Italy offers distinctive horseback riding vacations. Each region has its own unique charm, historic sites and cuisines. Trails meander across the sun kissed rolling hills of Tuscany; traverse through historic villages and ascend the rugged mountain of Sicily. Historic castles and hamlets are everywhere. Maremma and Sicilian horses are used for riding. Meals are traditionally prepared using the freshest ingredients. The friendly people may even share their family recipes.  

Horseback Riding in Tuscany

Tuscany is famed for picturesque villages and vineyards nestled in bucolic countryside. The cuisine is simple and delicious; the wine renown. Riders can dine on homemade pasta, fine goat cheeses, and enjoy wine tastings. In Siena, a medieval festival featuring a well known horse race around the square called the Palio occurs in July and August. Horse drawn carriages vacations through the region are also available.

Chianti is located between Florence and Siena.  The landscape is picturesque with whitewashed hamlets, gnarled vineyards and aged olive groves. Horseback trails lead past perched 13th century villages and castles. Rides can include Siena and the vast golden sands of the Marina di Bibbona.  Western saddles are offered on some trails.

Those who are fascinated with ancient times will enjoy riding to the Etruscan Necropoles of Poggio Prisca. Nearby is the Ildebranda Tomb, the lost cave settlement of Vitozza and an Etruscan vie cave (canyon cut in the tuff rock).

Southern Tuscany is home to the wooded Umbria region. This is the only region that has no coastline. Horseback trails follow an old outlaw trail to historical castles and archeological sites. Riders can savor the Tuscan homemade meals that includes tagliatelle, lasagne and risotto.

 Riding in Southern Italy

Cilento is just south of the Amalfi Coast in the Salerno province of southern Campania. Riding trails are mixed with the fragrant smell of wild plants and beautiful landscapes. Riders can ride high into the mountains or gallop along white sandy beaches. Local cuisine includes olive oil, goat cheese, marmalades, and biscuits.

Sicily is considered one of the pearls of Southern Italy. The  largest of the Italian islands, it is surrounded by the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas. This region is comprised of rugged lava hills and mountains. Trails follow ancient Roman paths to Mt Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano. Sicilians favorite appetizer is the sweet and sour Caponata.

The island of Sardinia boasts a mountainous landscape with lush woods, small desert and marshes. Trails ascend the interior Montiferru Mountain and end with a gallop along the beach. Along the way, riders will see all the lovely flora that the isle offers. 

The best months to ride are April – June and September – October.