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Molise

Overview

A holiday at this fabulous location is ideal for those looking to get away from it all. You will be riding in a very unspoilt area of Italy, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, experiencing the companionship of other guests, your welcoming guide and the friendly and sure-footed horses…

Highlights

  • Ride some of Italy's most wild landscapes
  • Eat delicious picnics carried by packhorse
  • Relax in your western saddle on a sensible horse
  • Enjoy caring for your horse like they are your own
  • Stay in remote locations and enjoy the peace of nature

Essential Facts

  • 6 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs with a BMI less than 28 and a half.
    more info This destination will not take more than 3 riders at a time with BMIs over 27. To calculate your BMI, take your weight in kilos and divide it by your height (in metres) squared.

Description

A holiday at this fabulous location is ideal for those looking to get away from it all. You will be riding in a very unspoilt area of Italy, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, experiencing the companionship of other guests, your welcoming guide and the friendly and sure-footed horses. There are five trail riding and one centre based riding option to enjoy with varying levels of difficulty, including riding in valleys, fields, hills and mountains on lovely responsive horses, some of whom are homebred. This is a relaxed riding destination and although the terrain does not allow for galloping, able riders can enjoy lovely long canters and can test their ability on steep slopes and rocky trails.

If you are taking one of the trails then you will need to be reasonably fit, as the hours in the saddle are long, but you will be riding western style so you will be comfortable. You need to be able to mount and dismount unaided and to help groom and saddle your horse (you are shown how). Carmine is a very experienced guide whose knowledge of the area is second to none - he will show you wildlife and scenery beyond your imagination. He is a member of the FISE (Federation of Italian Equestrian Sports) and vice-president for the region of Molise. This destination sometimes provides opportunities to see wolves and bears, an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation on the trails varies from basic mountain lodges to hotels. You can be assured that at all these destinations you will be comfortable and very well fed (sometimes you can experience Carmine's delicious cooking - he used to be a chef!). The peace and tranquillity of this lovely destination must be experienced.

It is possible to book the Carpe Diem programme on dates when trails are not running. We can sometimes tailor make a package to suit you.

Both Sue and Holly have visited this destination (Sue has stayed at the farmhouse a few times and both have escorted a trail there). Either of the ladies would be more than happy to answer your questions and to share their enthusiasm for this wonderful place.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Western

Horses

Quarter horses, Paints, Appaloosas, Haflinger.

Riding

There are 6 itineraries:

  • Monte Capraro ('Goat Mountain') Trail is a trail ride
  • Majella Trail is a trail ride
  • Two Parks Trail is a trail ride
  • Valley of the Bear Trail is a trail ride
  • Tratturi Altomolise Trail is a trail ride
  • Carpe Diem is a based ride

Ages

16 years for trails (14+ in some cases - please enquire).

Health

Riders should be in good shape.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14st 2lbs with a BMI less than 28 and a half. This destination will not take more than 3 riders at a time with BMIs over 27. To calculate your BMI, take your weight in kilos and divide it by your height (in metres) squared.

Food & Accommodation

Food

Breakfast is continental and can be eaten on the terrace or in the kitchen. The food here is wonderful with great care being taken to provide local specialities cooked with fresh ingredients. Vegetarians and those with special diets can be catered for with prior notice. Carmine used to own a restaurant and this is apparent from the wonderful recipes he shares with his guests.

Expect a lot of delicious pasta, salads, cheese and bread. You will also taste the juiciest, sweetest tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, tasty salami and other delights like tiramisu and fresh peaches. Lunchtime often consists of salami, cheese and bread for a picnic-style lunch, accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine. The food tends to be simple but very tasty, with meals comprising of just a few fresh ingredients.

A welcome drink is included, as are wines and beers with lunches and dinners. All other drinks must be paid for unless the hosts arrange a 'fuondo casa' which is like a kitty. This covers extra drinks, ice creams etc. during the week.

You will never go hungry here! Our own testers called the food 'imaginative and delectable' and 'original and sumptuous'!

