Preliminary day-by-day program
Saturday You are expected on Saturday evening. After a welcome drink, there will be dinner with your hosts/riding guides. Three courses of typical Italian cuisine are served every evening with local wine.
Sunday With a leisurely breakfast in front of our stone house from the 19th century, enjoy the quiet location in the forest and the view over the horse pastures to the Colle dell'Orso, 30 km away. Then we get to know the horses and, if necessary, familiarize ourselves with western riding. Our first ride begins with a crossing of a rocky river. During the subsequent steep ascent to the Tratturo Celano - Foggia, the horses give us a first taste of their sure-footedness. We cross a horse meadow where we let our horses take a breather. We continue up to the ridge of the mountain whose forest gives us shade. We pass mud pits, the "bathtubs of the wild boar" and catch a glimpse of the frogs living there before we enjoy a short but brisk gallop on an open meadow. Another short steep climb and we reach our picnic spot, Monte Caraceno. This small mountain presents us with a 360° panorama and over 2000 years of Samnite history. After the break we lead the horses a bit until we reach the 200km long tratturo that brings us back to the ranch. In the evening we visit the nearby equestrian center of our host and are served dinner there in their own bistro.
Monday It starts at 10:00 a.m. A long ride through an oak forest leads us to many beautiful meadows near the Tratturo. Here you can gallop wonderfully. We leave the Tratturo and ride to a picnic area where our host once hosted endurance races. Saturated and rested, our path now leads for kilometers through beech forests until it finally leads us to our first hotel directly at the Tratturo. Here we refresh ourselves with drinks in the garden, next door the horses and relax with a great panorama. Around 8:30 p.m., dinner will also take place there.
Tuesday Today is the shortest ride of the week. In about 3 hours we follow the Tratturo until we reach the town of San Pietra Avellana. We ride through high oak and beech forests and stop at a bar on the edge of the forest to enjoy our picnic with fresh cheese and salami from the region. On the road next door we find warning signs that warn drivers about deer crossing by bears, but at the same time show us how intact nature is here. We take care of the horses outside of town at the Tratturo. After unsaddling, we watch them roll around, give them the food in the feed bags and listen to the satisfied snorting. In the evening we walk from our hotel through the old streets of the 10th century founded place to a restaurant. Here there are fresh truffles from the forests that we crossed during the day.
Wednesday Italy's tratturi travel from the fresh mountain pastures of Abruzzo to Puglia in the south. With a length of up to 250km, the 6 main ones cross Molise. Today we will switch to the Tratturo Castel di Sangro - Lucera and ride past the ruins of an almost deserted small town. While nature reclaims this place, the old walls tell stories of the hard life in the mountains. With a bit of luck we will meet the resident shepherd with his herd. Here at the latest the Tratturo comes alive again and we feel transported back to the time when the shepherds covered this route with their flocks twice a year. During our rest, we enjoy not only regional delicacies, but also the wide view, the scent of fresh herbs and stories about the country and its people. In the afternoon, our destination for the day appears on the horizon in front of us. A small place called Roccasicura (safe rock), tucked away somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Our luggage is already waiting for us in a beautiful hotel at the highest point of the village. We have enough time for a typical Italian round with drinks and snacks and a refreshing shower before we make our way to the restaurant.
Thursday After breakfast we ride south along the Tratturo and, depending on the season, we can enjoy the colorful blossoms or nibble on delicious blackberries while we watch the butterflies dance. After a short but strenuous ascent, the horses get a little break before we ride over a stone road to a small plateau over which we can enjoy a wonderfully refreshing gallop. We continue past goats, cows and sheep with their guards, the herding dogs. We reach a junction, the Traturelli San Domenico, which leads us to our picnic area. Here the horses are allowed to graze extensively while we take our time for a picnic in the shade of large trees. Shortly afterwards we visit the Tratturo's church and enjoy the last hours in the saddle. Around 5:00 p.m. we are back at the riding stables, unsaddle the horses one last time and enjoy the farewell dinner.
Friday Departure after breakfast.
N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be adapted.