Horseback riding in Lazio, Italy

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Alta Tuscany Castle Ride

Itinerary for Alta Tuscany Castle Ride

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes.

Note: The below sample itinerary / activities are subject to changes at the tour operator's discretion.

Day 1 (Thursday): 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 (Friday to Wednesday): 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 (Thursday): 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.

Lake Mezzano
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.

Three Waters along Brigand's Path
On this mini trek we will easily reach the hills framing the plateau in the west on whcih the castle is situated.  A fantastic spot for a breathtaking bird's eye view from the beautiful crater of Bolsena Lake on one side to the surrounding hills of Lake Mezzano on the other side.  On a clear day the sea can be seen 40 km's away like a glowing mirror.

Medieval Church St Maria Delle Colonne
We tackle an ancient track carved into the rocks, until we reach the famous “Brigands’ Path”. Passing the old farmhouse of St. Prospero, at a brisk trot we turn left on the path, crossing cultivated fields and later the chestnut woods. We can now push horses into a canter through a fantastic natural passageway in the woods, leading riders through an exhilarating run in a fairytale environment. Soon we will find another old road carved into the rock, leading us down to the ancient church of St Maria delle Colonne and its nearby fountain. From here, we return to the castle exploring the beautiful Italian countryside and endless chestnut woods.

Nocchieto and St Martino
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.

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.

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.


Non-Riding Activities (included)
- Swimming pool (June 1st – September 30th)
- Mini football Pitch
- Volleyball
- Ping pong
- Billiards

Non-Riding Activities (for added fee)
- Tennis court (€10/ hour)
- Mountain bikes (€18/ person / day)
- Pasta-making class (€75/ person)
- Wine tasting (€25/ person)
- Massages are available upon request and according to our availability (extra cost - please inquire), any day from 9.00 am to 7 pm
- Guided tour of Bolsena Lake (prices and more information at the Castle Reception)
- Archeology at Grotte di Castro (prices and more information at the Castle Reception)
- Spa Visit (prices and more information at the Castle Reception)

There are also road bikes packages available (inquire for pricing and more information).

Cooking Lesson
Cooking classes are taught by chef Giovanni Verzini, a chef of great international experience. Giovanni will give you a real hands-on lesson where you will learn the basics of Italian cooking and the techniques to make an impressive four courses meal, from home-made pasta to traditional desserts and everything in between. All of the ingredients you will use are bought each morning from local farms and markets. If you wish you will be able to participate in the purchase of the necessary local produce for the lesson of the day.
The classes can be from half a day to a week. It is up to you to decide  A half a day class including dinner prepared under the supervision of the chef will cost you € 100 per person.
Every class can be a maximum of 5 people. There is no minimum required.


Spa Visit (extra fee)
Since the time of the Etruscans and the Romans, natural hot springs were considered a natural source of wellness with therapeutic properties. Given it’s volcanic soil, Southern Tuscany offers a vast range of thermal baths of different levels. Only 18 km away from the castle, next to the village of Sorano there is a well organized spa facility. There you can to swim in the warm waters and relax beneath two beautiful waterfalls. Here, you can enjoy a natural hydro massage, a special massage or various spa treatments in the wellness center. Waters are flowing from natural springs at 37° centigrade. The area around the swimming pool is largely equipped with sun beds and umbrellas to satisfy the needs of everyone. A small river surrounds the spa and receives the outgoing native waters. It’s mixed waters come from a little stream in the woods and several other hot springs.

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Alta Tuscany Castle Ride
Tour Code: IT-ITSR05
8 days / 7 nights ~$1,345.00
Dates : March to Nov

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
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.
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.
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 2020 03/28 - 04/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 04/04 - 04/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 04/11 - 04/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 04/18 - 04/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 04/25 - 05/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 05/02 - 05/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 05/09 - 05/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 05/16 - 05/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 05/23 - 05/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 05/30 - 06/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Expired
B 2020 06/06 - 06/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 06/13 - 06/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 06/20 - 06/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 06/27 - 07/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 07/04 - 07/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 07/11 - 07/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 07/18 - 07/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 07/25 - 08/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/01 - 08/08 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/08 - 08/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/15 - 08/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/22 - 08/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/29 - 09/05 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 09/05 - 09/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
A 2020 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 09/19 - 09/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 09/26 - 10/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 10/10 - 10/17 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 10/17 - 10/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 10/24 - 10/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
B 2020 10/31 - 11/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 1 /6 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: English
Horses: Mixture of local Thoroughbred and Warm...
Pace: Beginners to expert (gallop, jump). Mo...
Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop, Jumps
Airport: Rome Fiumicino
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