Italy - Tuscany Castle Ride
Welcome to our beautiful eighteenth century castle which is situated between the hills of Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria (barely 200 km / 125 miles) from Rome.
The castle was once the residence of a Cardinal who kept the Vatican's treasures safe here during the 1848 revolution. He chose the palace as his home and now his descendants, Count Antonio and his family, have opened up his home for riders from all countries. Horses have once again been given a central role on the estate.
With its fairytale turrets, the castle is a romantic and comfortable environment for exploring the surrounding culture and history by horseback.
Program - Tuscany Castle Ride
Mile after mile of perfect riding trails surround this magnificent property and you only need to cross a road now and then. On one day, you will head off on an all-day ride to see some more of the local area.
Tuscany Castle ride, week: 7 nights, 5 days riding: 1 full day (4-5 hours), 4/2 day (2-3 hours / day).
Tuscany Castle ride, weekend: 4 nights, 4 days riding: 1 full day ride (4-5 hours), 3 half-day rides (2 hours / day). If you arrive on Thursday morning, your first riding session will be in the afternoon. Conversely, if you go home after 12:30pm on Monday, you will have time to ride one last session on Monday morning.
Tuscany - Rome city & Riding, week: 3 nights in apartment in Rome, self catering. 4 nights at farmhouse below the castle, 4 days riding: 1 full day ride (4-5 hours), 3 half-day rides (2 hours / day)
Ride, wine & spa, week: 7 nights, 4 riding days:1 full day(4/5 hr), 3 half days (2\3 hr). 2 massage 50’, 1 wine tasting and transfer included to Famous Fattoria Aldobandesca Antinori in Tuscany.
New Year program: 5 nights, 4 half day riding (2-3 hours/day), 50 min. massage, full board incl. 1 glass of wine, water and coffee with meals. New Year's eve dinner with live music and fireworks, 1 wine tasting in Tuscany at famous Fattoria Aldobrandesca Antinori. Transfer included to Orvieto (Umbria), Civita di Bagnoregio and Pitigliano (Tuscany), 1 cooking class preparing handmade pasta with ragu, 1 massage 50' with our professional physiotherapist.
Below is a sample itinerary for the riding days during a week or weekend. Paths can change according to the weather and the organization.
Half Day Ride 18km. We ride towards the hills framing the west plateau on which the castle is situated. A fantas:c spot for a breathtaking view of the area; from the beautiful crater of Lake Bolsena to the hills surrounding lake Mezzano.
Full Day, Lake Mezzano 32 km
We ride through farmland on the Brigands Path into the wooded hills which surround Onano, we glimpse stone pine trees atop an ancient Etruscan site and arrive on the flat plain of the Mezzano crater. We stop at the Fra Viaco farm restaurant and meet for lunch. You can take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake. After a delicious meal, we ascend through ancient chestnut woods to arrive back at the castle.
We will be heading out along The Brigands Trail towards the picturesque Lake Bolsena. 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.
Half Day Ride 20 km.
Once again this morning we take the Brigands path, we head north through the hills towards Onano, a fortified village with a medieval castle which was the stronghold of the Monaldeschi family who ruled this area during the Middle Ages. At the Madonna delle grazie church we will follow the track north through enchanting countryside back to the castle.
Half day ride 16km
Following an old Etruscan trail, we will ride up through thick woods to the top of the crater surrounding lake Bolsena. Here, we will enjoy remarkable scenery including vineyards, Etruscan tombs, the prominent volcanic lake and the panorama dominated by the famous Farnese palace in Gradoli; a gift made by the Pope in 1500 for his nephew for his wedding - what a present! We will return to the castle riding through the vineyards, vegetable gardens and enchanting woods. In particular, we will enjoy a canter across a tunnel made by oak trees above an old shepherds path.
Program - Tuscany Ride & cycling
On the program Ride & cycling you can ride and your partner cycles with a professional guide and then you meet for lunch. You both get an active day with fun experiences.
For riders: 7 nights, 5 days riding: 2 full days (4-5 hours/day), 3 half days (2-3 hours/day).
For cyclists: 7 nights, 5 days cykling
Preliminary day-by- day- program. NOTE. the program can be done in another order or changed depending on the weather.
Day 1. After a check-in and welcome drink, you'll meet our guides for an introduction and programme briefing, take a guided tour of the Castle then sit down for a welcome dinner in the Taverna.
For cyclists: Torre Alfina 50 km. Road bike
Zig-zagging through the countryside we will reach the town of Bolsena where we’ll have a coffee in the main square. Following an undulating route, we reach Torre Alfina Castle where we will stop for a gelato before returning back to the castle.
