT on 18/08/2017

Ride Summary
An incredible and unforgettable experience.
What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
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Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
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Additional Comments
Horses and Tack
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Meals
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Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response Speaking to the staff member Sarah from unicorn trails made everything so easy. The replies were fast and her knowledge was wonderful.
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response No, everything was perfect. If anything things were even more incredible
What could we do to improve this ride? Couldn't be better
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 It's the perfect pace for anyone who is confident in the saddle.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments Couldn't rate this more highly
Unicorn comments Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)


There are several different riding programmes available as well as a trail with 3 nights staying out at alternative accommodation. Please advise which you would like when booking.

Programme A - for Experienced riders

This programme is available for experienced riders on set dates.
In warmer months, and in times of a full (or nearly full) moon, it may be possible to replace a full day ride with a memorable Night Ride up onto the mountain of Monte Acetella. Riders are met by the stables' jeep, and served a camp-fire supper as they scan the skies for shooting stars. The return leg of the journey takes place by the light of the moon. Lessons can be substituted for trail riding where one hour of lessons is equivalent to 2 hours of trail riding.

Programme A - for Beginner Riders

This programme is available for beginner riders on set dates.
The week involves walking and some trotting and less time in the saddle than the experienced programme, though it does build up to two full day rides and one that is slightly shorter.
It is suitable for guests who are relatively new to riding, including beginners, and the pace can be adapted according to ability. In warmer months, and in times of a full (or nearly full) moon, it may be possible to replace a full day ride with a memorable Night Ride up onto the mountain of Monte Acetella. Riders are met by the stables' jeep, and served a camp-fire supper as they scan the skies for shooting stars. The return leg of the journey takes place by the light of the moon. Lessons can be substituted for trail riding with about one hour of lesson time being equivalent to 2 hours of trails riding.

Programme B - Umbrian Summer Adventure Programme

This special summer itinerary involves an optional night out camping on Day 2 where you will be served a 3 course meal on top of the world! Those not wanting to camp will be driven back to the stables and brought back after breakfast the next day. This itinerary takes place on the dates with a * in the dates section above. A minimum of 4 riders are required for this programme; if this is not met the standard Umbrian Adventure (beginner or experienced) programme will run.

There is also the option of the Night Ride, detailed above. Extra riding lessons with expert tuition in show jumping or flatwork are available on all holidays at an additional cost.

Along with the horses, the beautiful food and warm hospitality from your hosts makes this ride very special; multi course lunches and dinners are lovingly homemade and use the freshest ingredients meaning no one goes hungry here! Enjoy antipasti, soup, organic meats, pasta and of course beautiful desserts whilst sitting with the family chatting about your day, and of course washing it all down with good quality wine from the region. There is also a wine tasting session during one of the rides.

The Two Valley Trail

Day 1
Arrive at the equestrian centre, settle in and meet your hosts over a delicious home-cooked dinner. Overnight in your spacious accommodation. 

Day 2
Morning half-day ride followed by lunch in the clubhouse.
Afternoon: choose to have a lesson in the ménage (flatwork or show jumping) or enjoy a free afternoon - perhaps explore nearby Spoleto, go wine tasting or white water rafting or simply relax on the sunny terrace with its magnificent views over the rolling hills of Umbria.

Day 3 
Today you will leave on the first leg of the trail ride. The ride will wend its way along wide paths, with opportunities for several canters along the old Flaminian Way, before turning off and heading down through a series of picturesque villages such as Ancaiano and Belvedere, through woods and another tiny hamlet and into the beautiful village of Ferentillo, with its ancient twin towers to guard against marauding armies and bandits. Ferentillo spans the fast-flowing Nera river that gives this stunningly beautiful valley its name – the Valnerina. Cross over the bridge to the other side of the village, called Precetto and have a picnic lunch by the river. Afterwards, you'll ride along the riverbank, following the course of the Nera and passing through several villages, with canters along the way. There is also a chance to stop for a beer before arriving in Scheggino, a pretty little town on the river’s edge that is famous for the trout that swim right through the town centre. Carry on the ride along gentle paths until you'll reach Sant’Anatolia di Narco, and the former Benedictine monastery, now hotel, that will be your home for the next 2 nights. The horses will be let out to graze nearby, fed and settled for the night while the group gets ready for dinner and overnight. Your bags will have been delivered by car in the meantime.

