Amid rolling hills and fertile countryside just 30 minutes by train from Rome, this ride is a perfect combination of trail riding with the chance to hone your skills too. Nestled between the lakes of Bracciano and Martingano, the Country Relais I Due Laghi has hosted guests of most discriminating palates in their well appointed guestrooms and suites.
The horses are predominantly Maremma but you will also see more than a few Irish Sport Horses as well. These agile and athletic steeds are eager to show you the ancient Etruscan ruins and tombs that are prevalent in this area. With ample chances to trot and canter and easy, rolling hills, you will find yourself awed by the views and variety that await you each day.
The first British Horse Society approved facility in Italy, you also have ample opportunity to have lessons on flatwork, jumping and miles of cross country jumping. Approved since 1999, and recently awarded Stage 3 designation, you may ride and train in two sand arenas, a grass arena, an extensive cross country field (flat work, dressage, jumping) or enjoy a fun hack in and around the Estate. The team of Carlos, Ilaria and Camilla will give you an engaging week of lessons and trail rides!
Dates: Mid February to mid June, mid September to mid November – all departures are 6 nights
Rate: $1,695.00 USD per person sharing (Single Supplement $250.00 USD)
- 6 nights accommodation
- 4 days of riding
- All meals except 1 lunch
- Horse and all tack
- Instruction and guiding
- All local taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Transfers to/from the airport ot train station
- 1 lunch on Wednesday
- Drinks with meals
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the week
Day 1 - Sunday:
Guests arrive either to Fiumicino Airport in Rome or the the Anguillar Train Station at anytime on Sunday. Transfers are not included but can be arranged from either location. Time to settle in and relax. In the evening, the members of the management will have a drink with you to discuss the upcoming week and the program.
Day 2 - Monday:
Riders will have an assessment lesson in the morning, and in the afternoon dressage and/or jumping lessons.
Day 3 - Tuesday:
Today begins with a relaxing and soft hack in the estate and receiving an overview of the extnesive “agritourismo” farm of I Due Laghi. This is a wonderful way to start the week and a lovely chance to hack out into the verdant countryside.
You will have a visit to the goat farm on the property, where the dairy products are all converted and see how the milk makes many types of mouth watering cheeses. The visit wouldn’t be complete with just the chance to observe, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the cheeses with a glass of wine while admiring the panoramic view of Lake Bracciano. All the while, the shepherd will continue to discuss the cheese making process and be available for questions.
Day 4 - Wednesday:
Today is a free day with an excellent chance to make a visit to Rome all day via a quick 45 minute train ride.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a free morning on the grounds of the estate. In the afternoon, you may choose to visit the 15th century Castle Odescalchi (more recently known as the place where Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes) in Bracciano (optional, cost not included) or relax with a free afternoon.
Day 5 - Thursday:
After breakfast, depart on horseback from the stable and ride through the countryside to the very ancient Via di Polline (VIII B.C.). This ancient Roman road was made by the Etruscans living in the towns of Veio and Cerveteri. When the Romans conquered Etruria, they travelled rode upon this road with the Legionaries. It was additionally a very essential road used for trading.
During the Empire (from I century A.D.) the Social Elite used this road to reach their villas. Most of the villas were ‘villae rusticae’ (working farms); as is I Due Laghi. While the road gently heads upward you will ride through the large oak woods and see the volcanic Lake of Bracciano, shimmering with its crystal-clear water. In 102 AD the Emperor Traiano built an amazing aqueduct which brought the water to Rome and is still used today by the Romans and the Vatican City.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Tower of Straccicappe (XII A.D.) which was built as a lookout for the sentinels. Here they could watch the Thyrrhenian Sea and alert the village for possible attacks by Barbary pirates who frequently landed on the coast and attacked the local residents. As you continue your ride you will have a larger view of the lake and see the perfect triangle of the high Mount of Rocca Romana and the medieval village of Trevignano, built by the Etruscans. At the summit of the village are the ruins of the Rocca Orsini castle which was sacked and destroyed by Cesare Borgian known as “Il Valentino” in 1496 while fighting the Orsini family in Bracciano. The renaissance Florentine writer Niccolò Machiavelli thought of Il Valentino while writing his philosophic and political book ‘Il Principe’ and thus dedicated the work to him. You will ride smoothly to the top of the mountain covered with enormous oaks and typical Mediterranean trees.
At a certain point along this ride (555 feet up) you will have a panoramic view you could get lost in, with the horizon, green fields and the sea at your feet. It is truly a lovely day of riding!
Day 6 - Friday:
Today you will leave I Due Laghi and head towards the small “treasure” Lake of Martignano, and ride completely around it. The lake was inhabited by the Etruscans in the Villanova period (IX B.C.) and their lost civilization can be seen by the remains of the many tombs in the area.
The Romans chose this beautiful place as an escape from the hard work of the Empire. The Emperor Augusto, son of Julius Cesar, called it Lacus Alsietinue. Here is where the Emperor built an aqueduct which brought the water to Rome, on the top of Gianicolo hill. The water would fall down to Trastevere allowing the mills to work, creating Naumachia (battle of ships) and irrigating the gardens of Julius Cesar. You will follow the road and footpath down through the oak woods, as the view widens below to the very ancient volcanic affected settlement area.
Closely-planted trees will surround you and the lake as you get to a certain point where the view will take your breath away. At this lovely spot, you will be able to see both lakes simultaneously. You will ride on ‘La Tagliato’ a road carved in the rocks by the Etruscans in the 5th Century B.C and head down to the beach where you will stop to have lunch at a place called St. Alexander. People have been living here since ancient times and, it is said, this was the place where Alessandro, a Christian martyr, was killed in the 3rd Century A.D.
After lunch, the ride will continue around the rest of the lake, riding on a paved Roman road and following along another lake. This lake looks slightly mysterious with no signs of resident life. At the end of the day, while riding back to I Due Laghi, you will feel as though you have been living in a dream.
Day 7 - Saturday:
Enjoy a last lovely breakfast before your return home.