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Altavia Horses invites you to this amazing horse riding holiday in Monte Capraro, Italy. The atmosphere will be informal and cozy so you will feel at home instantly. On the back of the amazing and intelligent horse, you will immerse yourself in the riding experience through scenic valleys and beautiful forests and enjoy delicious meals in the comfortable accommodations. This is the right place to relax away from your busy life and enjoy the "dolce vita".
You will be staying for three nights at the Altavia farm-house, three nights at a hotel, and one night at an agriturismo.
The house, dating from 1885, is situated at almost 3,000 feet above sea level. It is the only inhabited farm-house in this little nature conservation area. The nearest neighbors live in Carovilli, a little village four miles away. The front of the house faces a large oak forest whereas the rear offers a splendid view of the mountains and a valley. The house is not very big but quite comfortable. It was completely renovated in 2003. The living room has a nice fireplace, a piano, and a modest library. There are three guest rooms (two double and one accommodating six) and two bathrooms with all modern conveniences. Meals are served on the terrace or in the kitchen-diner.
The horses have been selected for their character, looks, and intelligence. They were all born in the mountains so they are very reliable in this mountainous area. All year long, they live in a herd which makes them a close group. Besides, most of them are related in some way or the other. The horses are willing and easy-going. The tack is western. On Sunday morning, you get a safety briefing, followed by a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch, it is time for a three-hour-ride so that all riders get acquainted with their horses and the terrain.
You are expected to arrive on Saturday evening at the farm-house. After a welcome drink, there will be dinner with your hosts/guides. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night, accompanied by local wines.
The morning will be yours. You may sleep in, take your time over breakfast, and do whatever you like. Before lunch, there will be a safety briefing. Then, you will groom and saddle up the horses, followed by a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch, you will do a test-ride (three hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trek.
At about 10:00, you will leave the house. Today's destination will be Capracotta. This little village (965 inhabitants) is situated at 5,200 feet, which makes it one of the highest municipalities in Italy. Curiously, the name literally means “cooked goat”. Before lunch, you will ride through endless fields. After 2.5 hours, it will be time for a delicious picnic. After this, you will make a lengthy canter through a long valley. In the end, Capracotta dooms up but it will take about two hours of riding to get there. You will be staying in a hotel and dinner will be at a restaurant.
Today, you will make a day-ride and climb “il Monte Campo”. The highest point is at 5,235 feet. From there, you will get a gorgeous view of “Alto Molise” and the Abruzzo. You follow small paths along the slope from the mountain until you reach the picnic place. After this, you will follow cross-country skiing slopes which lead through a wood of silver firs.
The picnic will be at the Rio Verde (green river). A little later, you will arrive at Prato Gentile, which literally means “kind meadow”. In the afternoon, you will descend to Capracotta and ride through an open landscape with many meadows. The night will be spent at the same hotel but dinner will be at a different restaurant.
After a few canters, you will follow a gravel road which gradually goes upwards. The horses will enjoy their breathing space while riders enjoy the view of four different mountain ranges, namely the Colle dell’Orso, the Matese, the Mainarde, and the National Park of Abruzzo.
After the picnic, the trail will lead you into the direction of the little village San Pietro Avellana. You spend the night at a B&B in the town. Outside the village, you leave the horses in a field where you have to make a paddock with electric wire.
After a short ride, you will pass Montedimezzo which used to belong to the royal family of the Bourbons. The hunting lodge nowadays is a museum. The forest is protected by UNESCO. Worldwide, this organization protects 256 forests. Four of them are located in Italy, two of which in Molise.
You pass this forest and later you reach a Tratturo ( Celano-Foggia) which you follow for a while. Mario is a friend of your guide. You will stop at his place for the picnic. After this, it will take two hours at the most before you arrive at Littorio’s “agriturismo”. Up till quite recently, he used to keep horses so the paddocks next to his house will be for you to use.
After breakfast, you will follow part of the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. A Tratturo is a 2,000-year-old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where the grass is scarce in summer. Around midday, you will reach Pescolanciano. There, you will stop for lunch, which will be served at a little restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will climb the hills that border on the forest of Collemelucio. This is the other forest protected by UNESCO. The project is called Man and Biosphere (MAB). The last few miles on horseback will take you over open heathland and dense oak-woods. About 5:00 p.m., you will be back at the farm-house, unsaddle the horses for the last time, and enjoy the farewell dinner.
You will depart after breakfast.
Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the program may have to be adapted. The minimum age is 16 (12 if accompanied by an adult). For the treks, you need to be in good shape and in control of all the gaits. There are two weight limits, 90 kilograms and BMI (body mass index) of 28.50. In case your personal data are inaccurate, Altavia Horses has the right to adjust the program or exclude your participation without reimbursing your payment.
Carmine is a native of Molise. In his early years, he ran his own highly successful bar / restaurant in Isernia. Besides being an excellent cook, he became a horseman at heart. Carmine organizes four different treks plus a home-based ride at Altavia Horses. He speaks English and Italian and he is a certified guide of FISE (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestre).
Molise is situated southeast of the Lazio region (Rome) in the north of Campania (Naples). Nature is still so unspoiled that UNESCO protects two primeval forests. Wildflowers abound, some species of which are very rare or even becoming extinct. The landscape is sloping to mountainous and varied. Vast fields alternate with large forests of beech and oak.
You will have meals on a full board basis with wine and beer at lunch and dinner, starting with dinner on the first day, up to and including breakfast on the day of departure.
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO).
There is train from Rome / Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO). The Leonardo Express goes to Rome Termini twice per hour. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 14 EUR. Altavia Horses advises you to buy your ticket to Isernia at the airport. This ticket (one-way) costs approximately 11 EUR. The train's destination from Rome Termini to Isernia is Campobasso / Termoli. Sometimes it splits up in Montecassino. Please make sure that you are in the right carriage. Platform 15 is in between 14 and 16. Please follow 14 or 16. After 400 meters, you will find platform 15.
There are busses to the Central Station. You can buy a ticket with the driver. A one-way ticket costs approximately 3 EUR. The journey lasts about half an hour. A one-way train ticket to Isernia costs approximately 6 EUR. The train's destination is Campobasso. Please note that in Italy, train tickets are only valid when stamped in one of the machines which you find on the platforms.
The transfer from and to the railway station in Isernia is included in the price. On the day of arrival, the transfer is at 7:45 p.m. and on departure day is at 08:50 a.m.
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