Day 4
After breakfast you'll leave for a half-day ride on trails around the scenic area before heading back to the hotel for lunch. Afterwards, the group will be taken by car to Norcia, to explore this historic town famed for being the birthplace of St. Benedict, but also for its black truffles and excellent cheese, prosciutto and wild board salami, which you can find in most stores. Time for an aperitivo in Norcia, or perhaps the very pretty hilltop town of Borgo Cerreto before heading back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 5
Today, after breakfast, you'll saddle up and ride along part of the historic Spoleto-Norcia mountain railway, which has recently been converted into a spectacular trail for walkers and horse riders, passing through some of the ancient tunnels, and with dramatic views at every turn. This was the railway line that linked the two valleys of Spoleto and the Valnerina, before it fell into disuse. Pass by a number of picturesque old railway stations and through the beautifully restored village of Tassinare and another one called Forca di Cerro, which is the highest point that the old trains had to climb before heading down to Spoleto. Here,you'll leave the old railway line and wind your way down towards the pretty little town of Poreta in the Spoleto valley. Tonight dinner and a comfortable overnight will be courtesy of a hotel converted from the Castello di Poreta (Castle of Poreta), dramatically poised atop the town itself, and the horses will be settled in nearby. 

Day 6 
Poreta is famous for its olive oil production and after breakfast you'll ride along gentle trails flanked by olive trees on either side. This is also where St Francis and his followers used to pass, and the ride will progress along trails with several canters along the way before stopping in an olive grove for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you'll ride along more wide trails before meeting up with the horsebox and cars, which will take riders and horses back to the equestrian centre for dinner and overnight.

Day 7
After breakfast, half-day ride followed by lunch in the clubhouse.
Afternoon: choose between a lesson in the ménage or a free afternoon to explore or relax.

Day 8
After breakfast it's time for sad goodbyes and departure back to the airport, train station or your onward journey.

 

Other activities: Fancy a half day white water rafting experience? Available on all riding holidays as an alternative to a half day ride this excursion costs approximately €65, payable locally. The stables will transport you for free to enjoy a fun descent on the beautiful River Corno. Each boat is manned by expert guides and this activity is suitable for all ages, from 5 to 75, as it is safe and relatively gentle rafting (though exciting enough to feel you have done something adventurous!). Wet suits, lifejackets and helmets are provided but bring along a towel and swimming costume.

Special day ride: In the summer months, the hosts may offer to take guests to Castelluccio di Norcia for a truly unforgettable day ride. This is a suspended mountain plateau in one of Italy’s loveliest national parks, about one hour’s drive away. You will visit and ride through lakes where there are wild horses and foals and riders can canter over the spectacular mountain plain, which is covered with wild orchids and narcissi. Horses are taken by horsebox and guests by jeep. Supplement payable locally to cover transport €80.

Night Rides: In the summer months night rides are also an option which avoids riding in the heat of the day and gives a whole different experience of Umbria!

Wine tasting: Guests who are interested will be taken to a local enoteca for a memorable session tasting Umbrian wines and sampling the excellent local olive oil on bruschetta. Supplement payable locally approximately €15.

The Bevilaqua family also run the following programmes:

Show Jumping Combo - Enjoy lessons taught by Count Adolfo Poli or the Centre's main instructor Andrea Bevilacqua, both trained FISE instructors with years of experience teaching show jumping and dressage. In addition to the invaluable lessons you will also have the chance to ride out and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside. Beginners and novice riders can also receive lessons appropriate to their level as can children, and dressage tuition is also available.

Umbrian Summer Highlights - All the highlights of the Umbrian Week in a shorter, 5 night package! Includes a night’s camping on top of a mountain with a three-course dinner as well as a night ride with a stop for a barbeque dinner on the way before getting back on the horses to ride home by moonlight.

Umbrian Short Break in the Saddle - This is a 4 night package with riding on 3 days; ideal for a quick getaway to sunny Umbria or for adding onto a trip to Rome perhaps. Experience unspoilt Umbria on beautiful horses whilst being treated as one of the family, this is such a welcoming break.

Children:
Please enquire if you have younger children who would like to ride.

Transfers options:
Car transfer from Perugia is €100 per car each way for 1-4 people. Car transfer from Rome is €200 per car each way for 1-4 people.  Once at your destination transport can be arranged to and from Spoleto (13km) and other nearby places for a modest charge. A hire car is a good idea if you wish to explore the area in the afternoons and evenings, whilst not in the saddle.

The Umbrian Summer Adventure programme will run with a minimum of 4 riders. If this minimum number is not reached the normal Umbrian Adventure programme will run instead.

In summer months, all guests will have access to a swimming pool located in a picturesque village 5 mins drive from the stables. Transport can be provided. There will be a modest charge, payable locally. There is an optional day ride with a stopover for a fantastic lunch served near the pool, and the afternoon spent in the pool before riding back in the early evening. This will take the place of one of the other scheduled day rides. It’s been a great hit with all who have done it so far. Again, a modest supplement (€15) is payable locally.

