Have you ever DREAMED of travelling to Italy!! Italy has so many amazing sights, ancient history, magnificence art, sumptuous food, wonderful wine and so much more. Had you thought of combining this with a visit to an Equestrian event or combining this with a riding holiday?
Snaffle Travel loves visiting Italy and we have discovered some amazing places you could visit to combine with your travel experience depending when you are visiting.
Every year in May, Rome’s beautiful Villa Borghese gardens offers its world famous and glamorous International Horse Show. The CSIO*5 Show jumping competition is hosted at the beautiful Piazza di Siena in Rome. The four-day event features the “Who’s, Who of the World of International Show Jumping”, and the back drop is pretty amazing too.
Another iconic event is the Palio di Siena, a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, in Siena, Italy. The race itself, in which the jockeys ride bareback, circles the Piazza del Campo, on which a thick layer of earth has been laid. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds.
Fieracavalli, is held every November in Verona and this event is similar to Equitana. One of the worldwide leading events in the horse-riding sector, gathering professionals, amateurs and horse enthusiasts. The event covers both English and Western riding, as well as pony games and different activities. The fair also includes a trade stand area and the Longines CSIO*5 Show jumping competition.
The World Equestrian Games are coming to Italy in 2022. The venue Pratoni del Vivaro hosted the Olympics in 1960. Snaffle Travel will be attending the World Equestrian Games in Pratoni del Vivaro in September 2022 where the Eventing and Four-in-hand Driving competition will be held just 35 km from Rome.
Pratoni del Vivaro already has the necessary experience and required infrastructure in place to organise world-class equestrian championships with regular FEI events already hosted there each year.
FEI Eventing World Championships – Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), 14-18 September 2022
FEI Driving World Championships – Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), 21-25 September 2022
Horse Riding Holidays
SANTA CRISTINA CASTLE, Tuscany
Enjoy a riding holiday or country escape at Santa Cristina Castle estate, with its lovingly restored 17th century castle. The estate is on the Tuscany and Umbria border, close to Lake Bolsena. It has been in the same family for generations and once a favourite summer retreat of the young Pope Pius XII, this estate makes a wonderful holiday base.
Daily rides take you through farmlands, to the hilltop town of Onano, past ancient Etruscan tombs, along the infamous Brigand’s Path and to the shimmering crater lakes of Mezzano and Bolsena. There is also a large arena for riding lessons if preferred.
When not riding you can visit the hill towns of Civita di Bagnoregio, Orvieto, Sorano, Proceno and Pitigliano or you can just relax by the pool, play tennis, visit local wineries, try a thermal spa at Terme di Sorano, enjoy a bike ride, walk or enjoy a cooking lesson! Perfect for families, riders and non-riders, this estate is a magical and peaceful retreat in the heart of Italy.
This is an excellent choice that offers horse riding opportunities for all abilities, Santa Cristina Castle also offers you the chance to stay in comfortable and warm accommodation with wonderful hospitality and home cooked local Italian food.
IL PARETAIO, Tuscany
Another lovely stunning property with a fabulous atmosphere is Il Paretaio in the spectacular Chianti region, with its breathtaking landscapes forming an ideal backdrop for trail riding, dressage and horse-riding lessons. Il Paretaio offers a high standard of riding tuition, especially classical dressage, and hacking in the idyllic surrounding countryside.
Located in the centre of Tuscany, just half an hour by car from Florence, San Gimignano and Siena, Il Paretaio is a good base for touring the area without changing accommodation. The Chianti region has stunning landscapes, Tuscan hills, medieval castles and churches. These are just some of the sights you can see from the windows of your guest room and while exploring on horseback.
The hospitality of the farmers where rides include wine tasting and lunch is very unique experience. Italy is a wonderfully relaxing riding destination. Trail rides wind through terraced vineyards, olive groves, rolling green hills and cypress avenues.
Ride for a few hours per day, then relax by the pool, admiring the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and fields. Meet like-minded travellers with a common interest whilst enjoying the local hospitality. A highlight for me was the wonderful local Italian food and wine.
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