Accommodation

You will stay in a farmhouse renovated sympathetically by Carmine in 2003 which now provides very comfortable accommodation for all guests. The farmhouse, dating from 1885, is almost 3000 feet above sea level and is situated on the edge of a wood and overlooking a beautiful valley. The house is not large but very comfortable. The living room has a large fireplace and is a wonderful place to sit and discuss the day.

There are three guest rooms both furnished simply and authentically. Two rooms are for two guests and the other comfortably accommodates six which is, of course, great fun for a group of friends. There are two bathrooms with all modern conveniences (bathrooms are in a building just across the path). There is a large kitchen in which Carmine cooks the most amazing meals which may be eaten around the large table or out on the terrace.

If you prefer more privacy we can arrange accommodation at an agriturismo just five minutes down the road for a supplement of 50 Euros per double room per night. This is to be paid in cash when you are there. Similarly, it may be possible to organise single-room accommodation on the rides (depending on availability) but this will only be possible when staying out at local hotels and agriturismo - single rooms are not possible at the main farmhouse or when staying in the mountain hut. Ideally, you should be prepared to share a room on these rides.

During the trails, you stay in small hotels, simple guesthouses or in the mountain lodge. The latter is very basic with no electricity or wifi, but it is incredibly peaceful and a lovely stop-off point during trails.

Your hosts provide clean sleeping bags and towels for the nights at the mountain lodge and small saddlebags with a water bottle. There is wifi at the farmhouse and most of the hotels.

Itineraries

Monte Capraro ('Goat Mountain') Trail Standard accommodation.

Majella Trail Standard accommodation.

Two Parks Trail Standard accommodation.

Valley of the Bear Trail Standard accommodation.

Tratturi Altomolise Trail Standard accommodation.

Carpe Diem Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

There is a pool in the town nearby (5 minutes by car) where you can enjoy a swim.

In Agnone you can find the world 's oldest bell factory which is still in production and has been worked by the same family for over 26 generations. This is 20 minutes by car.

You can enjoy hiking accompanied by Antonio who has often helped on the trails with luggage transport and now he is a professional guide for hiking in Molise and Abruzzen (Molise Trekking).

It is possible to enjoy some camping - in 2021 Carmine built a steel firepit where you can enjoy a tasty barbecue and watch the sun go down.

There is rafting on the Sangro river in Casatel di Giudice.

Capracotta which is over 1421 metres above sea level offers skiiing and is a 40 minute drive by car.

You may enjoy a day with Stefano their official truffle pig.

This region is so unspoilt, with forest and pastures. There is a lot of culture and history to learn about here and Carmine will be able to tell you some stories from the past. One interesting fact, is that the indigenous people of Molise were Samnites and they were one of the last people to be conquered by the powers in Rome.

Travel

Guests are recommended to fly into Rome, although Naples can also work. They then take a train to Isernia from where a transfer is included.

Guests should not arrive at the farmhouse before 20.00, please. One transfer is included when guests arrive at 19.46 at Isernia train station and when they depart the farmhouse at approximately 09.00. Individual transfers are not possible but large groups may wish to travel by taxi from and to the airport. A minibus can be arranged - please contact us for prices.

Upon arrival into Rome Ciampino or Fiumicino you will travel by bus or train to Roma Termini (Rome's main station). From there you will take the Metro Blue Line in the direction Rebibbia, getting off at the first stop 'Tiburtina'. The journey is around 5 minutes. From Roma Tiburtina you will take the train departing at 17:30, arriving in Isernia at 19:46 (look on the display for destination 'Campobasso' as that is the final destination of this route). On arrival to Isernia at 19:46 there will be a taxi waiting for you to take you to the farmhouse. In case of delay, there is another train from Roma Termini at 18:07 which arrives in Isernia at 20:55. In that case, you will be charged for a taxi, approximately €25 for 1 - 4 people.