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 65 horses of all types available at the stable. They are without exception in excellent condition and well schooled. Anglo-Arabs, Maremanni (a sturdy local breed), Thoroughbreds and Argentinians are the main breeds. They vary in size from 13.2-16.2 hh. All are shod and several are trained in neck reining.

There is a variety of tack from English saddles, trekking saddles (large comfortable Western-style saddles), western and endurance saddles.


The temperament of the horses varies from docile schoolmasters to suit novices to more lively rides for experienced riders. All are very sure footed in the steep terrain and totally traffic proof, though roadwork is minimal. Horses will be prepared, saddled and cared for by the grooms and guides, but the spirit is friendly and informal and anyone wanting to help will be very welcome. The ride leader carries saddle bags with essential items such as water for en-route necessities. It is advisable to bring a small bum bag that can be strapped around your waist to carry items you might need on the ride such as sunglasses, camera, sun block, gloves etc although many horses have numnahs fitted with small pockets for carrying small water bottles etc.


A wide range of riding hats suitable for children and adults are available on site, and it is compulsory for all riders to wear one. Body protectors are compulsory for jumping lessons and can be borrowed on site.

Rider requirements

Riders of all levels are catered to with an appropriate mix of tuition and riding out thus there is no previous experience necessary.
There are frequent opportunities to trot and canter for experienced riders as well as jumping in classes.

There is no minimum age for arena riding. There is a minimum age of 14 for the riding out programme, although experienced younger riders may be accepted.

There is no weight limit within reason.

All accommodation is in self-contained apartments at the riding centre. These are attractively built in traditional Umbrian style and equipped and furnished to a high standard. Each apartment has a room with one double bed and a sofa bed in the living room. There is an en suite bathroom with shower, toilet and bidet. The rooms are comfortably furnished with good quality bed linen, towels etc. The living room has a fridge, TV and cooking facilities (although the holiday is fully catered). Rooms are not cleaned during your stay, but you may request clean towels etc within reason.

Next door to the accommodation is the club house with a dining room and bar where all meals are taken. From the club house there are views over the riding arenas as well as spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The attractive outdoor patio and seating area has similarly vast views over the surrounding countryside. This is a family-run organisation and food is prepared by your hosts with outside help as necessary. A typical meal would be as follows:

Breakfast: coffee, cappuccino, tea, yoghurt, home-made cake, bread and jams.

Lunch: a picnic lunch may consist of home-made frittata (omelette) made with wild asparagus, pizza stuffed with sausage and greens, home-cooked porchetta (Umbrian roast pork cooked with garlic and fennel), or sausages cooked over an open fire, salad, wine and coffee

Dinner: a pasta dish based on local products such as wild mushrooms or asparagus in season, followed by a meat dish, e.g. local grilled lamb with potatoes and a vegetable dish, e.g. chicory, salad. Home-made dessert followed by coffee and liqueurs (grappa, limoncello etc) and the inevitable espresso.


In summer months, all guests will have access to a swimming pool located in a picturesque village 5 mins drive from the stables. Transport can be provided. There will be a small charge, payable locally. There is also an optional day ride to the swimming pool, which may replace another day ride in summer. There is a long stop for lunch and swims before riding back in the early evening. There is a modest supplement for this, payable locally.

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

Climate Summary

This beautiful and unspoilt corner of Umbria has something to offer all year round, though January and February can sometimes be too cold and icy for safe riding.

Spring (mid March onwards) is a lovely time, with wild asparagus on the hillsides. May and June are particularly good months, as the wild flowers are in full bloom and temperatures have not become too hot. For the same reason, September, and early October are good choices.

In July and August, unlike many other regions of Italy, the temperature is not excessive in this part of Umbria. The high altitude means the heat is never unbearable and the riding is tailored to allow longer lunch stops, avoiding the hottest part of the day.

This is a mountain setting, so in late Autumn (November/December), temperatures do fall, but this period can produce some very good riding weather with the added bonus of the roast chestnuts for which this region is famous, new wine (mid-November) and new olive oil (early December).

Climate Chart

Film and Camera Equipment

Camera film and batteries can be purchased in nearby towns but we suggest that you take along plenty to see you through your holiday. Digital cameras can be charged in your accommodation.

Packing List

Riding trousers or jodhpurs
Sunglasses
Riding boots, paddock boots or riding trainers (with heel) that are comfortable to walk in.
Sun block
Riding hat with brim
Lip-balm with sunscreen
Hard hat (it is recommended to bring your own if you have one as this is always the best fit, a selection is available on site)
Personal toiletries
Insect repellent spray/cream
Riding gloves
Binoculars (recommended)
Half chaps (optional)
Camera and film
T-shirts and shorts
Lightweight long sleeved shirts
Heavy sweater or sweatshirt*
Informal/casual wear for evenings
Lightweight rainwear
Copy of passport
All terrain sandals

Wearing a waist pouch is a handy method for keeping items such as camera and lip-balm readily accessible.

