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Come and join Altavia Horses on this horse riding holiday. This interesting trail ride combines two amazing national parks in Italy. Secluded tracks lead you through nearly untouched nature. You will discover medieval little towns, enjoy the vastness of the Majella National Park offering lots of opportunity for long canters, and marvel at the ability of the horses to navigate the steep slopes of the Abruzzo National Park. Ride for hours and feel the excitement!
You will be staying for three nights at the Altavia farm-house, one night at a hotel in Tratturo, two nights at a locally well-known skiing-resort in Roccararso, and one night at Sandra’s riding center in Alfedena.
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.
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 is yours to enjoy. You may sleep in, take your time over breakfast or do whatever you like. Before lunch, there is a safety briefing. Then, you also groom and saddle up the horses, followed by a short demonstration in western riding.
After lunch, you do a test-ride (three hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trek. In the evening, you visit the new riding center included a bistro from the host close by and get served dinner in the bistro.
After breakfast, you get in the saddle and ride through large stretches of wood and fields until you reach the picnic place, Campo Lungo. There, you can listen to exciting stories from your host what he knows from that place.
After lunch, you pass the remains of a Samnitic temple. In the afternoon, you arrive at your destination for today, the horses go into a paddock and you return by car to the farm-house and cook a nice dinner.
In the morning, you are brought to the horses and at about 11.00 a.m. the ride will start. You follow the Tratturo Celano - Foggia. 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.
You continue along the Tratturo as far as the river Sangro. There, the Tratturo begins to be very wild and quite overgrown leaving you narrow paths to follow. The horses stay overnight at a riding center, which also features a restaurant. You will enjoy dinner there before heading to a nearby hotel for the night.
Today’s destination is the town of Roccararso. The trail takes you through increasingly high mountains. Arriving at the top of the pass, you have a picnic and can enjoy two very different panoramas. Looking back, you have the hilly landscape of Molise. In front of you, the Majella National Park welcomes you with its high mountains and vast valleys.
At the end of the afternoon, you canter through one of these valleys. Roccararso will be your station for the next two nights. It is a locally well-known skiing-resort. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Today, you enter the Abruzzo National Park. The first part of the trail leads you to the Piano delle cinque Miglia (the Valley of the Five Miles). There, you enjoy a long canter! At the end of the valley, tall mountains loom up at either side. A gravel road takes you to the Montagna Spaccata (split mountain) where benches under old oak trees tempt you to stop. Then you turn left and the scenery becomes different, a bit like a lunar landscape with a little lake.
At the end of the day, a skiing track takes you down the mountain. The horses will be left at the stable. The riders go back to the hotel. Having spent about seven hours on horseback, you are bound to be longing for a drink in there. Later, you meet for dinner in another restaurant.
You leave the two parks and starting to Rocca Miglia, a town where the time seems to stand still. Nearby, you have a picnic before you go downhill to the valley of the river Sangro again. But now, you follow the river along the park of the town with the same name, Castel di Sangro.
There, the inhabitants can find some outdoor activities. Now the last stage of the week starts. Your destination is Sandra’s riding center in Alfedena where you and the horses find comfortable accommodations. But at least let yourself enjoy a canter before you pass the town and arriving for a dinner with Pizza!
Departure after breakfast from Alfedena to Isernia.
The horses at Altavia Horses have been selected for their character, looks, and intelligence. Altavia Horses 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 you 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).
This horse riding holiday will take place at Majella National Park and Abruzzo National Park, Italy. They are situated close to each other, and both feature mountain ranges but their landscape is very different. You will also visit Molise. 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 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 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.
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.
The pickup from the railway station in Isernia on the day of arrival is included in the price. The transfer is at 7:45 p.m. The drop off service on the departure day is not included.
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