Horseback Riding Vacation in Tuscany, Italy

Horseback Riding Vacation in Tuscany, Italy

A Horseback Riding Vacation in Tuscany (Florence, Italy)

The countryside of Tuscany is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world.  Immortalized in movies such as “Under the Tuscan Sun” and recently “Twilight: New Moon”  most visitors to Italy make it a goal to explore some of this untouched land.  What better way to see the rolling hills, lush vineyards, and olive troves, than by horseback?

Awaiting a horseback riding vacation outside of Florence, Italy

Awaiting a horseback riding vacation outside of Florence, Italy

Many Equestrian Outfitters to Explore Tuscany on Horseback

There are many outfitters willing to help guests explore Tuscany on horseback.  Some include week long trail rides between various towns for experienced equestrians, while others are merely day trail rides around the countryside.  As an occasional rider, my party and I chose the day ride.  We selected the Fun in Tuscany company, as they were one of the few horseback riding companies that ran equestrian tours year around (for those not intimidated by the cold) and included round trip transportation to and from the center of Florence, where we were staying.
The sun sets in Tuscany after a day of horseback riding in Italy.

The sun sets in Tuscany after a day of horseback riding in Italy.

The Horseback Ride
The stable hands fit each rider with their own horse based on size, and have ponies suitable for young children if necessary.  They will also provide boots and helmets upon request, so don’t worry about trying to fit that into your luggage!  The horses take direction very well and are obviously used to the traditional path each guided tour takes.  The tour guides speak English, though often the staff at the stable does not, so it might be a wise idea to brush up on your Italian.  Guides were willing to let those wishing to gallop or explore other paths do so, provided you explained your horseback riding experience.  Groups can range from 2 people to upwards of 10 depending on the season.  If you are the only ones who book for that day, it is your own private horseback riding vacation.
Vineyards along the trail of a horseback riding vacation in Tuscany, Italy

Vineyards along the trail of a horseback riding vacation in Tuscany, Italy

The countryside is breathtaking and cannot be described.  Untouched fields where cars cannot drive.  Rolling hills of vineyards  – this is the famous Chianti region.  While friends who did the morning ride had an amazing experience, I highly recommend the afternoon ride, up to four hours of horseback riding, ending with a picturesque sunset over the countryside. The horseback riding vacation also includes lunch/dinner and wine tasting at a medieval castle, which is another wonderful and quintessentially Italian experience.  Be prepared for multiple courses, each with a different wine to accompany it.
If you go:
Fun in Tuscany (+39) 338 5922682
Cost: 110 euro, but can increase (only to 120 euro) or decrease depending on the group size, at least two riders are necessary for each tour.
The company also offers other activities such as Vespa tours, bike tours and cooking classes.
This is a guest post by Jennifer MacLean, a student at Vanderbilt University, currently on exchange in Italy.