Riding hats are compulsory.

Programmes

There are daily rides from the base. Three days are day-long rides and three are a morning or afternoon ride and an hour's tution. The program is very flexible and can be tailor made to suit the requirements of individual participants. Novices go on shorter trails with only walking and trotting, usually meeting the experienced riders for lunch.

A typical day-long ride takes riders through chestnut groves and open countryside, to the now uninhabited Monastery of Battiferro. This lovely ride, which passes through breathtaking scenery, involves 5-6 hours in the saddle with a break for lunch in a peaceful glade. Other rest breaks will be worked into the ride if necessary, or if weather is hot. Total distance covered around 35 kms.
For children who cannot go on the trail rides there are lessons and pony games on offer with the instructors (approx 2 hours a day). Children can then by driven to the day's lunch spot to join their parents/older siblings for lunch. The pony games form an important part of each lesson.

The terrain is varied, passing through woodland trails, and open meadows, with a small amount of roadwork on quiet country roads with little traffic. Some parts are steep and may involve riders dismounting to lead their horses for a few hundred yards. Qualified English speaking guides are always on hand to help dismount and remount. One guide to every 5-6 riders. Max number of riders in group: 10.

If you choose tuition this will take place in one of two large outdoor arenas will all necessary facilities. All instructors have Federazione Italiana Sport Equestre (FISE) qualifications. This roughly translates as the BHS instructor qualifications. Please see the Show Jumping and Dressage Combo webpage on our website.

In summer, night rides are organised, along tracks and trails lit only by the full moon, where riders are met with a supper of grilled meats and local wine, as they scan the mountain skies for shooting stars.

Departure Dates

2017: 25 Mar; 12 Apr; 6 May; 3 Jun; 8 Jul; 22 Jul*; 5*, 19 Aug; 9, 30 Sept; 21 Oct (* denotes summer programme available)
2017 Two Valley Trail: 16-23 Sept (full ride) or 18-23 Sep (trail ride only)
2018: 28 Mar; 14 Apr; 5 May; 9 Jun; 7, 21* Jul, 4*, 25 Aug; 8, 29 Sept; 20 Oct (* denotes summer programme available).
Dates on request for groups of 2 or more for Umbrian Adventure and 4 or more for the Summer Adventure.

Pricing

From:

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 £
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6double pp1,039
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6non rider645
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6own chalet - single supplement159
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6Child under 12 not riding789
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights1,509
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights159
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n61,249
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n6705
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n6949
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights1,159
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights159
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n41,249
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n4705
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n4949
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6double pp1,115
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6non rider689
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6own chalet - single supplement169
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6Child under 12 not riding845
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights1,675
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights175
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n61,389
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n6779
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n61,055
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights1,285
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights175
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n41,389
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n4779
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n41,055
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6double pp1,409
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6non rider875
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6own chalet - single supplement215
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6Child under 12 not riding1,069
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights2,045
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights215
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n61,695
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n6949
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n61,285
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights1,569
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights215
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n41,695
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n4949
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n41,285
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6double pp11,235
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6non rider6,945
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6own chalet - single supplement1,705
2017 Umbrian Adventure8d/7n6Child under 12 not riding8,519
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights16,279
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67 nights1,705
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n613,505
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n67,575
2017 Two Valleys Trail 8 days/7 nights8d/7n610,225
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights12,495
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n45 nights1,705
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n413,505
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n47,575
2017 Two Valleys Trail 6 days/5 nights6d/5n410,225
Wildlife

The riding stables are situated in some of the most spectacular countryside to be found anywhere in Italy.
Set up on a plateau overlooking the mountains and valleys around Spoleto, the scenery is stunning, with varied landscapes ranging from craggy rocks and peaks to soft rolling hills and cool and quiet woodland, home to porcupines, woodpeckers and wild boar.

Other Activities

If you have arranged a car rental for your stay there are a large number of sights in the area and your hosts are always ready with information, suggestions, guide books and routes.

The area immediately surrounding the riding centre is a good place for walks, with trails leading off through the chestnut woods. Guided walks to collect wild asparagus (Spring) or mushrooms (Autumn) can be arranged at a reasonable cost.
Rafting (approx £45 for 2-3 hours) and cycling is available nearby for a reasonable cost. Visits to Spoleto, Assisi can be arranged if own transport is not available.

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):
Rome airports (FCO, CIA), Spoleto or Perugia train stations
Transfer:
Included from Spoleto train station (15 min). This is an easy 2 hour train trip from Rome.
Flight Guide:
London - Rome return from £50 with RyanAir
London - Perugia from £50 with RyanAir
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