The journey from Rome to the farmhouse takes at least 4 hours, therefore the latest arrival time into Rome should be 14:00 (Naples - 15:00). Return flights should not be booked before 15:00 from Rome (14.30 from Naples) as you will not make it in time. Please leave plenty of time for this journey to be on the safe side, you can always look around Rome if you are there early and waiting for the train. The Coliseum is just a short walk from the train station.

Testimonials

Louise A., Dec. 3, 2014

Absolutely fantastic! I loved the long days in the saddle and the scenery. Great camaraderie too. So much laughter!


Dawn D., Dec. 3, 2014

A beautiful adventure. Close to nature with happy, willing horses and a lovely group to share the experience.


Amanda M., July 24, 2009

A fantastic experience, the scenery was amazing and the horses were so forward going and well behaved. I loved sleeping outside and looking up to the stars at night. Italian food, so great, and you couldn't ask for better guides.


Simon O., June 27, 2009

Great experience with lovely hosts. Riding was a good challenge and we learnt a lot.


John B., June 27, 2009

Brilliant. It was all we had hoped for and more. Most relaxing and great fun. Astrid & Carmine were the perfect hosts - we were treated like friends - food was excellent and varied and the horses were stars. My riding has improved and the views and scenery were wonderful.


Wendy B., June 27, 2009

A very good holiday, Beautiful setting with well looked after and cared for horses and very kind hosts. The overnight stay at the lodge and sleeping under the stars with our camp fire was very special. Riding through the beautiful scenery was wonderful.


Helen C., Sept. 30, 2008

The generous hospitality and easy temperament of the horses induced a holiday mood. Cantering through carpets of pale yellow and purple violets with the scent of wild oregano in the air created the perfect riding atmosphere.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink, dinner will be taken together with your hosts. You can enjoy a delicious three-course Italian dinner, accompanied by local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

Today, the morning is yours to enjoy! You may like to sleep late if you have travelled far or to take your time over a leisurely breakfast - whatever you might prefer. Before lunch, you will have a safety briefing and a short demonstration of western riding from your host. After lunch, you will groom and tack up the horses before heading out on a short test ride (c. 3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trail. Dinner will be taken at your host's wonderful new bistro (about 1 km from the farmhouse).

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast today, it's time to saddle up the horses (at c.10am). Your destination for this ride is Capracotta - curiously, the name literally means "cooked goat" - which is a small village of just 500 inhabitants, and one of the highest municipalities in Italy situated at 4600 ft. You will ride through seemingly endless fields before it's time for a delicious picnic lunch. After you have eaten and had a rest, you will enjoy a steady canter through a long valley. Capracotta can be seen ahead but it will take you around a further two hours to get there. Tonight you stay in a hotel in the village and will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today we will take a day ride and climb “il Monte Campo”, the highest point of which is at 5,700 feet. From here you can enjoy a gorgeous view of “Alto Molise” and the Abruzzo. You will continue to follow a small narrow path that meanders through an ancient forest, past small sinkholes and deeper caves whose entrances may be illuminated by the sun. When the forest clears you may spot wildflowers, such as woodruff, here and there and know that the picnic spot is not far away. After lunch, you will follow cross-country skiing slopes that lead you through a wood of silver firs. A little later you will arrive at Prato Gentile, which literally means “kind meadow”. Here it’s time for a canter! In the afternoon, you will descend back to Capracotta, enjoying the ride through an open landscape. The night will be spent at the same hotel, but dinner will be at a different restaurant tonight.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

This morning will start with a few enjoyable steady canters before you follow a gravel road which will gradually take you upwards. The horses will enjoy a chance to rest and catch their breath, while riders can take in the view of four different mountain ranges; the Colle dell’Orso, the Matese, the Mainarde and the national Park of Abruzzo. At the top of the climb, you will find the remains of a Samnitic temple. The Samnites were the original ancient population of Molise. It took the Romans three centuries of warfare before they finally conquered this region, which then became part of the Roman Empire (79 B.C.).

After another tasty picnic lunch, the trail leads you in the direction of the little village San Pietro Avellana. Outside the village, you will untack your horses and help to settle them in a field where your hosts have to make a paddock with electric fencing.

