Italian land and nature: Italy on Horseback

Mar 16, 2024 798

Equestrian enthusiasts will love a vacation on horseback in Italy: seeing the Bel Paese from the saddle is truly a unique and unforgettable experience. From north to south and on its islands, Italy boasts innumerable areas for excursions on horesback, ideal for discovering beautiful and unique places.

Nature lovers can explore natural parks, immersed in the green of Gran Sassos and Monti della Laga (in Abruzzo), or of the Calabrian parks, for instance Aspromonte. Historic tours on horseback are also ideal: riders can go in search of the beautiful castles of Emilia Romagna, those in Piedmont or in Valle d’Aosta. Or they can take a different turn and set off to come face to face with the places of World War II, in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Organized equestrian tours are also easy to find, including itineraries through the Peninsula’s prettiest towns and villages, where time seems to have stopped and many of which have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites: think Pienza and San GimignanoMateraSiena and Urbino.

Foodies and Italian cuisine lovers will appreciate horse rides interspersed with visits to famous Made in Italy enogastronomic production sites, whether they are Tuscan wineries, the dairies making delicious mozzarella della bufala, Apulian and Umbrian olive presses, and the lemon and citrus groves of the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. 

If one happens to be near one of Italy's beautiful lakes, for instance Lake Garda or Lake Vico, a romantic horse ride along the shores is in order; even better is an evening gallop on one of the country's countless beaches.

Equine apasionados can enjoy these beautiful animals within the breathtaking landscapes one only finds in Italy. Ever the tourist favorite, Tuscany is home to the butteri cowboys, native horse wranglers of the Maremma.

Just as exciting is a horseback trek through the “Dolomites of Sicily,“ the Madonie Range; on this tour, indigenous Sicilian horses travel age-old herding trails to the Medieval borgoes of Geraci, Castelbuono and Gangi.

Sardinia as well possesses places one would do well to discover on horseback. Journeying from Alghero to Bosa, taking on the wildest and most authentic parts of the island is an exciting experience, filled with visions of nuraghi and "giants' graves," basins and deserted beaches, forests of cork and holm oak, and juniper. Overnight, sleeping (and dining on typical Sardinian dishes) in agritourisms is the way to go. 

And an equestrian vacation is equally-ideal in the Dolomites of Trentino Alto Adige: think Val Badia, the Marmolada, Cortina, Sennes Park, and San Vigilio, resting in the mountain huts overnight. Here, the path is marked by Alpine passes, high-altitude lakes, spruce forests, and rare natural sceneries.

Finally, if spectacular on the sea is your thing, gallop along the paths of Apulia: from Ostuni to Salento, and from the 124-mile equestrian track in Gargano to the Murgia Plateau, withits famous Murgesi horses.

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