Ride Overview - San Gimignano to the Sea Ride
A beautiful horseback riding vacation in Chianti, Italy! From the amazing perched 13th century village of San Gimignano , your trail will lead to the vast golden sands of the Marina di Bibbona. Along the way, you will visit picturesque hamlets, impressive castles and fortresses and the fascinating area of the Balze di Volterra. Your guides are distinguished for not only for providing a variety of experiences in the saddle but also for their deep knowledge of the history and culture of the area. Famous Tuscan cuisine and wines will top this memorable horseback riding vacation!
“In looking for help planning travel in Tuscany we found these wonderful friends who have made our stay amazing! From the restored farmhouse to the 3 hour trail ride followed by this incredible authentic meal. They know how to treat their guests! Thank you so much.” M.M.
Ride Itinerary - San Gimignano to the Sea Ride
You will be transferred from the Siena train station to the Equestrian Centre for a welcome cocktail and allocation of accommodation. You will meet your fellow riders and guide during dinner at Borgo Cignano.
To become acquainted with your horse, a half day ride to Monteriggioni is planned. Your trail leads towards the Classico Chianti vineyard covered hills surrounding Cignano and Quercegrossa. Beyond the Mulino di Quercegrossa, a mining road will lead through the quaint village of Lornano. Continuously surrounded by vineyards and an oak and holm forest, you will ride to a flat land dominated by the 13th century Castle of Monteriggioni . The Castle continues to be the entrance to the territory of Siena. After the lunch break, you will visit the castle. You will then ride to the Equestrian Centre for dinner.
You will be transferred to Monteriggioni to meet your horse. After you have mounted, you will begin your journey to the 13th-century village of San Gimignano. This perched medieval town is encircled by 13th-century walls and enveloped by a triangular square surrounded by medieval cottages. The notable stone Torre Grossa joins other towers which hover over the village. In the heart of the town is the 12th century Duomo di San Gimignano which features frescoes by Ghirlandaio. Along the way, you will pass the impressive Via Francigena, a maze of pilgrims’ roads that led France to Rome. Your group will also ride pass the territory of Abbadia Isola where the Cistercian Abbey of San Salvatore was founded in the tenth century. You will then ride towards the ancient Strove hamlet built in 994. Finally, your trail will take you towards Pieve S. Maria a Coneo founded around 1000 and the hamlet of San Donato close to San Gimignano. In the evening, you will visit San Gimignano and have dinner there.
Your trail follows the traces of the ancient Via del Sale road. This is not only a ride along panoramic roads but also a journey back to the Middle Ages. In the midst of stunning landscapes comprised of ancient cottages nestled amongst olive, cypress and oak trees long ago wagons filled with salt and other minerals traveled to ancient Velatri, now Volterra. After a stop at the Prato d’Era hamlet, you will have an evening visit to the walled mountaintop village of Volterra and dinner.
Today, you will ride across the fascinating area of the Balze di Volterra. The sand layer of the surface resists water erosion unlike the clay layer below. The collapse of the soil generated by theses phenomenon creates this characteristic and almost disturbing landscape. Your day ends in the picturesque hilltop Montecatini Val di Cecina.
Your trail will lead you near the old Camporciano copper mine. You will then ride towards the Mocajo Farm known for tradition and elegance, and the hamlet of Casaglia. Next, you will ride to the 15th century Casale di Tettoia and cross the Cecina River to your stop at Bibbona, an Etruscan commune along the Mediterranean Sea.
After having crossed the wooded area of the Macchia della Magona, your group will cross the estate of Oliviero Toscani, famous photographer and horse breeder. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, you will arrive in Marina di Bibbona. Crossing cultivated fields, your trails will lead you through pungent pine forests which runs along the coast. The brilliant sandy shore extends as far as your eye can see and on which you will enjoy an invigorating galloping. After lunch and with a bit of melancholy, you will start your journey back home.
You will be transferred to your train station for your journey home.
Ride Details - San Gimignano to the Sea Ride
Dates: March 24th – 31st, April 21st – 28th, May 5th – 12th, September 15th – 22nd, September 29th – October 6th, October 27th – November 3rd
Train Station: Siena
Riding Days: 5 1/2
Daily Riding Hours: 4 – 6
Riding Ability: INTERMEDIATE: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open spaces. Crossing rivers.
Group Size: 2 – 8
Maximum Weight: 210 lbs.
Horses: Anglo-Arab, Maremanno, Quarter horse, thoroughbred
Saddles: English and Western
Accommodations: 3*** Tuscan townhouse and country homes.
Price: $4,365.00 per person, double occupancy $880.00 single supplement
*Price is based on dollar/euro exchange and will be fixed at final payment.
Included: 7 nights’ accommodation, 5 1/2 days riding, guided tour of San Gimignano, all meals, horse, tack, guide, transfer to and from the train station
Not Included: airfare, transfers to and from airport to train station
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
San Gimignano to the Sea Ride: Gallery
San Gimignano to the Sea Ride
Chianti Hills, Italy