You will dine and spend the night in the San Pietro Avellana. This village is filled with history and sights - for those interested, your hosts will give you a tour of the old washing place (lavatoio) where in ancient times the women of the village would come to wash the clothes. This is on the way to the restaurant which can be reached on foot. If you arrive in the right season, here in Altomolise you can also find truffles (or you buy a jar to take home from your b&b).

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After a short ride you will pass Montedimezzo which used to belong to the royal family of the Bourbons. Nowadays the hunting lodge is a museum and the forest is protected by UNESCO. Worldwide this organisation protects 256 forests - four of them are located in Italy, two of which are in Molise. You will turn to ride a bit in the vast territory of Feudozzo, where you will pass a breeding stable belonging to the Carabinieri (the national guard of Italy). The stud specialises in the breeding of Persano horses, which are an old and almost lost Italian breed. The trail will wind down the Vandra river to the valley of a small hamlet. Here two tratturo (old cattle trails) from North to South almost meet and you will follow one of them. After your picnic lunch, you will have more great views of the untouched nature around Roccasicura, the village where you and the horses settle down for the night

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast, you ride along the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. This ancient pathway is around 2000 years old, and is still used today to move cattle up from the far south where grass can be scarce during the summer. At around midday, you will reach Pescolanciano where you will stop in a small restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon you will climb the hills which border the forest of Collemelucio, another UNESCO protected area. The project here is called Man and Biosphere (MAB). The last few miles on horseback take you over open heathland and through dense oak woods. At about 5 pm you will arrive back at the farmhouse before unsaddling the horses for the last time and enjoying a farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the programme may have to be adapted.

Accommodation

3 nights at your host's farmhouse, 2 nights at a hotel and 2 nights at local B&B or guesthouses.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Happy at walk, trot and canter in open countryside. Willing and able to help groom and tack-up.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Oct. 15, 2022 - Oct. 22, 2022

May 20, 2023 - May 27, 2023

July 1, 2023 - July 8, 2023

Oct. 14, 2023 - Oct. 21, 2023

Pricing

2022
Sharing
£1005 $1125 €1150
2023
Rider; Sharing
£1225 $1370 €1400
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time Isernia train station transfers on arrival and departure
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022/2023 - Drinks kitty €40
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of around 35-45 euros per person
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms are only possible on the 4 nights at the agriturismo and hotel. Their availability cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking. Ideally, you should be prepared to share a room on this ride. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink, you can settle in. In the evening you will wine and dine with your hosts who will cook a delicious three-course Italian dinner. No need to say that this is accompanied by delicious local wines!

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 4 hours

The morning is yours. You might like to sleep in if you have travelled far, take your time over breakfast and do whatever you please this morning. Before lunch, you will be given a safety briefing and will groom and saddle up the horses, followed by a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch, the trek starts properly riding through vast forests and meadows. You will spend about four hours in the saddle, which will give you plenty of time to get to know your horse and get a first glimpse of the terrain and the beautiful, diverse nature you'll be riding through. You will spend the night in the small town of San Pietro Avellana. There is a restaurant where you can enjoy pasta with fresh truffles from the region.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 5 hours

In the morning you will return to meet the horses and will groom and saddle them ready to start riding at about 10.30 am. Today you will follow the Tratturo Celano-Foggia. A Tratturo is a 2.000 years old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where the grass is scarce in summer. You will continue along the Tratturo as far as the river Sangro. Here the Tratturo begins to become very wild and quite overgrown leaving only narrow paths to follow. You will finally arrive in Pietransieri. The horses will stay at Christian’s riding centre for the night and be very well cared for! You will stay in a hotel just a few hundred meters away.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 hours

