Riding in the woods
Umrbia scenery
Mountain views
On the trail
Riding at dusk
Windy mountains
Man riding
Vineyards
Wine Barrels
An old church
A hilltop town
The pool in Italy
Pool at La Somma
Double room

Explore some of Italy's most striking landscapes on this five day wine tour where you'll visit vineyards and sample some of the outstanding wine and food on offer in this understated region. Excellent and varied riding in a glorious setting, you'll visit charming and authentic hilltop towns and ride through the rolling hills of this ancient landscape. The tour includes 3 days of riding, visits to two authentic wineries to see how the wine is made and of course the chance to taste the result.

In a panoramic setting, surrounded by woodland and overlooking mountains and valleys on all sides, your first and last nights will be spent staying at the on-site accommodation, where you can enjoy great food and a family atmosphere. Wine is excellent, often made with the Sagrantino grape in wonderful, local wineries. While on the trail you'll spend two nights just outside the medieval hamlet of Montefalco, perched on a hilltop and boasting views of Umbria's undulating hills and olive groves from nearly every angle. The wild, leafy landscape, surrounded by 2,000 acres of vineyards in endless shades of green makes ideal riding country with the trail taking you across the vineyards and through dense forests.

For those who want to explore Umbria further, this destination offers the flexibility to add on additional nights with the opportunity to have flatwork or jumping lessons with the centre's English-speaking instructors. The ideal short break for those looking for great food, magnificent scenery and responsive, schooled horses, this trail has limited availability so we advise booking early.

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Day 1
Arrive at the riding centre, meet your hosts and fellow riders and enjoy a tasty home-cooked meal in the clubhouse. Overnight at the riding centre.

Day 2
After breakfast, you'll transfer to Fonti del Clitunno (a 30 minute drive), tack up and begin the trail along wide paths through olive groves and vineyards, with beautiful views and lots of opportunities for nice canters along the way. After around 3 hours in the saddle, it will be time for lunch. You can expect a traditional spread based on local products. After lunch, you'll head to the first winery to sample the local Grechetto or Trebbiano. The trail then heads towards Montefalco, the wine-making centre of Umbria, known for its medieval rampart walls and Romanesque churches. Dinner and overnight in Montefalco.

Day 3
After breakfast you'll head towards Bevagna, which originally was first Etruscan and later a Roman settlement, before visiting a vineyard specialising in the rich red wines Montefalco Rosso DOC, Sagrantino DOCG – this will also be the stopping place for lunch, with horses grazing in a nearby olive grove while you are taken on a tour of the winery to taste a selection of their wines. From there, you will ride along gentle trails through vineyards and back to the farm (a rather pretty agritourism/small hotel, in a garden with a good-sized pool). Before dinner, you'll be driven into Montefalco, a 5-minute drive away, and left to explore this picturesque hilltown, with its lovely main piazza, the perfect place for an aperitivo, before being picked up and taken back for dinner. Dinner and overnight. 

Day 4 
Today you'll leave the wine-growing region and head towards another of southern Umbria’s treasures – the beautiful mountains of Monti Martani, famous for their fossils. The route will take you through a number of picturesque villages, with opportunities for some nice canters. You'll enjoy a picnic lunch, in a shady spot, with wine of course, before riding for another hour or so to load the horses into the horsebox and drive back to the stables. Dinner and overnight back at your hosts base.

Day 5
Departure day -  Enjoy a final breakfast with your hosts before departing after breakfast.

Additional days
Most guests extend their stay in Umbria to the whole week, so Saturday to Saturday. The remaining days are spent based at your hosts equestrian centre; La Somma, with a half-day (3-hour) ride out each day, and a 1-hour lesson in the manege, which can be flatwork or showjumping. Half-day treks can be swapped for lessons if preferred.

Transfers options 2020:
Car transfer from Perugia is €50 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.

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 all 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. Horses have numnahs fitted with pockets for you to carry small water bottles, mobile phones and cameras etc. The rest of your luggage will be transported by vehicle and will be waiting for you when you arrive at the evenings accommodation.



You'll pass 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.


Rider requirements

Novices onwards are welcome on this ride although all riders should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter and able to mount and dismount. There are always at least 2 guides, so groups of different abilities can easily be split for faster sections of the ride. All riders should be riding fit and happy to spend several hours in the saddle each riding day. There is a minimum age of 14 for the trail and a weight limit of 100kg but please enquire if you are an experienced rider over the weight limit. A wide range of riding hats are available to borrow on site and it is compulsory for all riders to wear one.

Weight Limit

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

The first and last nights accommodation is in self-contained apartments or comfortable en-suite bedrooms 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..

Next door to the accommodation is the club house with a dining room and bar where all meals are eaten. 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 countryside. A swimming pool has recently been completed which offers spectacular views over the surrounding hills and valleys.



While on the trail you will be staying in a hand-picked agriturismo (small Italian guesthouse) just outside Montefalco, centre of the Umbrian wine region. The accommodation has en-suite rooms and a lovely swimming pool. It's a 5 minute drive from the centre of Montefalco so there will be oppotunities to explore the pretty piazza, ancient walls and cobbled streets of this special town.



You certainly won't be going hungry on this trail. Of all the Italian regions, Umbria offers some of the best food in the country. A sample menu could be:

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.


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

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

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

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

Mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras can be charged in your accommodation. Wifi is available at your evening 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 batteries
Swimwear (both the accommodations on this trail have swimming pools)
T-shirts and shorts
Lightweight long sleeved shirts
Informal/casual wear for evenings
Lightweight rainwear
Copy of passport

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

Programmes

This is a 5 day, 4 night programme with 3 riding days. Additional nights can easily be added to the itinerary for a tailor-made trip to suit individual participants. Extra dates are available on request for groups of 6-8.

Departure Dates

2020: 13 Jun (FULL); 19 Sept. Extra dates available on request for groups of 6-8.

Pricing

From:

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 £
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3double pp1,099
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3single supplement97
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3double pp1,275
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3single supplement115
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3double pp1,479
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3single supplement129
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3double pp13,679
2020 - 4 nights5d/4n3single supplement1,209
Additional Night Pricing
  No of days/nights Product item description £
2020 - Additional night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp159
  No of days/nights Product item description
2020 - Additional night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp185
  No of days/nights Product item description $
2020 - Additional night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp209
  No of days/nights Product item description SEK
2020 - Additional night, full board including ridingper nightdouble pp1,945
Recommended Reading

Our first recommendation must be that of 'Chickens Eat Pasta', written by Clare Pedrick who is the English speaking guide and host on this ride. An enjoyable true story of how Clare ended up living in Italy and comes highly recommended! Other books include: Lisa St Aubyn de Teram ‘A House In Italy’, E.M Forster ‘A Room With A View’, HV Morton ‘A Traveller in Italy’ and anything by Italo Calvino. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com, also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com


Other Activities

If staying on for any additional nights 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 €70-€80 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.

Wildlife

The 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 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:
2020: 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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