Riding through the Siena countryside
The countryside around Siena, experienced from a whole new perspective
In the city that hosts the Palio, the most famous horse-racing event in the world, there is a strong and ingrained equestrian tradition. Around the city itself, there are numerous stables and riding schools that offer visitors the chance to try the unique experience of riding in the Siena countryside. Most of them offer private lessons and rides accompanied by experienced guides for beginners, but also hire out horses to more experienced and courageous riders. Riding schools and horse centres of a high technical level are also found in the ancient medieval villages dotted around the Siena countryside. San Gimignano, Chiusdino, Casole d’Elsa, Monteroni d’Arbia, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Monteriggioni are just some of the riding locations in the Siena countryside.
Horse-riding is a variant of slow tourism, which offers tourists truly unforgettable moments. In the Siena countryside, each outing is a dip into the charming natural surroundings and history of the area. The duration of the excursions varies from a few hours to full days, with picnics and overnight stays included, depending on the routes. Among shorter trips, one of the most charming and fascinating is the route of the Via Francigena in the stretch between Monteriggioni and Siena. You will have the privilege of admiring the La Chiocciola castle, as well as riding through the famous Pian del Lago. Another day-long trip, the route of Pacina, includes some interesting stops: starting out from the castle of Montalto and stopping off at Molino d’Ombrone, before galloping off into the Valle del Molino. The classic two-day trip is the Brolio castle route, which runs through the Chianti region into the area of the Crete: hills and plains that mingle in an unforgettable harmony when enjoyed while riding a genuine thoroughbred horse. Among the longest rides are theSiena loop, which takes in the castles and stately homes around the city over a period of four days, and theancient Florence road, a five-day trip during which visitors can relive the excitement of reaching the capital on old mule tracks, starting from Chianti.
Some useful tips
For those embarking on their first experience of horse trekking, particular attention should be paid to riding posture and clothing. Your tour leader will tell you everything you need to know in order to enjoy the beneficial effects of horse-riding. With regards to equipment, riding boots, a helmet and leather gloves are indispensable. Furthermore, it is advisable to wear seamless trousers, to avoid the skin becoming sore from riding, and also a jacket made from breathable fabric.