Central Apennine Mountains Ride

Abruzzo/Molise Italy: (IT-ITMC01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Italy_central_apennine_mountains_ride.aspx

Abruzzo/Molise Italy
If you enjoy the captivating scenery of the mountains and the inviting culture of Italy, look no further than the Central Apennine Mountains Ride!

Our trek takes you through the second highest municipality in Italy and around the Central Apennine Mountain range. Prepare yourself for exciting climbs and breathtaking views (up to 5,235ft) that has you feeling like you are on top of the world! From the top of Monte Campo, you will get sights of Alto Molise and the Abruzzo, Colle dekk'Orso, the Matese, and the Mainarde! We have our trustworthy horses to thank for carrying us up the mountains and letting us experience the wonders of nature from horseback. Perfect for those who want a bit more diversity in their landscape, this trip also takes you through valleys, meadows, and forests of silver firs- one even protected by UNESCO as it contains a 5--year old beech tree. These areas give us the opportunity to stretch our legs a bit more and have some thrilling canters. Two nights will be spent in Capracotta. The name of this village literally means “cooked goat”. We'll visit a hunting lodge which used to belong to the royal family of the Bourbons, but is a museum nowadays. Then the route leads to “il Re Faione”.

You'll be staying at various accommodations along the way, selected for their character and hospitality. In Italy you never have to worry about going hungry! Our guide used to own a restaurant and has an amazing taste for food! All locally-sourced restaurants, your palate will be dancing with flavours! This ride is sure to please any rider looking for adventure with thrilling views!


This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different accommodations.

Three nights are spent at the farmhouse, four nights are spent in various rural hotels, and one night at an Agriturismo. All accommodations except the farmhouse has private bathrooms.

Night 1, 2, & 7: Farmhouse
Night 3 & 4: Hotel in Capracotta
Night 5: B&B in San Pietro Avellana
Night 6: Agriturismo near Roccasicura

There is no WIFI available on this trip.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is subject to availability.

All meals are included for this trip from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8. You can be assured that at all these destinations you will be comfortable and very well fed. The food is wonderful with great care being taken to provide local specialties cooked with fresh ingredients.  Carmine used to own a restaurant and this is apparent from the wonderful recipes he shares with his guests. The tiramisu is the very best!
Breakfast is usually 'continental'. Expect a lot of delicious pasta, salads, cheese, and bread. You will also taste the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, tasty salami, and other delights like tiramisu and fresh peaches. Lunchtime often consists of salami, cheese, and bread picnic-style, accompanied with a glass of crisp wine. Wines and beers are included during meals. All other drinks must be paid for. A share of this is usually about 30€ for the week and covers extra drinks, ice creams etc.
You will never go hungry here! Our own testers called the food 'imaginative and delectable' and 'original and sumptuous'!

Fund for refreshments and snacks
For the trek we collect Euro 30 per person to go into a mutual fund for refreshments on our way plus drinks and snacks other than at meals.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Riding Level
Riders must be at least intermediate level to attend this ride. This means you are able to control a horse at ALL gaits, can mount and dismount unassisted, and are in good physical condition. There are areas where you will need to dismount and lead your horse. Therefore, you need to be in good shape.
We ride with western tack but experience in western-riding is not required.

The ride includes 5.5 riding days with long days in the saddle (5-6 hours). The horses have to climb and go down a lot. Therefore, the pace is generally not very fast. However, in the plateaus and in the valleys we make long canters. The safety of the rider and that of the horse is of paramount importance to us!

The horses have been selected for their character, looks, and intelligence. The horses are willing and easy-going. They were all born in the mountains, so they are very reliable.
All year-long, they live in a herd which makes them a close group- besides, most of them are related in some way or the other. They can choose from the paddocks around the house or the stable, which is at a distance of 30 feet from the house.
The horses are trained gently and with a lot of patience.

Carmine is a certified guides FISE (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestre). He speaks Italian and English.

Age Restriction
We require all riders to be 12 years if traveling with and adult or 16 years if traveling alone.


Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1: Saturday
We will pick you up from the Isernia train station for 19:45 and drive you to the farmhouse. After a welcome drink there will be dinner with your host/guide. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night, accompanied by local wines.

Day 2: Sunday
The morning is yours. You may sleep late, take your time over breakfast, do whatever you like. Before lunch there is a safety-briefing. Then we groom and saddle up the horses, followed by a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch we do a test-ride (three hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trek. Dinner and BB are at the farm-house.

Day 3: Monday
At about 10 a.m. we leave the house. Today’s destination is Capracotta. This little village (500 inhabitants) is situated at 5,200 feet, which makes it one of the highest municipalities in Italy. Curiously, the name literally means “cooked goat”. Before lunch we ride through endless fields. After 2,5 hours it is time for a delicious picnic. After this we make a lengthy canter through a long valley. At the end Capracotta dooms up, but it will take about two hours of riding to get there. We are staying at a hotel and dinner is at a restaurant.

Day 4: Tuesday
Today we will make a day-ride and climb “il Monte Campo”. The highest point is at 5,235 feet. From here we get a gorgeous view of “Alto Molise” and the Abruzzo. After this we follow cross-country skiing slopes, which lead through a wood of silver firs. Picnic is at the Rio Verde (green river). A little later we arrive at Prato Gentile, which literally means “kind meadow”. In the afternoon we descend to Capracotta and ride through an open landscape with many meadows. The night will be spent at the same hotel, but dinner is at a different restaurant.