Today’s destination is the small town of Pescocostanzo. The trail takes you through increasingly high mountains. From here you have a good viewpoint back to the hills of Molise. Climbing up the pass you will stop for a picnic at the Petra Cernaia viewpoint which will allow you to see a completely different panorama. You will see Pecocostanzo. The village is about 4500 feet above sea level and directly on the slopes of Majella Mountain. The terrain alternates with high plains pasture where you can enjoy some great canters.  You will then arrive at the stabling for the horses. Having spent about six hours on horseback you are bound to be longing for a drink and fortunately, Pescocostanzo has a nice square with several bars and restaurants. Taking a walk in this picturesque medieval town is pleasant for everyone and a must for those who are interested in architecture. You will be staying at a small and cosy hotel with dinner in a restaurant.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 6 hours

The National Park Majella (75,000 acres) is one of the biggest in Italy. It is a so-called Pan Park, which means that it is protected by WWF. Here there are thirty mountains that are over 6500 feet high. Today there will be a six-hour-long ride in the surrounding highlands and it's expected that you will be able to have nice canters here. The night will be spent at the same hotel. Dinner, however, is at a different restaurant.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 7 - 8 hours

This is going to be a demanding day spending about seven to eight hours in the saddle. The first part of your trail takes you upwards towards a large valley. Here on this plateau, you can enjoy a long steady canter until you reach the picnic spot. You will pass through a forest and finally, be surprised by a lovely view.  The next stretch is a long road, leading you down and down again.  Part of this road must be covered on foot. In the early evening, you will finally reach your destination. After leaving the horses in a paddock, you will go to Sandra's riding centre where you will have dinner and spend the night at her comfortable hotel.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Your last ride starts by passing through the town of Alfedena and, once out the other side, you will find a lovely plain that invites a good long canter. You will ride past Ponte Della Zittola, marking the border of two regions; Abruzzo and Molise. You will then follow part of the Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Foggia in the foothills of Alto Molise. Having passed the hamlet Montalto it is time for a picnic. After lunch, it will take around four hours to ride home, arriving home at approximately 6:30 p.m. Once you are back at the farmhouse, you will help unsaddle and settle the horses for the last time and enjoy a tasty farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

Accommodation

Two nights at the farmhouse and five nights at *** hotels.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate riders upwards who are fit

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Sept. 30, 2023 - Oct. 7, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider; Sharing
£1440 $1605 €1640
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms (two at the farmhouse and five at a hotel), all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time transfer from/to Isernia train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Drinks kitty €40
Paid locally
This is a kitty for drinks and snacks before meals of around 35-45 euros per person.
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms are only possible on the 5 nights at the agriturismo and hotels. Their availability cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking. Ideally, you should be prepared to share a room on this ride. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Friday

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast, you will begin to make your way home accompanied by your four-legged friends that you will have surely bonded closely with over the past few days. A long day of riding lies ahead of you but the horses will easily carry you onwards with serenity and determination. One last time you can enjoy being together with the horse, in nature and, of course, a delicious glass of wine to accompany your picnic in the heart of Italy. You will ride past the Ponte della Zittola, marking the border between Abruzzo and Molise. One last time, Carmine will introduce everyone who is interested to the exciting history of his country and its native people. Back at the farmhouse you will unsaddle the horses one last time and enjoy a tasty farewell dinner.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink, there will be dinner with your host/guide. A three-course Italian dinner will be served every night, accompanied by local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 4 hours

