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Alta Tuscany Castle Ride


Itinerary for Alta Tuscany Castle Ride




Sample Itinerary - subject to changes.

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
Afternoon check in, welcome drink & briefing with guide\instructor about riding and accommodation details and choice of the horses for the days ahead, enjoy your first dinner.

Day 2 to Day 7 (Sunday to Friday): Activities
Your program includes 5 riding days (1 full day and 4 half-days) and 1 day with no riding activities. Half-Day trails can be replaced by a 1-hour lesson.

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Departure after breakfast, say your good byes! Transfer to Orvieto train station or Rome Airport (transfers at extra cost) or depart by rental car!



Example of day rides (4-5 hours)

Bolsena Lake
From the castle, we ride through the neighboring farmland, through chestnut woods on an ancient track which will carry us right above the crater of Lake Bolsena, the largest volcanic lake in Europe. While riding, we will witness some breath–taking views of the lake and surrounding area and of the two islands, Isola Bisentina and Martana.  As we head down to the lake, you will note many Etruscan tombs scattered throughout the countryside some re-used by farmers as cellars for their wine but still serving as a reminder of the ancient history which abounds in this area. Once at the lake, lunch is served in a typical trattoria, right on the beach. In the right season if you wish to cool off in the water, a swim in the lake can be done before starting the ride back up. We pass the archeological area of Pianezze, literally full of Etruscan tombs dating back 2600 years. Once at the top of the crater, we turn through some vineyards until we reach the shepherds' trail in the woods, leading us back to the estate.

Castle to Castle
This is an incredible ride through Lazio and Tuscany that is not to be missed. Travel on horseback from the Santa Cristina Castle estate to the fortress of Proceno, very much the same way as the dukes traveled hundreds of years ago.  From Santa Cristina, we ride towards the medieval town of Onano. The 16th century church of ‘Madonna delle Grazie’ is half way along the trail and from there we have a charming view of the village walls. We then carry on north towards the magical landscape between Lazio and Tuscany. As we cross the Montorio Game Reserve, we may be lucky enough to see the wild pheasants, fallow deer and wild pigs. Before crossing into Tuscan territory, we wade through a ford in the Stridolone River, before carrying up onto a hilltop which looks over the fortress of Proceno itself. Proceno is a village dominated by the fortress, dating back to medieval times - approximately year 1000.
After lunching on delicious Italian cuisine, we cross the river again and climb up onto a plateau, through thick vegetation, using an old farmers’ trail. As we head home, we ride past vineyards, fields and finally a former nuns’ convent from the 18th century, with a sad past to learn about. Finally, we return to the castle from the Northeast after 40 km of beautiful riding.

Mezzano Lake
This is one of our most renowned excursions. Lake Mezzano is an area worthy of note, owing to its great historical value and natural beauty. The lake itself was once a volcanic crater, formed 400,000 years ago, and the site of human settlements dating right back to the pre–Etruscan era (around 2,700 years ago).
Because of later earthquakes, these settlements are now submerged under water, but the importance of these archeological treasures was confirmed  in the mid-eighties by an archaeological campaign when swords, pots, and other tools were found on the bottom of the lake.
Our excursion takes our riders through the  farmland, up into the wooded  hills which surround Onano. Here, the horses have the opportunity to canter along a wonderful natural passage surrounded by trees. At the top of this plateau, we have a chance to take in the dazzling scenery, before we carry on down past the local farms into a very old woods made of huge chestnut trees that  leads us into a flat and open plain which offers a great deal of scenery.
Here, if desired,  horses can canter up the old tracks, before we reach the marshlands and vineyards which surround the Lake Mezzano itself. The Lake area is part of the Selva del Lamone natural reserve and here is a small  restaurant where we stop for lunch with a fantastic view overlooking the water. During the warmer months, anyone who wishes can also swim in the lake's crystal clear waters. In the afternoon, we ride back following the old Brigands Trail, taking in a few historical sights on the way.



Example of half day rides (2-3 hours)

Panoramic Views
After leaving the castle, we will follow an old shepherds' path reaching the hills framing our plateau to the west. Riding through chestnut woods, we arrive at the top of the crater where there is a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. To the south is the crater of the beautiful Lake Bolsena and to the west if lake Mezzano. Behind us, the imposing shape of Mount Amiata is towering from the north. On a clear breezy day the sea can be seen some 40 km away to the west like a glowing mirror reflecting the sun.
Carrying on up and down through the valleys and hills, across a plateau, we can enjoy the peace and the scenery. In particular, the mesmerizing Mount Amiata, Radicofani fortress and the distant castle of Torre Alfina.
From the hills on the way back, we will follow a comfortable trail winding through the fields and taking us back to the castle.

Medieval Tour
After leaving the arena below the castle, we 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, at a trot we turn left on a path crossing cultivated fields and later chestnut woods. We can now push horses into canter through a fantastic natural passageway in the woods, leading riders to the top of a hill with a beautiful view. Soon we will find another old road carved into the rock, leading us to a wider trail following the valley between the hills. From here, we return to the castle exploring beautiful Italian countryside and chestnut woods.

