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Spectacular Horse Riding Holiday in Italy

La Somma invites you to this center-based riding week which offers a varied programme of half-day and full-day treks in the glorious Umbrian countryside. This spectacular horse riding holiday is suitable for all levels.

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 221 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 14.7 to 16.7 hands
  • Tack Type: English and Western
  • Horse Breed: Anglo-Arabs, sure-footed Maremmanos, Arabs, and other smaller horses

Meet the instructors

Clare, Andrea, & Agostino
Read more

Highlights

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 3 - 6 hours
  • Ride to the Monastery of Battiferro and Valle San Martino
  • Pass through the grounds of The Butterfly Park
  • Picnics with wine in shady groves with spectacular views
  • Night rides during the summer months
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian
Group size: 2-9 participants
Airport transfer available:
Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (US$ 217 per person)
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Horse riding
  • Table tennis
  • Bar
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Kitchen

The center has a range of sleeping accommodations available including eight chalets or apartments and bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms and furnished to a high standard in traditional Umbrian style. Some have kitchen areas. All of them look out onto spectacular views of the surrounding woods and mountains and all have central heating for the winter.

Some have fireplaces. The stables' clubhouse is a large airy room with beams, terracotta floors, and magnificent views from the bar area. A huge fireplace provides the perfect spot to enjoy a drink after a long day's ride. La Somma has a good-sized open-air swimming pool, with amazing views over the surrounding hills and valleys.

Program

Daily itinerary

Saturday

You will arrive at Spoleto train station and have a 20-minute transfer to the stables where you can settle in and wander around to meet the horses. You will have dinner and overnight.

Sunday

You will start off in a fairly leisurely way on the first day to give riders the chance to get to know their horses. This three-hour ride takes you through the chestnut groves of Valle San Martino, which sweeps down from the plateau which is home to the stables. You will have time to admire the magnificent gnarled old trees which have supplied chestnuts to generations of people living in this area, and to spot the wild cyclamen and other flowers that grow in the woods.

There are several stretches of trail that are perfect for a good canter, for those who are able, before you clatter through the picturesque village of Strettura. On the way back, you pass by the church of San Pietro Martire, a tiny chapel in the middle of nowhere, still used to this day by some of the outlying villages. Lunch will be served at a local trattoria.

Monday

Today, the serious riding begins but it will be fun too and very varied during the 35 kilometers and five to six hours that riders will spend in the saddle. Winding through woodland trails, you come to the hamlet of Torrecolla before passing a delightful stone church and heading along some wider paths. Then it's time to begin the long but gentle climb up to Monte Fionchi, a huge alpine meadow at the top of a 1,300-meter-high mountain, where riders can refresh themselves with a drink from an ice-cold mountain spring.

A leisurely picnic lunch will be served in a meadow close to another lovely Umbrian country church, the Chiesa di Sant'Antonio. The return leg takes you through the wild and staggeringly beautiful Valnerina, past abandoned villages stuck to the side of the mountain, through other inhabited hill villages, and back to the stables.

Tuesday

Today's ride is less challenging in terms of time and terrain but faster for the more experienced riders, with some spectacular scenery as a bonus. From the stables, you pass through chestnut woods to Montebibico, a medieval village where time seems to have stood still. From there, a series of trails winds gently past small farms and up into the foothills of Mount Acetella, today's destination.

There are plenty of chances to canter along these paths but don't forget to stop and take stock of the magnificent views here. You can see high mountain peaks in the distance, with the stables and Montebibico nestling in the foreground, a great place for a photograph. Afterwards, you head up to the top of Mount Acetella itself, just a short climb, where you will be rewarded with more stunning views here on the top of the world. You head back to the stables via another series of trails for lunch.

Wednesday

Pianella, the destination for this day-long trek of five to six hours (35 kilometers), is a gloriously peaceful spot in the heart of the Umbrian countryside. To get there, you ride through woods and trails and down into a hidden valley where you pause to admire the exquisite little village of Castagnacupa, whose old stone houses have all been recently restored. From here, you ride past a beautiful Romanesque church and into more woodland before reaching the shady meadow where you will have lunch, tying the horses to a post and rails and sitting on wooden tables and benches thoughtfully provided for picnickers.

After lunch, you head on through the old village of Pompagnano, close to Spoleto, and back over the hills via Catinelli, a village poised spectacularly on a rock outcrop and home to just two people, an old man and a woman who can often be seen tending to their animals.

Thursday

This half-day ride takes you through the grounds of a magnificent 600-hectare private estate called La Tenuta dello Schioppo, known locally as Il Parco delle Farfalle, the Butterfly Park. There are wide avenues perfect for cantering for those who want to and trotting for those who don't, and splendid views of mountains, valleys, and hill villages in all directions.