The morning is yours. You may like to sleep in, take your time over a leisurely breakfast, or do whatever you like. Before lunch is served, there will be a ride safety briefing followed by time to groom and saddle up the horses, as well as a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch, the trek begins in earnest with a 4 hours ride following the Tratturo Celano-Foggia. Eventually, you will reach Montedimezzo, which is an old hunting reserve that once belonged to the Royal family of Bourbon. Today it's a museum, surrounded by forest that is protected by UNESCO. Worldwide the organisation protect 256 forests. four of these are in Italy and two of them are in the region of Molise. You will leave the Tratturo to ride through this beautiful protected area with a picnic lunch stop where you can enjoy a nice drink. Close by is a paddock where the horses will stay for the night, but you will return back to the farmhouse by car. You will enjoy another delicious dinner in the new Bistro owned by your host.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will return to the horses and tack up ready to ride at about 11.00 a.m. You will begin the day by following the Tratturo Celano-Foggia as far as the river Sangro. Here the Tratturo begins to get very wild and quite overgrown leaving only narrow paths to follow. A shady place under the cover of trees will make a terrific picnic spot at lunchtime. In the afternoon, you will continue to follow small paths, whilst sunbathing lizards may be disturbed by your passing and take to their heels. The air smells like the Italian kitchen, filled with the aroma of rosemary and thyme that grows everywhere. Before the last step of today's ride, you will stop on a plateau where you will find a herd of native Molise cows grazing around you. From this vantage point, you'll be able to trace back the route you have followed today. The horses will stay overnight at a riding centre, which also features a restaurant. You will enjoy dinner there before heading to a nearby hotel for the night.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 hours

Today's destination is the town of Roccaraarso. The trail will take you through increasingly high mountains.  Arriving at the top of the pass you will have a picnic and enjoy two very different panoramas.  Looking back you can see the hilly landscape of Molise and in front of you the Majella National Park welcomes you with its high mountains and vast valleys.  At the end of the afternoon you canter through one of these valleys. Roccararso will be your home for the next two nights.  It is a locally well known skiing resort.  Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 7 hours

Today you enter the Abruzzo national park. The first part of the trail leads to the Piano delle cinque Miglia (the valley of the five Miles) - here you can enjoy a long canter! At the end of the valley, tall mountains loom up on either side and a gravel road takes you to the Montagna Spaccata (split mountain) where benches and old oaks tempt you to stop. You then turn left and the landscape changes, looking a little like the moon with a small lake. At the end of the day you descend the mountain on an old skiing track. The horses will be left at a stables whilst the riders return to the hotel. Having spent seven hours on horseback, a drink will be very welcome. Later you will meet for dinner at another restaurant.

Day 7 - Thursday

Riding: 6 hours

The first part of your trail today will take uphill towards a large valley. Here on this plateau, the Aremogna (little Tibet) you will be able to enjoy a long steady canter. A picturesque trail will eventually bring you down through Roccaraso. Now you are leaving the 2 Parks and starting a ride towards Rocca Cinquemiglia, a town where time seems to stand still. Nearby you will stop for a picnic before we go back downhill to the valley of the river Sangro again. However, now you will follow the river along the park of Castel di Sangro - named after the river that runs through the village. Here you will leave the horse in a paddock and go by car to a B&B where you will spend the night. A treat as tonight you will get PIZZA!!

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances the programme may have to be adapted, but always with your best interests at heart.

Accommodation

You spend 3 nights at the farmhouse and 4 nights at hotels out on the trail. Single rooms may be possible for hotel nights at a supplementary cost - please enquire in advance for availability.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate but fit for long hours in the saddle

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Sept. 16, 2023 - Sept. 23, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider: Sharing
£1340 $1495 €1530
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time transfers from/to Isernia train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Drinks kitty €40
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks and snacks before meals of around 35-45 euros per person (payable locally).
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms are only possible on the 4 nights at the agriturismo and hotels. Their availability cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking. Ideally, you should be prepared to share a room on this ride. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on Saturday evening at the farmhouse. On your arrival, you can enjoy a welcome drink and will soon get to know your hosts and other guests. You can be assured of a fantastic three-course dinner accompanied by tasty local wines.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours if you wish to sleep late and take your time over breakfast. During this time you will unwind and take a look around or perhaps just sit in the sunshine admiring the view.