Nocchieto
Using the old outlaw track called the Brigands' Path, we ride away on a panoramic trail among pastures of grazing sheep. This old trail soon turns down into a narrow valley of volcanic rock. At the bottom of the hills, we will find an old abandoned farmers' settlement: Nocchieto. Still fascinating in its architecture, it is a house made of local tufa rock leaning against the side of the hill. As the road changes from volcanic rock into soft ground, we can gently push our horses forwards into canter and up into the hills. After following a narrow valley to the top, we meet the Brigands' Path again, where we can carry on across varied landscapes past scattered Etruscan tombs and caves.
Finally, we make our way back to the castle to another stunning plateau, where we encounter a lovely vista before returning home through the woods.

San Luigi
After leaving the riding center, we pass an old farm named San Prospero and we ride up through the valleys and hills. our route goes through romantic chestnut woods and up onto the plateau to take in the spectacular scenery, including Mount Amiata, the Radicofani Fortress and the distant castle of Torre Alfina.  We then arrive at the S. Luigi farm, where local shepherds still produce delicious ‘ricotta’ cheese. Around us sheep graze happily in the fields as we follow the way home back along the hills to the castle.

Onano
This time we head north through the hills, a spectacular scenery of the castle estate and surrounding farmland will keep us company. After crossing the provincial road, the trail will lead us towards a magical scenery made by the Tuscan mountains towering in front of us. The trail carries on around the vicinity of Onano – a fortified town of the Middle Ages. Your guide will show you the medieval castle dominating the ancient town – an important stronghold of the Monaldeschi family which ruled the area in the Middle Ages. We keep on going along the old farmers’ tracks, up into the open fields, past the delightful medieval church of St Maria delle Grazie and then back home to the castle.

Gradoli
Following an old Etruscan trail, we ride up through thick woods to the top of the crater surrounding Lake Bolsena. Here, we enjoy a remarkable scenery including vineyards, Etruscan tombs, the prominent volcanic lake and the panorama dominated by the famous Farnese Palace in Gradoli. A gift of the Pope in 1500 to his nephew for his wedding - what a present! We return to the castle riding through the vineyards, vegetable gardens and enchanting woods. In particular, we enjoy a canter through a unique tunnel made by the oak trees above an old shepherds path.



Extra Activities Nearby (added fee)

Boat Rental at Lake Bolsena (150 for half day with gas included - max 5 people per boat)
Lake Bolsena is a volcanic caldera lake supplied entirely from the aquifer, rainfall and runoff. A Caldera is a cauldron-like hollow formed following the evacuation of a magma chamber as opposed to a Crater which forms following an eruption around a volcanic vent. Roman records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC but it has been dormant since then. The two islands in the southern part of the lake were formed by underwater eruptions following the collapse that created the caldera.

Wine Tour (20 pp + transfer service - approx. 70 per car)
The vineyards are located precisely on the slopes of the spur of tufaceous rock on which Sovana is perched, immersed in a breath-taking natural and archaeological panorama. The property was acquired by the Antinori family in 1995 and extends over 193 hectares (some 480 acres) on a gently sloping terrain of volcanic origin with a tufaceous sub-soil. It is situated at approximately 200 meters (660 feet) above sea level. The Fattoria Aldobrandesca wine premiered in summer 1998: Aleatico 1997. In 2004 premiered Vie Cave: the fruit of lands of widely varying features and careful zonal and oenological research.

Spa Visit (inquire for rate)
The medieval village of Sorano is famous for its ancient springs. Recent hydro-geological research has confirmed the existence of an important flow of thermal water, enhancing the value of the ancient springs located above the church of Santa Maria dell ‘Aquila. This natural treasure is now used to feed a large thermal pool, with a special area reserved for children and including two waterfalls. This allows guests to benefit from a natural hydro-massage all year round. The water, rich in calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate, emerges from the springs at a temperature of 37.5°C. Today, guests can enjoy the benefits of this thermal water in the unique surroundings of the Sorano Thermal Springs Residence.



Onsite Non-Riding Activities (included)
- Swimming pool open from 9 am to 8 pm from June 1st to September 30th
- Game room with pool table, table tennis and table football

Onsite Non-Riding Activities (for added fee)
- Tennis court (10€ pp per hour)
- E-bikes rental (20€ pp for half-day / 35€ pp for full day)
- Massages are available upon request and according to our availability (extra cost - please inquire), any day from 9 am to 7 pm
- Yoga (30€ pp)
- Cooking lesson (60€ pp for 50 minutes)
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Alta Tuscany Castle Ride
Tour Code: IT-ITSR05
8 days / 7 nights ~$2,075.00
Dates : March to Nov

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2021 04/17 - 04/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 04/24 - 05/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/01 - 05/08 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/08 - 05/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/15 - 05/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/22 - 05/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/29 - 06/05 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 06/05 - 06/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 06/12 - 06/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 06/19 - 06/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Expired
B 2021 06/26 - 07/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/03 - 07/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/10 - 07/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/17 - 07/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/24 - 07/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 07/31 - 08/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 08/07 - 08/14 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 08/14 - 08/21 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 08/21 - 08/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 08/28 - 09/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
A 2021 09/04 - 09/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 09/11 - 09/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 09/18 - 09/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 09/25 - 10/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 10/02 - 10/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 10/09 - 10/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 10/16 - 10/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 10/23 - 10/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 10/30 - 11/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
B 2021 11/06 - 11/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /10 Reserve
Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Tack: English
Horses: Mixture of local Thoroughbred and Warm...
Pace: Beginners to expert (gallop, jump). Mo...
Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop, Jumps
Airport: Rome Fiumicino
Location on Google Map
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Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
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