The rolling hills of Tuscany tell the story of the Medici family and the local village folk. The family crest can be found in every village and on the many Roman roads that meander through the countryside. This is the gentle land of soft breezes rustling the leaves on the olive trees and coaxing the grapes to ripen to their fullest before the harvest.
Ride through cypress groves and vineyards, enjoy leisurely meals of fresh pasta, olives, cheeses and meats. This stationary ride give you the chance to settle in at Il Poggio, a luxurious hotel situated, as its name describes, on the top of a hill with breathtaking panoramic views.
Ride on and to the the famous Via Francigena, the road of the ancient Estrucans and Romans, Mount Cetona, an important pre-historic setting in central Italy with its myriad of natural caves and also the Castle of Radicofani and its history of occupation by the “gentleman bandit”, a Robin Hood of sorts.
Dates: Available April-October weekly
*Other dates may be arranged for groups of 4 or more people.
Rates: $2,365.00 USD per person sharing (4 Hours of daily riding) (Single Supplement: $395.00 USD)
$2,045.00 USD per person sharing (3 Hours of daily riding)
Cooking Class: $165.00 USD per person
Wine Tasting: $25.00 USD per person
Suite Upgrade: $195.00 USD per person
Transfer fee from Chiusi (round trip): Included in the trip fee above. If you wish to drive yourself, you may deduct $120.00 from the price.
- 6 nights accommodation
- 5 days of riding
- All meals
- Horse and all tack
- Guiding Services
- Transfer to/from Chiusi train station
- All local taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Transfer to/from the airport
- Beverages with meals
- Gratuities for the team at the end of the stay
Day 1 - Sunday:
Arrive on Sunday and settle into your accommodations at Il Poggio equestrian center. You will have time to relax before meeting Enrica Bartolini ,owner of Il Poggio and instructor-guide with Carlo Baccelloni for a complimentary aperitif. This evening you will sample the first of your delicious meals at Il Poggio and enjoy the 360° views from this lovely hotel.
Day 2 - Monday:
Departing from Il Poggio Equestrian Centre, today’s ride takes a southwest direction and carries you through some of the most scenic hilly landscape of cultivated fields and clay hills During the course of your ride in this area, you will be exposed to the perennial erosive action of atmospheric agents that has created the startling and extraordinary slopes and ridges known as “calanchi”.
You will ride on the famous Via Francigena, the road of the ancient Etruscans and Romans, with its quite distinctive geography: the open rolling hills planted with golden wheat and some of the most famous farms, which are located in this area.
If you have chosen the itinerary option to add the afternoon activities, this afternoon offers a cooking class with the chef where you will have 2 hours to learn how to make some of the typical Tuscan dishes such as homemade pasta (pici, ravioli, pappardelle…).
Day 3 - Tuesday:
After breakfast, you will head off in a northeast direction from Il Poggio, and will ride to the Cetona Mountain area. This area is one of the most important prehistoric settlings of central Italy. The ride travels across the eastern slopes of the Cetona Mountain. Since the Paleolithic era (50,000 years ago) many of its natural caves were occupied by humans. The area is also full of animals such as birds of prey, green woodpeckers, deer and many others.
In the afternoon, for those that have chosen to include activities, you will have the luxurious experience of a lovely total body massage to invigorate your muscles after two fun filled days of active riding. And in the evening at 6:30, relax with the setting sun for a nice wine tasting in the wine cellar.
Day 4 - Wednesday:
Today you have a day at leisure – a free day. Additionally, for a fee, you may choose one of the following:
Many folks opt to take a tour to Pienza, a small town in Siena, as it is a rare example of Renaissance town planning. Pienza is defined the "ideal town", the "utopia town", and it represents today one of the most visible methods of construction through which in the Renaissance age they tried to script a model of life and an ideal government on earth, working out an idea of town able to exemplify the desire of civil, pacific and laborious coexistence between all people. It was the "utopia of civitas" vainly pursued by the ancients.
Another alternative is to tour Montepulciano which is built along a narrow limestone ridge and located at 605m above sea level. The town is encircled by walls and fortifications designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I. Inside the walls the streets are crammed with Renaissance-style palazzi and churches, but the town is chiefly known for its good local "Vino Nobile" wines. A long, winding street called the Corso climbs up into the main square, which crowns the summit of the hill.
You may also choose to take a day of total relaxation at the world famous Fonte Verde Spa. A day package at the spa includes: use of the thermal swimming pools, Bioaquam (exclusive indoor thermal pool with hydro-massage) Etruscan circuit (itinerary combining sauna, hot-plate and Turkish bath) and a full range of other services can be arranged for an additional fee.
Day 5 - Thursday:
Today’s ride will be to the castle of Radicofani, built in the 9th century. The castle is located in a strategic position, dominating the Francigena route. In the Middle Ages it was occupied by the ‘gentleman bandit’, Ghino di Tacco, a Robin Hood of sorts that was mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy and by Boccaccio in The Decamerone. At 896 meters high, it dominates the whole territory set between the Mount Cetona, the Orcia Valley and the Mount Amiata.
During the war between Siena and Florence it was Cosimo I Medici who wanted it for a defensive fortress. Since 1735 it was neglected but the recent restoration has restored the ancient splendor of the past.
For the afternoon activity participants, a second cooking class with our chef where you will learn to make some of the typical Tuscan biscuits (zuccherini, cantucci, ciambelline di zucchero al vino rosso …), all of which are exceptional for entertaining upon your return home.
Day 6 - Friday:
The ride today takes you on an eastward trail to the area of ‘Crete Senesi’, the Rigo Valley and around the San Casciano Bagni, with its 46 thermal water sources that encircle it and have rendered it famous from the time of the ancient Romans. Along the way you will find a few secluded farmhouses, some of them restored some others still awaiting a modern day “facelift”. Among these there are Banditelle and Mannella farms that are included in the estate of Il Poggio.
Guests with the afternoon activities will have the chance to experience the thermal swimming pool first hand.
Day 7 - Saturday:
After breakfast, time to say ciao.