Late morning, there is a safety briefing and time to groom and saddle the horses before a demonstration in western riding. Following lunch, you will head out on a test-ride (around 3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride on the trail. This evening you will visit the new riding centre Bistro owned by Carmine and enjoy a drink followed by another delicious three-course dinner.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 5 hours

At around 10 am you will leave the house and ride through Alto Molise with its hills, meadows and woods. You will stop for a delicious picnic in the shade of mighty oaks. After this welcome break, you will continue riding through the endless hills and unspoilt countryside. At the end of the day, you will reach your destination for the night, where you will help to settle the horses before a drink and the chance to walk through the piazza of the little town. In the evening you will meet back again to enjoy dinner at a restaurant close to the B&B where you will be staying tonight.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

After breakfast, you will continue the trail following the old Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera. The Tratturo is a centuries-old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where the grass is scarce in summer. After the Tratturo you reach Pescolanciano with its old castle. Here you stop for lunch at a little restaurant. After this welcome break, you will continue to ride towards the Colle dell’Orso.

The trail will get steeper, climbing 1,800 feet the route leads you over narrow paths and through beech woods with carpets of leaves. In the evening you reach a simple mountain lodge where you dine and spend the night. But first of all the horses need to be taken care of after their long day. You will stay in communal dormitories with sleeping bags.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 7 hours

Today is dedicated to the magnificent scenery of the plateau of Colle dell’Orso and the cowboys. During this ride, you will enjoy the most splendid views of the Abruzzi and Matese Mountain ranges, with peaks of appr. 6,500 feet. The most impressive scene of all is, however, the herds of cattle and wild horses on the plains. You ride along with or even cross through the herds. before finding a nice place for the picnic.

In the afternoon the trail takes us to the so-called Magic Forest. This piece of woodland is completely sheltered by rocks and there are just two possible ways of access, which makes the visit quite adventurous. Leaving the Magic Forest you go back to the mountain lodge, which is equipped with a shower. In the evening there will be a campfire or the fire will be lit in the fireplace if the temperatures are too cold outside.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 6 hours

In the morning you will once again enjoy the beauty of the Colle dell’Orso, called Magic Mountain by some. Your picnic lunch will be in the garden of a little church dating back to the year 1704. In the afternoon the route descends, leading you back to civilisation. In the evening you will help settle your horses and leave them at a small riding centre, before driving 20 minutes to Civitanova where you will be spending the night at a cosy hotel. Tonight, pizza is on the menu!

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: 6 hours

Today you are able to take it easy. Passing a valley where the river Trigno has been dammed to form an enormous artificial lake. You will follow the Trigno river to Pescolanciano, climbing the hills that border the forest Collemeluccio. This is one of the forests protected by UNESCO under their project called Man and Biosphere (MAB). Worldwide UNESCO protects 256 forests. Four of them are located in Italy and two of them are in Molise.

The last few miles on horseback take you over open heathland and dense oakwood. At c. 5 pm you will arrive at Carmine’s farmhouse. Tonight you can enjoy more excellent wines and another delicious meal which will be your farewell dinner.

Day 8 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

N.B. Due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the programme may have to be adapted.

Accommodation

3 nights at your host's comfortable farmhouse, 1 night in an Agriturismo, 2 nights in a simple mountain hut and 1 night at a hotel. The mountain hut has dormitory-style communal rooms (equipped with a shower). The bolder of you may wish to sleep outside with your horse!

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders must be reasonably fit and able to walk next to your horse over steep terrain. You must be able to walk, trot and canter and to mount and dismount unaided (this is easier to do in a western saddle than in an English saddle and should be relatively easy provided you are fit).

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

June 3, 2023 - June 10, 2023

July 15, 2023 - July 22, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider; sharing
£1140 $1270 €1300
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on the first day up to and including breakfast on the day of your departure, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, five and a half days riding (6-7 hours per day) with two English speaking guides, transport of your luggage between overnight stops and set time Isernia train station transfers on arrival and departure.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Drinks kitty €40
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks and snacks before meals of around 35-45 euros per person (payable locally).
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms are only possible on the 2 nights at the agriturismo and hotel. Their availability cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking, but ideally, you should be prepared to share on this ride. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Saturday

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive on Saturday evening at your host's super 19th century stone farmhouse. After a welcome drink, there will be dinner with your hosts and riding guides. This will be three courses of typical Italian cuisine that are served every evening with local wine.

