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
After a check-in and welcome drink, you’ll meet your guides for an introduction and program briefing, take a guided tour of the Castle then sit down for a welcome dinner in the Taverna.
Day 2: Half Day Ride 18km.
You will ride towards the hills framing the west plateau on which the castle is situated. A fantastic spot for a breathtaking view of the area; from the beautiful crater of Lake Bolsena to the hills surrounding lake Mezzano.
Day 3: Full Day 32 km
Your will ride through the farmland on the Brigands Path into the wooded hills which surround Onano. Take a glimpse of the stone pine trees atop an ancient Etruscan site before you arrive on the flat plain of the Mezzano crater. Your group will then stop at the Fra Viaco farm restaurant for lunch. Afterward, you can take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake. You will then mount up for an ascending train through ancient chestnut woods to arrive back at the castle.
Day 4: A Day Off for Sightseeing
The local area is full of interesting archaeological and historical sites. A few suggestions include the village fortresses of Pigliano, Sorano and Sovano. It is definitely worth visiting the marvelous Italian gothic church of Orvieto – Civita di Bagnoregio, known as the ‘Dying Town’; wine tasting at the famous Fattoria Aldobrandesca Antinori OR 2 or 4 hours boat rental on Bolsena lake (summer). These options are included in your package. Alternatively, you can choose to relax at the castle and take advantage of the swimming pool, tennis court, indoor and outdoor games, a massage or take a cooking class.
Day 5: Half Day Ride
You will be heading out along The Brigands Trail towards the picturesque Lake Bolsena. This is a fantastic spot with breathtaking views of the area stretching from the beautiful crater of Lake Bolsena on one side, to the hills surrounding Lake Mezzano on the other side. On a clear day, you can see the sea 40 km away, shimmering like a mirror. As you head back along this ancient “outlaw’s highway,” you will pass through mature oak woodlands dotted with original farm dwellings built in the traditional tufo rock.
Day 6: Half Day Ride 20 km.
Once again, you will take the Brigands path and head north through the hills towards Onano, a fortified village with a medieval castle which was the stronghold of the Monaldeschi family who ruled this area during the Middle Ages. At the Madonna Delle Grazie Church, you will follow the track north through the enchanting countryside back to the castle.
Day 7: Half Day Ride 16km
Following an old Etruscan trail, you will ride up through thick woods to the top of the crater surrounding Lake Bolsena. Here, you will enjoy remarkable scenery including vineyards, Etruscan tombs, the prominent volcanic lake and the panorama dominated by the famous Farnese palace in Gradoli; a gift made by the Pope in 1500 for his nephew for his wedding – what a present! You will ride back to the castle through the vineyards, vegetable gardens and enchanting woods. In particular, you will enjoy a canter across a tunnel made by oak trees above an old shepherds path.
Having had many amazing experiences and exhilarating adventures, you will prepare for your onward journey taking with you many happy memories. Checkout is usually between 10am-12pm, although a late checkout can be arranged subject to availability.
The excursions can be changed according to weather, horses, riders experience level or circumstances beyond our control by the management of the castle. Safety is our primary concern.
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