Ride Overview - Brigand Footpaths Ride
On this horseback riding vacation, you will experience medieval Italy. Come and take a breath of truly traditional and medieval Italian lifestyle – with modern comforts of course. You will not only enjoy the brilliant terrain of southern Tuscany but also the wooded region of Umbria and Lazio. Your trails will take you across this less inhabited Italian countryside. Beautiful nature steeped in historical castles and archeological sites. The old trails used by the “Brigands” (outlaws) to escape from the law 200 years ago provide a fantastic opportunity to explore this beautiful area on horse, just as they did! You will also savor the freshest homemade meals made from Tuscan family recipes and drink fine local wines. Your menu will include tagliatelle, lasagne and risotto. You can also customize this ride by choosing the number of days and daily riding hours and staying in either private rooms or cottages at the base of the castle. Non-riding golf packages are also available.
“It has been a pleasure to participate for one week riding with you guys in the wonderful Italian countryside. It’s the best trail I have participated in and so clever and experienced
guides!! I will recommend this further.” T.R.
Ride Itinerary - Brigand Footpaths Ride
Day 1: Saturday
Transfer from the Rome Airport to your Castle estate.
After leaving the arena below the castle, you will follow an ancient track carved into the rock until we reach the famous “Brigands’ Path” which passes by at the top of the hill. Passing the old farmhouse of St Prospero, you will trot on a path crossing cultivated fields and chestnut woods. You can now ask your horse to canter through a fantastic natural passageway in the woods which ascends to the top of a hill with a beautiful view. Another old road carved into the rock will lead you to a wider trail descending into the valley between the hills. From there, you will return to the castle exploring beautiful Italian countryside and chestnut woods.
Your trail will skirt pastures dotted with grazing sheep. This old trail soon turns down into a narrow valley of volcanic rock. At the bottom of the hill, you will find an old abandoned farmers settlement of Nocchieto. Still fascinating in its architecture, it is a house made of local tufo rock leaning against the side of the hill. As the road changes from the volcanic rock into soft ground, you can ask your horse for a canter up into the hills. After following a narrow valley to the top, your trail will turn into the Brigands’ Path which passes scattered Etruscan tombs and caves. Finally, you will ride through the woods back to the castle. Along the way, you will encounter a lovely vista.
Riding through the chestnut woods, you will arrive at the top of the crater where there is a breathtaking view of the area. To the south is the crater of the beautiful Lake Bolsena and picturesque Lake Mezzano to the west. Behind you is the imposing shape of Mount Amiata. On a clear day, the sea can be seen like a glowing mirror reflecting the sun. Carrying on up and down through the valleys and hills and across a plateau, you can enjoy the peace and the scenery. In particular, the mesmerizing Mount Amiata, Radicofani fortress and the distant castle of Torre Alfina provide wonderful photo ops. A comfortable trail winding through the fields will take you back to the castle.
Your trail will pass an old farm named San Prospero. Then you will continue across valleys and hills and through romantic chestnut woods to spectacular scenery, including Mount Amiata, the Radicofani fortress and the distant castle of Torre Alfina. After a nice canter slightly uphill, you will arrive at the S. Luigi farm, where local shepherds still produce delicious “ricotta” cheese. Along the way home, you will see sheep grazing happily in the fields.
This time, you will ride north through the hills to a spectacular vista of the castle estate and surrounding farmland. After crossing a provincial road, your trail will lead you to the magical scenery formed by the Tuscan mountains. The trail continues around the Onano a medieval fortified village. Your guide will show you the medieval castle which was an important stronghold of the Monaldeschi family. Old farmers’ tracks will take you from open fields to the delightful medieval church of St Maria delle Grazie and then back home to the castle.
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport or the train station.
The trails can change based on weather and other natural changes.
Ride Details - Brigand Footpaths Ride
Dates: Saturday – Saturday, March 14th – September 12
Meeting Point: Grotto de Castro near Orvieto
Train Station: Orvieto
Airport: Rome Fiumicino
Riding Days: 1 full day, 4 half days
Riding Hours Per Day: 4 – 6 hours
Riding ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open country.
Group size: 2 – 8
Horses: Haflinger, Maremmani and mix of local breed
Pace: moderate with trots and canters
Hotel/s: 3*** 1 hamlet at the foot of a castle
Non-riding activities: swimming, tennis, mountain bikes, volleyball, ping pong, billiard, guided tour of Bolsena Lake
Price: March 14th – 12th: $1,625.00 per person, double occupancy $120.00 single supplement
March 13th- September 12th: $1,350.00 $120.00 single supplement
*Prices are based on the USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed at your final payment.
Includes: 6 night’s lodging, all meals, 5 days guided riding, guided castle tours, horse, tack
Not included: airfare, transfer to and from Fiumicino Airport, transfer to/from Orvieto Train Station (130 euros per car), insurance (35 euros)
Brigand Footpaths Ride: Gallery
Brigand Footpaths Ride