For riders: Half day ride 18km.
We ride towards the hills framing the west plateau on which the castle is situated. A fantastic spot for a breathtaking view of the area; from the beautiful crater of Lake Bolsena to the hills surrounding lake Mezzano.
For cyclists: Lake Mezzano 30/50 km. Mountain Bike (2 routes to choose from))
After climbing the wooded hills of the Selva di Onano we head towards Tuscany following a scenic gravel road to approach the lake from the North West side. All around us is fantastic unspoiled countryside. We stop at the Fra Viaco farm restaurant and meet the riders for lunch. You can take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake. After a delicious meal, we are prepared for the steep uphill climb before a welldeserved final descent to the castle.
For riders: Lake Mezzano: 32 km
We ride through farmland on the Brigands Path into the wooded hills which surround Onano, we glimpse stone pine trees atop an ancient Etruscan site and arrive on the flat plain of the Mezzano crater. We stop at the Fra Viaco farm restaurant and meet cyclists for lunch. You can take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake. After a delicious meal, we ascend through ancient chestnut woods to arrive back at the castle.
Day 4. A day off for sightseeing.
The local area is full of interesting archaeological and historical sites. A few suggestions include the village fortresses of Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovano. It is definitely worth visiting the marvellous Italian gothic church of Orvieto - Civita di Bagnoregio, known as the ‘Dying Town’. Wine tasting at famous Fattoria Aldobrandesca Antinori OR 2 or 4 hours boat rental on Bolsena lake (summer) are other options that can be booked. Alternatively you can choose to relax at the castle and take advantage of the swimming pool, tennis court, indoor and outdoor games . Book a massage or take a cooking class.
For cyclists: Lake Bolsena - the largest volcanic lake in Europe. 50 km Mountain Bike.
Descending into the crater, we will admire the hilltop town of Grotte di Castro. Once beside the lake, we follow its northern shore heading towards Capodimonte. We meet the riders at a lakeside restaurant for lunch and a swim. On the return journey we climb out of the crater, crossing the village of Gradoli.
For riders: Lake Bolsena: 36 km
Following an old trail down through the crater, breath-taking views will accompany us. Here and there, scattered around the countryside, archaeological sites with Etruscan tombs will remind us how old the beautiful land is. We meet the cyclists at a lakeside restaurant for lunch and a swim.
For cyclists: Pitigliano & Sorano 60 km Road Bike.
After crossing Onano, the road will gently undulate before descending deeply into the gorge of the river Lente. The dramatic view of the fortress in Sorano is worth a photo stop. Onwards towards Pitigliano which was once an Etruscan village and then a medieval fortress owned by the noble Orsini family. We will stop to visit the historical center and the Jewish ghetto. The return route will steadily but gently climb until the final descent to the castle.
For riders: Half day ride 20 km.
Taking the Brigands path, we head north through the hills towards Onano, a fortified village with a medieval castle which was the stronghold of the Monaldeschi family who ruled this area during the Middle Ages. At the Madonna
delle grazie church we will follow the track north through enchanting countryside back to the castle.
For cyclists: Monte Amiata: 107km (a less challenging ride is available) Road Bike.
Mount Amiata is the big irresistible challenge for the local cyclists. The first part is an easy mostly downhill route, following the old Roman road along the river Paglia. However, we soon start climbing for 27 km up along the mountain
touching Piancastagnaio and Abbadia S.Salvatore. The road winds up through the old mines, then through the chestnut woods for a time that seems never ending. Finally we reach the top at 1734 m. A well-deserved stop to refuel and
take some photos and then down the steep roads of the southern side of the mountain. The air is cool and thin and you can feel the difference. Watch out on the last 20 km where there are ups and downs on the hills not to be underrated.
For riders: Half day ride 16 km
Following an old Etruscan trail, we will ride up through thick woods to the top of the crater surrounding lake Bolsena. Here, we will enjoy remarkable scenery including vineyards, Etruscan tombs, the prominent volcanic lake and the panorama
dominated by the famous Farnese palace in Gradoli; a gift made by the Pope in 1500 for his nephew for his wedding - what a present! We will return to the castle riding through the vineyards, vegetable gardens and enchanting woods. In particular, we will enjoy a canter across a tunnel made by oak trees above an old shepherds path.
Day 8. Having had many amazing experiences and exhilara:ng adventures, you will prepare for your onward journey taking with you many happy memories. Checkout is usually between 10am-12pm, although a late checkout can be
arranged subject to availability.
