Ride Overview - Western Riding in The Chianti Hills
During this horseback riding vacation in Italy, you will enjoy the soul aching countryside, delicious wine and robust Tuscan cuisine. You will wonderful views from the perched village of Peccioli and the half submerged fairies’ house from the film Pinocchio. Your trail will lead you to medieval castles and cathedral ruins. You can canter along a flowing canyon based river and a visit to a friendly artisan for an aperitif at his Pisan hill studio. Your lodging base is a 4* Renaissance country resort/spa located on a working wine estate and quarter horse stud farm. The estate is located almost equidistant between Pisa and Florence and above the medieval village of Montaione. Meals will include a superb Italian style BBQ with regional wine. The terrain is challenging and the pace will be fast. RIDING IN ITALY
Ride Itinerary - Western Riding in The Chianti Hills
Transfer from the airport to your country resort. Meeting time at both airports is 4:00 PM. Dinner will be served at 8:00 PM.
After you meet your horse and fellow riders, you will begin a morning ride through the Renaissance period estate, along the tufo trails above the canyon to the lake. You will have an opportunity for a faster pace in afternoon as your trail will take you across open fields with golden crops or summer sunflowers and vineyards. Back at base, you will untack and wash off your horse (your guide will be on hand should you require assistance with this).
This will be a full day ride to the San Vivaldo Monastery. Along the way, you will ride through the ancient woods that lie between Montaione and Gambassi Terme; crossing down towards Volterra; passing through the medieval village of Vignale (abandoned since WW2); and the remains of the ancient fortressed castle. After lunch at the monastery, your ride will continue through the pretty village of San Vivaldo. The day ends with a trail home through a Cinta Senese pig farm, an old chestnut forest and the estate’s Chianti vineyards.
The morning you will ride along an old trail that links the villages of Montaione and Balconavisi (San Miniato) through Sughera. The trail descends into a ravine where you will follow an old dirt road beside a pretty stream all the way to a traditional old Sicilian farm. From here you will ride up through the cattle fields and into the Barbialla truffle and game estate. Lunch will be enjoyed at an old abandoned farmhouse. Your afternoon ride is along the old shepherds trail bordered with sheep, herding dogs and incredible views as far away as Castefiorentino.
Free day to visit Florence or Siena
This will be a full day ride to Castelfalfi estate. Your trail will take you through vineyards with panoramic views of the perched village of Peccioli and below a castle and borgo. Next, your horse will carry you alongside the lake to visit the fairies house from the film Pinocchio, half submerged in the lake. Your day continues with a ride along an old hunters’ trail through the Castelfalfi game reserve and over the tops of the rolling hills. After a picnic at Cedri, your group will ride continues through the Carfolo National Park and a riverside trail. Your day ends with a road through the village of La Casina and then on through the vineyards of Casnova.
This morning’s ride is a lovely mix of beautiful open vineyards and fields, and thick shaded forests that wind past pretty Tuscan stone farmhouses. In the afternoon, your group will have a final sunset ride and some relaxing canters through the estate.
After breakfast, you will depart to the airport. Transfer time will be 10:00 AM.
Ride Details - Western Riding in The Chianti Hills
Dates: Saturday – Saturday: April – June, September – November
Best Months to Ride: April – June and September – October
Airport: Florence or Pisa
Train station: Castel Fiorentino or Empoli
Riding days: 5
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 6
Riding ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country.
Horses: American Quarter Horses, Fjord Horses, Paint Horses
Group size: 2 – 8
Accommodations: 4**** country resort mini apartments
Non-riding activities: spa, hiking, fishing, visits to surrounding towns in
Resort, minivan, mountain bike, ceramic and painting classes, cooking
classes, wine tasting, swimming, golf
Price: $2,955.00 per person, double occupancy
Upgraded lodging: $3,325.00 per person, double occupancy $830.00 single package
*Price is based on USD/Euro exchange and will be fixed at your final payment.
**Only 1 single room available, otherwise share in 2 bedroom apartment with shared bathroom
Includes: 7 nights’ lodging, all breakfasts, picnic lunch on three days, wine with dinner, guided trails, horse, tack, twice weekly apartment cleaning
Not Included: airfare, lunches on four days, dinners, drinks, spa treatments, gratuities, transfer to and from Florence or Pisa Airport (200 euros round trip), taxi to and from train station (80 euros round trip), tourist tax (1 euro per day)
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Western Riding in The Chianti Hills: Gallery
Western Riding in The Chianti Hills
Chianti Hills, Italy