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.
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.
You have the opportunity to become familiar with your horse and tack in the arena before riding out into the 800 acre estate, perhaps down to the private lake for a paddle and then on to peaceful woods.
In the afternoon you ride out following the old dirt trails of the estate towards Montaione, the main village of the area. Riding through rolling vineyards and farmland, you pass donkeys, ponies and chickens as you ride up to the artisan Riccardo’s house. If he is in you will have time for coffee and a viewing of his wonderful workshop of ceramic sculptures and etchings.
After leaving his home, you enjoy a long and exhilarating canter along a soft grass track surrounded by fields of wildflowers, before riding into a long shady forest tunnel that eventually takes you home.
Today you head out for the day through olive groves and over rolling hills to Pietrina, an ancient medieval convent near Volterra. In the past “Pietrina” was called ‘Pietra’ whilst today that name indicates the opposite hill where the ruins of an old watchtower sit between the two lakes of Montaione.
First recorded in a document from 1118, the sanctuary of Pietrina is all that remains of the ancient Castle of Pietrina. The sanctuary is built on a rocky spur and affords spectacular panoramic views of the Tuscan landscape and the nearby town of Volterra, an awe inspiring fortressed town perched high on an alabaster cliff.
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 Sughera, a small red colored village dating back to 1100, surrounded by rolling Tuscan farmland. Behind the village is an old merchant trail that will take you to Barbialla, a truffle plantation and Chianina cattle farm. The Chianina is one of the world’s oldest breeds of cattle and historically of immense cultural value to the Tuscans.
After lunch at the farm you head home through ancient tufo trails with panoramic views over the rolling hills. As you ride you may pass a Sardinian shepherd and his flock of sheep, the final legacy of an old almost nomadic lifestyle.
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 (complete with panoramic jacuzzi, aromatic showers, ice grotto and Turkish baths) or for a one hour private Western riding lesson.
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.