Our Medieval Tuscany vacation is our most popular riding holiday.
This trip includes 5 full days riding leaving one day midweek free to relax. On the non riding day we offer a free transfer to the train station where you can catch a direct train to Siena or Florence for the day. This trip is the ideal mix between an active equine holiday, and a cultural break in Tuscany. On three days you will have Tuscan picnic’s brought out by a backup vehicle, on the other days riding we return to base for a siesta at lunch time, allowing time to enjoy the pool in-between rides.
Below are a few images of last years rides to give you an idea of what sort of trip and riding we offer our guests.
Collection at Pisa or Florence airport in the afternoon for your transfer to the farm. You will be accompanied to your apartment and will have time in the late afternoon to wander down to the stables and perhaps take a swim.
In the evening enjoy an aperitif on the terrace and meet your guide to discuss the riding over dinner.
Our Medieval Tuscany ride takes place in a beautiful region of Italy that is world famous for its white truffles.
Ride between quaint medieval villages and ruined castles where the traditional rural lifestyle of cultivating and harvesting grapes, olives, truffle and mushrooms continues today. Travelling by horseback brings you in close interaction with your surroundings. You are required to take your time, and inhale the wonderful culture that surrounds you as you ride the ancient trails that thread through wooded hills, valleys, rivers and vineyards in this unique historical and natural paradise.
The following is an illustration of the likely itinerary. However this is flexible and routes may vary due to local conditions, but always with your best interests in mind.
You have the opportunity to become familiar with your horse and tack in the arena with a lesson in western riding before riding out into the 800 acre estate for a morning ride.
After lunch take another 2 hour ride in a different direction. The medieval hill towns and valleys around the estate offer a wonderful cross-section of Italy’s charms, and you will be presented with striking views of the rolling hills, olive groves and the farms own Chianti vineyards.
Today you head out for the day through olive groves and over rolling hills to Ghizzano. Passing under the village of Castelfalfi and through an old abandoned cattle farm an old trails takes you past sunflower fields and along long sand trails amongst the beautiful backdrop of a panoramic view of Volterra.
After lunch surrounded by Mediterranean brush filled with strawberry trees, you ride back to Castellare di Tonda along lovely tufo sand trails and passing huge rolling turnout paddocks where the foals can be seen grazing and playing at liberty.
Another full day ride takes you to Blaconevisi, a hilltop village that looks out over a stunning 360 panorama surrounded by rolling Tuscan farmland for a sumptuous picnic lunch.
Behind the village is an old merchant trail that will take you to Barbialla, a truffle plantation and organic Chianina cattle farm. The Chianina is one of the world’s oldest breeds of cattle and historically of immense cultural value to the Tuscans. Return home via the rolling hills lined with Sangiovese vineyards.
Today is left as a free day from riding and you can take the opportunity to visit Florence or Siena.
For those that would prefer simply to relax at the farm, we recommend the Wellness Clinic and Spa treatments as an excellent cure for muscle fatigue after riding.
After breakfast you depart for the morning to Castelfalfi castle. Riding down deep into the canyon you cross the stream and ride up into Castelfalfi, a hilltop borgo and castle that was built by the Long bards.
Learn about the mysterious legends that surround the castle as you ride up to its fortressed walls, passing the old chapel that holds the remains of a medici princess.
This is pure Tuscany; rolling vineyards, golden wheat fields and dense forests rich with colour. It is not unusual to spot wild boar on this ride, and the stunning backdrop did not go unnoticed by the film director Bennini, who filmed his adaption of Pinocchio here a few years ago.
This afternoon you have the choice to exchange your afternoon trail ride for either a Spa session in the hydro spa circuit or for a one hour private Western riding lesson with Franco. An experience that is highly recommended to our riding clients.
Today’s full day ride incorporates some diverse and interesting riding. Forest trails, creek crossings, open fields, abandoned ruins, and finally the highlight of San Vivaldo monastery. Here you tie the horses in a shady area, whilst you enjoy a picnic lunch in this extraordinary religious retreat.
Constructed between 1500 and 1600 on ruins that date back to 1100, San Vivaldo became known as the Jerusalem of Italy. San Vivaldo was created to allow devoted Catholics the possibility to take a sacred pilgrimage without having to travel to Jerusalem (which at the time was controlled by the Turks, and was therefore very dangerous). Still a working Franciscan monastery, there are 18 chapels through the San Vivaldo Park; and each represents a part of the life and passion of Jesus Christ.
You return to the stables via the trail of the wolf, an old forest trail that has been used for hundreds of years by travelers on their way to Volterra. The trail leads you past a Cinta Senese pig farm and interesting swamp sections where the rider feels almost as if he is traveling through the Amazon.
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Price low season: 1188 € per person. Price Mid Season 1320€ per person.
INCLUDES Seven nights accommodation; half board; picnic lunch on three days; wine with dinner; riding as per program; return shared transfers from Pisa airport at a set time, Florence airport or Castelfiorentino station (at set times); tourist tax; twice weekly apartment cleaning.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT To guarantee a single one bedroom apartment €180 . If you are willing to share, and a sharer is available, there is no single supplement for a single room in shared apartment with shared bathroom. The supplement is payable in advance and refunded when we find you a sharer.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Lunches on the two days when we return to base, and on the free day; Spa treatments; other activities; gratuities.
NEAREST AIRPORT Pisa or Florence
NOT INCLUDED Flights to Pisa or Florence.