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In the ideal area for a holiday on horseback, Altavia Horses will take you to hours of horse riding without coming across fences or roads, let alone another human being. One of the highlights is Pescocostanzo, a picturesque medieval town at an altitude of 4,200 feet. Your two nights will be spent in this lovely place that is surrounded by several plains which invite to many canters while other nights will be at hotels. Ride for hours through the unspoiled nature!
During this horse riding holiday, you will be accommodated in a shared or private room at Altavia Horses' farmhouse for 2 nights (on Saturday and Sunday), San Pietro Avellana for 1 night (on Monday), and hotels for 4 nights (on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at Hotel Katja, and Friday). The farmhouse and most hotels in this region are not equipped with Wi-Fi.
The farmhouse was built since 1885 and situated at almost 3,000 feet above sea level. It is the only inhabited farmhouse in this little nature conservation area surrounded by paddocks and fields where many trails leave in all directions. 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 bedrooms and one accommodating six persons) and two bathrooms with all modern conveniences.
You will be expected to arrive on Saturday evening. After a welcome drink, there will be dinner with your hosts / guides. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night and accompanied by local wines.
Today's morning will be yours. You may sleep late or take your time over breakfast, 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 3-hour test-ride to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you will be riding on the treks. Dinner and B&B will be at the farmhouse.
You will ride through large stretches of woods and fields and eventually stop for a picnic at an idyllic spot. After lunch, you will ride pass the remains of Samnitic Temple. The Samnites were the original population of Molise. It took the Romans three centuries of warfare before they finally conquered this region, which then became part of the Roman Empire (79 B.C.). Later, you will stop at a high hill from where you can see the Majella. At the end of the day, you will reach San Pietro Avellana to dine and spend the night.
Today’s destination will be the small town of Pescocostanzo. The trail will take you through increasingly high mountains. At the end of the afternoon, you will ride through large stretches of the valley. After spending about 7 hours on horseback, you will be bound to longing for a drink. Pescocostanzo has a nice square with several bars and restaurants. Taking a walk in this picturesque medieval town is pleasant for everyone and a must for those who are interested in architecture. You will be staying at a hotel and have dinner at a restaurant.
The National Park Majella (75.000 acres) is one of the biggest in Italy. It is a so-called Pan Park, which means that it is protected by WWF. Today, there will be a 6-hour ride surrounding the highlands. You will be expected to have nice canters here. The night will be spent at the same hotel. Dinner, however, will be at a different restaurant.
Today is going to be a demanding day spending about 8 hours in the saddle. The first part of the trail will take you upwards towards a large valley whereas the next stretch is a long forest road, leading you down and down again. Part of that road must be covered on foot. In the early evening, you will finally reach the destination. Dinner will be at a restaurant in Alfedena and you will spend the night at the comfortable “Hotel Katja”.
Just outside Alfedena there is a plain where you can go for a long canter. A little later, you will pass Ponte della Zittola, which is the border between Abruzzi and Molise. Then you will follow part of the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Foggia in the foothills of Alto Molise. Having passed the hamlet Montalto, you will have time for a picnic followed by 3-hour to ride home. At about 18:00, you will be back at the farm-house, unsaddle the horses for the last time, and enjoy the farewell dinner.
You will departure after your breakfast.
Note: Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the program may have to be adapted. For the treks, you need to be in good shape and in control of all the gaits. You will have to fulfill the two weight limits, which are 90 kilograms or BMI (Body Mass Index) of 28.50.
The horses at Altava Horses have been selected for their character, looks, and intelligence. AltaviaHorses has named all of the horses: Barone, Billy, Bullet, Dunito, Dunup, Ebe, Fulmine, Lares, Misty, Patsy, Pride, Promise, Ringo, Siska, and Windy. They are all willing and easy-going, and also 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 and most of them are related in some way or the other.
On the plateaus and in the valleys we make long canters. The horses, however, have to climb and go down a lot. Therefore, the pace is generally not very fast. The safety of the rider and that of the horse is the main thing.
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).
During this horse riding holiday, you will ride through several places in the Province of Iserna, Italy. You will ride through Alfedena, Pescocostanzo, San Pietro Avellana, Ponte della Zittola, Parco Nazionale della Majella, hamlet Montalto, Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Foggia in the foothills of Alto Molise, and Samnitic Temple.
Molise is situated southeast of the region Lazio (Rome) and north of Campania (Naples). The Abruzzi and Molise were always considered and governed as one area. 1963 Molise became a separate region and nowadays, it is sparsely populated. Out of 1,000 Italians, 6 of them live in Molise (only 0.6% of the total national population).
The hills and mountains are sloping, while in the Abruzzi the Apennines are taller and rougher. In Molise and Abruzzi, there is no industry to speak of since everything over here is still pure nature.
During this horse riding holiday, you will be served full-board with wine and beer at lunch and dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of departure. The meals will be served on the terrace or in the kitchen diner.
After your arrival on the first day, you will get a welcome drink. At the farmhouse, a three-course Italian dinner will be served every night and accompanied by local wines. You will have picnic lunches after a horse ride past Samnitic Temple and hamlet Montalto.
You will also have a dinner at a restaurant in your stays in San Pietro Avellana and Alfedena, as well as 2 different restaurants in Pescocostanzo. Drinks and snacks other than at meals cost 25 EUR.
Altavia Horses will transfer you from the railway station in Isernia and the pick up is included in the price. You will be picked up on the day of arrival at 7.45 p.m. Please note that individual transfers are not possible.
For arrival from Rome / Fiumicino, the Leonardo Express goes to Rome Termini Railway Station (CS) twice per hour. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 14 EUR. Altavia Horses advises you to buy your ticket to Isernia at the airport with one-way ticket 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 platform 14 or 16, and after 400 meters you will find platform 15.
For arrival from Naples, there are buses to the Central Station. You can buy a ticket with the driver. A one-way ticket costs approximately 3 EUR. The journey lasts about 30 minutes. A one-way train ticket to Isernia costs approximately 6 EUR with train destination to Campobasso.
In Italy, train tickets are only valid when stamped in one of the machines, which you will find on the platforms. Due to Altavia Horses' transfer service, they suggested schedules of the latest arrival at 14:00 and earliest departure at 15:30 from Rome, as well as latest arrival at 15:00 and earliest departure at 14:30 from Naples.
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