In a woodland glade, a huntsman's table has been fashioned out of local chestnut wood, and this will be the stopping place for an aperitif. In May and June, these woods are carpeted with tiny wild strawberries. You ride back for lunch with a free afternoon to relax or go exploring in nearby Spoleto (transport can be provided at a reasonable cost).

Friday

Today's final day-long ride is a pilgrimage to the now uninhabited Monastery of Battiferro and will involve around five hours in the saddle, covering about 35 kilometers. Leaving the stables, you pass Montebibico, carry on through tracks and mule paths until you reach the mountain village of Ciecalocco, and on again through ancient chestnut woods until you arrive at the village of Battiferro, still inhabited in spite of its remote location.

A trail through the woods leads to the monastery itself, set on a promontory with magnificent views over the Valnerina. Here, you will stop for a well-earned picnic lunch, before returning to the stables via a different route before a shower and farewell dinner.

Saturday

After breakfast, you transfer back to Spoleto train station.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and treks may be altered as a result of local conditions, especially the weather. The half-board option is available at a reduced price. For more information please send inquiry.

About the holiday

Novices and experienced riders will be split into groups for the faster rides. Enjoy the magnificent surroundings, ride on wonderfully schooled horses, and taste home-cooked food and excellent wine from this unspoiled region of Italy.

The horses

The stables have more than 70 horses, including Anglo-Arabs, sure-footed Maremmanos, and smaller ponies for children. All of them are well-schooled and responsive so that experienced riders can be sure of finding a good mount but novice and nervous riders will also feel safe and comfortable.

Important information

In warmer months and in times of a full (or nearly full) moon, it may be possible to replace a full-day ride with a memorable night ride up onto the mountain of Monte Acetella. Riders are met by the stables' Jeep and served a campfire supper as they scan the skies for shooting stars. The return leg of the journey takes place by the light of the moon.

Instructors

Clare Pedrick

Andrea Bevilacqua

Agostino Bevilacqua

Location

The stables are just a 15-minute drive from Spoleto with its Roman, medieval, and Renaissance treasures and an enticing array of shops and restaurants. The area is also an excellent base for walking, cycling, and even rafting. Rome is an easy train journey, making it perfect for a day trip or as an add-on to your visit.

Distances

  • Spoleto, 12 kilometers - 15-minute drive
  • Perugia - 30 minutes

Features

Activities

  • Cycling
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Table tennis

General

  • Bar
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Kitchen

Food

You will be served daily meals included in the price. Cater guests with allergies and food intolerance. Alcoholic beverages are included at meals (but drinks taken at the bar at other times must be paid for).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Optional rafting excursion is available on all riding holidays instead of a half-day ride. Supplement payable locally. La Somma will provide transport. The descent takes approximately two hours on the beautiful River Corno and the whole excursion takes approximately four hours. Each boat is manned by expert guides and this activity is suitable for all ages, from five to 75, as it is safe and relatively gentle rafting (though exciting enough to feel you have done something adventurous). Wet suits, lifejackets, and crash helmets are provided.

What's included

  • Horse riding sessions for 6 days
  • 3 - 6 hours approximate of daily riding time
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 lunches
  • 7 dinners

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Rafting
  • Tourist tax

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Spoleto

  • Take the main road from Spoleto towards Terni / Rome.
  • You will see a tunnel right on the brow of a hill after approximately 6 kilometers.
  • Get into the left lane and turn left immediately after the tunnel and a bar called the Bar Belli.
  • Find the turning which is signposted Montebibico.
  • Take another sharp left immediately and then left again (following signs for Montebibico).
  • Follow the winding road up the hill for about 1 kilometer until you see a stone house with wooden shutters on the left.
  • Turn in left here.
  • Drive up the unpaved road until you reach the stables (about 400 meters).

Arrival by train

La Somma offers Spoleto railway station's free pick-up and drop-off service, an easy train journey from the Rome airports. For pick-ups at Spoleto train station, they ask guests not to arrive earlier than 2:30 p.m. They may be able to make exceptions in special circumstances (e.g. if people have had a long-haul flight). Guests are asked to vacate their rooms by 10:00 a.m.

Airport: Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport Airport transfer available: Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (US$ 217 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 18.15% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available from April to September 2024, please select an arrival date below.

Low season
  • April - June
  • September
High season
  • July - August
Special discount

Booking by March 31, 2024 and you will receive 3 free lessons, flatwork or jumping, worth 75 EUR. 

Children under 12 are eligible for a special discount of 250 EUR per person for July and August and 215 EUR per person for other months. Please note that no child discount applies if a child rides out with adults.

Retreat information

La Somma is offering 1 free place for groups of 8 or more.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Saturday August 31, 2024
(8 days / 7 nights)

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