Day 5: Wednesday
After a few canters we follow a gravel road, which gradually goes upwards. The horses enjoy their breathing space while we riders enjoy the view of four different mountain ranges, namely the Colle dell’Orso, the Matese, the Mainarde, and the national Park of Abruzzo. After picnic the trail leads us into the direction of the little village San Pietro Avellana. We dine and spend the night at a little hotel, which is only a few miles from the village. Outside the village we leave the horses in a field were we have to make a paddock with electric wire. We sleep in B&B and go out for pizza.

Day 6: Thursday
After about an hour we pass Montedimezzo which used to belong to the royal family of the Bourbons. The hunting lodge nowadays is a museum. The forest is protected by UNESCO. Worldwide, this organization protects 256 forests. Four of them are located in Italy; two of which in Molise. Then we ride to “il re Faione”. This “King of beech-trees” is almost 500 years old. We have picnic on the top of a hill with a nice view of the surroundings. After this it will take two hours at the most before we arrive at Littorio’s “agriturismo”. Up till quite recently he used to keep horses, so the paddocks next to his house are for us to use.

Day 7: Friday
After breakfast we follow part of the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. A Tratturo is a 2,000 years old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where grass is scarce in summer. Around midday we reach Pescolanciano. Here we stop for lunch, which will be served at a little restaurant. In the afternoon we climb the hills that border on the forest of Collemelucio. This is the other forest protected by UNESCO. The project is called Man and Biosphere (MAB). The last few miles on horseback take us over open heath land and dense oak-woods. About 5 p.m. we are back at the farm-house, unsaddle the horses for the last time and enjoy the farewell dinner.

Day 8: Saturday
Departure after breakfast.

Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the program may have to be adapted.

Rates and Dates for Central Apennine Mountains Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations for 7 nights (3 at the farmhouse, 3 at rural hotels, and 1 at an agriturismo), all meals with wine and beer at lunch and dinner, 5.5 riding days, English-speaking guide, luggage transport, transfers from Isernia train station

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20198 day trip, AP€1150$1380
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2019 Transfer from the Isernia train station included at set times (19:45 pickup, 0850 drop-off) 0 $0
2019 Single supplement
- to be paid locally
105 $125

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 05/25 - 06/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /8 Expired
A 2019 10/12 - 10/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 /8 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Gratuities, drinks and snacks outside of meals (a collective Euro 30 per rider is to be paid locally to purchase these for the group).

Other Info
Meeting: Carovilli
Airport: Naples
Transfer: Isernia Train Station

                                                Vastogirardi area














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Source: NOAA

Rainfall is most frequent and heaviest in late autumn and early spring, though of short duration, but lasts longer in winter, with peak levels in November and the lowest levels in July.

The annual average temperature varies from 8°-12° in the mountainous area to 12°-16° in the maritime area; in both areas the difference can be quite extreme and take you completely by surprise.  January and February are the coldest month. In the mountains, it can often drop below zero and an open-fire is very welcome to counter the nip in the air.

Spring (March - May)
Situated at a latitude of about 42°, Majella National Park benefits of a considerable insolation with pleasant days, although sometimes windy, with average temperatures round 12° C, at midday, at 1,500m above sea level. In this period, the western slopes free from snow are covered by spectacular flowerings. The upper part of the mountain retains a significant snow covering until May. Until this period, hiking is favoured by a type of snow consolidated by the alternation of daytime insolation and considerable night-time cooling.

Summer (June - August)
The summer season within Majella National Park can be identified into three different climatic situations: a temperate-cool area – up to 1,000 m above sea level ­– with an average temperature between 15° and 20° C; a temperate-cold area – comprised between 1,000 m - 2,400 m above sea level – with an average temperature around 10° C; and finally a cold area ­– extending above 2,400 m above sea level – with average temperatures lower than 10° C.
Usually summer precipitation consists of thunderstorms that often cause a significant drop in temperature. In general, the average temperatures allow for pleasant hikes at altitudes above 1,500 meters, but walking tours are also possible below this height, especially under the beech canopies extending almost throughout the basal areas and crossed by hiking trails, thus encouraging the visit even during the hottest hours of the day.

Autumn (September – November)
From September to October the weather tends to be clear, with very cool nights and possible snowfalls on the highest peaks. Days get shorter while the landscape changes with the beech forests assuming the characteristic spectacular autumn shades.
This is perhaps the most stable period (also due to calm winds), facilitating also cultural-oriented excursions to the hermitages as well as to the piedmont villages.

Winter (December – February)
In winter, the prevailing winds are those coming from the North and provoking significant drops in temperature and heavy rainfalls. From December to March the heavy snowfalls give way to clear sunny days with temperatures touching 10° C. In December, January and February temperatures often drop below 0° C at night within those area overpassing 1,500 m above sea level. The visibility is generally good, allowing views up to 100 km in the distance towards the Adriatic Sea coast, Gran Sasso, Velino-Sirente and Laga massifs as well as towards the northern part of the nearby Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park.

What To Bring:
Please bring your luggage in a soft bag or canvas nylon.

◦riding hat (a riding hat is obligatory for minors and strongly recommended for adults)
◦trousers or jeans without thick seams
◦shoes/boots with solid profile
◦warm clothing (nights are chilly in the mountains, even in summer)
◦(long) chaps
◦electric torch
◦personal medication (if any)
◦comfortable shoes (for the evenings)
◦paper tissues