On our Castle Based Trail Ride you will have the opportunity to explore ancient tracks , visit infamous lakes such as Lake Bolsena, and stay overnight in a breath-taking castle on the boarder of Tuscany and Umbria. Umbria has not always been known for its majestic beauty, rolling hills and fruitful land, however now it is known as Italy’s ‘green heart’ and the region is every bit as celebrated as its famous neighbour Tuscany.
Your breath taking accommodation is located one and a half hours from Rome, the splendid 17th century castle has two swimming pools, a tennis court and ample gardens and for those wishing to ride, some well-run stables with professional instruction and miles of breath-taking trail riding to look forward to.
Throughout your stay you will bear witness to some glorious pastoral scenery enabling you to ride amongst the olive groves, vineyards and cypress-topped hills . You can also view high mountain landscapes such as the Monti Sibillini that is even higher than it's neigboring mountains.
Umbria is also a region where the food, wine, art, culture and architecture are the equal of any in Italy. Norcia, with its truffles, hams and cheeses, for example, is a gastronomic centre par excellence; Orvieto’s duomo is one of the country’s finest cathedrals; Spoleto’s summer festival is one of Europe’s major cultural events; and Assisi’s majestic Basilica di San Francesco contains frescoes by Giotto and others that mark a turning point in the history of Western art.
Finally, there are qualities to Umbria and Tuscany beyond towns, truffles or cypresses. Umbria mistica – mystical Umbria – some have called it, or “la terra dei santi”, the land of saints, after the hundreds of saints born here, including St Valentine and the two fathers of Western monasticism, St Francis and St Benedict.
On day 2 of your trip you will ride to Lake Bolsena which is a crater lake of central Italy, of volcanic origin. Roman historic records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC; 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. This is a fantastic spot with breathtaking views of the area stretching from the beautiful crater of Lake Bolsena on one side, to the hills surrounding Lake Mezzano on the other side. On a clear day you can see the sea 40 km away, shimmering like a mirror. As you head back along this ancient ‘outlaws highway’ you will pass through mature oak woodlands dotted with original farm dwellings built in the traditional tufo rock.
One of the highlights of this riding through Tuscany is the rich Etruscan legacy. The Etruscan civilisation predates the Romans and dates from around 700 BC until it was assimilated into the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. The area around Pitigliano and Sovana is particularly rich in Etruscan ruins, history and tombs. The intriguing vie cave (sunken roads) criss-cross this area and you will ride along these mysterious pathways. Individual caves are carved up to 20 feet deep in the soft tofu rock and although there use is shrouded in mystery they remain a powerful reminder of the area’s Etruscan heritage.
This Tuscany Riding Experience is a truly magical one, especially when travelled on horseback. To book, follow the link here or call our expert team on 01829 781 123.