The excursions can be changed according to weather, horses, riders experience level or circumstances beyond our control by the management of the castle. Safety is our primary concern.
We can also provide Electric Bikes 150 EUR for the week.
Accommodation and Food
Large parts of the castle are now a museum. Just below the castle is a large building from the nineteenth century that has been converted into a hotel and restaurant / bar. The farm has a total of eight charming apartments and fourteen rooms. All rooms are en suite and apartments are fully equipped for self-catering.
It is possible to book a single room (price for single supplement available under Dates & Prices). If there is no one to share a room with, a single supplement will be payable.
Safe deposit box: No
Hair Dryer: Yes, on request.
Towels and sheets: Yes
Fridge: In apartments.
On the ground floor there is a large "taverna" with brick vaulted ceiling. It features a restaurant and a billiards room and a kitchen that is also used for cooking classes.
The food here is traditional Italian food and includes local specialties along with a few new and delicious recipes. You can choose half or full board (price for full board available under Dates & Prices). Dinner is served between 8.00/8.30pm.
At lunch you will be offered three courses and at dinner four incl. 1 glass of wine. During the summer, you can dine al fresco on the terrace overlooking the pool. The pool is open between 1 June and 30 September.
There are about twenty horses, Maremma-, Dutch- and Irish half-bloods and about 160-170 cm (63-67 in).
Weight limit: 90kg
Accommodation in Rome
Rome City & ridning: Bright Flat just refurbished 50 m2, at the second floor with a lift. In a very characteristic and central area (Trastevere) full of historical sights and delicious restaurants, close to the river Tiber.
The farm is very well suited as a base for the whole family. There are two pools, a tennis court and plenty of space for active children.
It is possible to rent bicycles with or without a guide. Antonio is an avid cyclist who can advise you about good routes. You can also meet up with the horse riders at lunchtime.
Temperature: about 20 ° C (68 F) in spring and autumn, approximately + 15 ° C (59 F) during winter and about + 25-30 ° C (77-86 F) during the summer.
Ability description: Trail ride level 2-3 >>
Included in the price. Accomodation, riding, half- or full board incl. 1 glass of wine, water and coffee with meals.
Not included: Flights, transfers, personal insurance, drinks and extras not mentioned.
Travel: Fly to Rome, Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino Airport) or Ciampino Airport.
Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore and pay in cash direct to the riding centre.
From the airport you can take train to Orvieto Train Station and have transfer from there (about 50km), different times during the day. Train time table at Tren Italia >>.
Price (roundtrip): 1 person 100 EUR. 2-3 persons 120 EUR. 4 persons 140 EUR
If you want transfer directly from the airport Fiumicino Airport - (150 km) or Ciampino Airport - (170 km).
From Fiumicino: Price (roundtrip): 1 person 240 EUR. 2-3 persons 260 EUR. It requires 2 cars for 4 persons.
From Ciampino: Price (roundtrip): 1 person 250 EUR. 2-3 persons 275 EUR. It requires 2 cars for 4 persons.
This transfer service is available between the hours of 09:00 am and 8:00 pm. After 8:00 pm it will be 15 EUR extra.
Car: We recommend renting a car if you want to explore the area around the equestrian center, there is a lot to discover when you are not riding.
Season: Mars - November. Low season 12/3 - 17/6, 17/9 - 6/11. High season, 18/6 - 16/9 and bank holidays.
Arrival day: Weekend: Thursday afternoon (or at the latest 10.00pm), departure monday after 12.30 pm.
Week: Saturday afternoon and departure following saturday after breakfast.
Single room: Can be booked with a supplement. For price click on ”Book on request” under Dates & prices. If there is no one to share a room with, a single supplement will be added.
Credit card: Accepted at riding center.
Tipping: Not required but appreciated.
Wifi: Yes, it is best in the reception and restaurant.
Group size: Tuscanay Castle Ride: 1-5 riders. If more than 5 riders it will be 2 guides. Trail Ride throught Medieval Castles: 4-8 riders.
Age limit: 14 years old, together with an adult.
Closest village: 5 minutes by car with restaurants, pubs, sight seeing.
Beach: 15 minutes by car.
Pool: Yes, open June-September.
Insurance: NOTE! Mandatory from 2019 to be able to show an insurance covering riding. If this is not the case, you must purchase an insurance on the spot upon arrival. EUR 35 per person and valid for 2-7 days.
Riding equipment to borrow: Helmet, boots, chaps.
Saddle bag available: No
Special diet: Inform when booking.