Day 2 - Sunday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

This morning will see a slow start with a leisurely breakfast; if the weather is nice you can eat outside and enjoy the quiet location in the forest with views over the horse pastures to the Colle dell'Orso, 30 km away. After breakfast, you will get to know the horses and, if necessary, receive a demonstration of western riding. Having groomed and saddled your horses, your first ride begins by crossing a rocky river, followed by a steep ascent to the Tratturo Celano - Foggia. The horses will give you the first demonstration of their sure-footedness! Cross a meadow where you can let your horses take a quick breather, you will continue up to the ridge of the mountain through the shade of the forest. You will pass mud pits - the "bathtubs of the wild boar" - and catch a glimpse of frogs enjoying the resultant water pools. You can enjoy a short but brisk gallop in an open meadow. Another short steep climb will see you arrive at your picnic spot, Monte Caraceno. This small mountain gives you a 360° panorama of the region and is a spot with over 2000 years of Samnite history. After a welcome break, you will lead the horses a bit until we reach the 200km long tratturo that brings you back to the farm. In the evening you can visit a nearby equestrian centre belonging to your host and will be served dinner in their bistro.

Day 3 - Monday

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Your ride starts today at 10:00 a.m. This will be a long ride through an oak forest that leads you to many beautiful meadows near the Tratturo. Here you can enjoy some wonderful steady canters. You will leave the Tratturo and ride to a picnic area where your host once organised endurance races. Satiated and well rested, your path now leads you several kilometres through beech forests until it finally arrives at your first hotel, located directly at the Tratturo. Here you have the chance to freshen up and enjoy drinks in the garden, with the horses grazing next door. Relax with a great panorama until dinner is served at around 8:30 p.m.

Day 4 - Tuesday

Riding: 3 hours

Today will be the shortest ride of the week. Over about 3 hours you will follow the Tratturo until you reach the town of San Pietra Avellana. You will ride through high oak and beech forests, stopping at a bar on the edge of the forest to enjoy your picnic lunch which will include fresh cheese and salami from the region. This wooded area is populated by deer and there have been possible sightings of bears as well! You will untack and tend to your horses on the outskirts of town which is on the Tratturo. It's wonderful to watch the horses roll around and enjoy their feed bags - you can listen to their satisfied snorting too. In the evening, you will walk from your hotel through the old streets of this 10th-century village to a restaurant. Here there are fresh truffles from the forests that you through during the day.

Day 5 - Wednesday

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Italy's ancient tratturi travel from the fresh mountain pastures of Abruzzo all the way to Puglia in the south. With a length of up to 250km, the 6 main ones cross through this region of Molise. Today you will switch to the second of the major ones, Tratturo Castel di Sangro - Lucera and ride past the ruins of an almost deserted town. While nature reclaims this place, the old walls tell stories of the hard life in the mountains. With a bit of luck, you will meet the resident shepherd with his herd. Here, the ancient livelihoods and history that walked along the Tratturo come alive again - you feel transported back to the time when the shepherds covered this route with their flocks twice a year. During your rest, you enjoy not only regional delicacies, but also the amazing view, the scent of fresh herbs and stories about the country and its people. In the afternoon, your destination for the day appears on the horizon; a small town called Roccasicura (safe rock), tucked away somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Your luggage is already waiting for you in a beautiful hotel at the highest point of the village. You have enough time for a typical Italian round with drinks and snacks and a refreshing shower before you make your way to the restaurant.

Day 6 - Thursday

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast today you will ride south along the Tratturo and, depending on the season, you can enjoy the colourful blossoms or nibble on delicious blackberries while watching the butterflies dance. After a short but strenuous ascent, the horses get a little break before you ride over a stone road to a small plateau. This flat area will allow you to enjoy a wonderfully refreshing steady canter. You continue past goats, cows and sheep with their guards, the herding dogs. You reach a junction, the Traturelli San Domenico, which leads you to your picnic area. Here the horses will be allowed to graze extensively while you take your time over another delicious picnic in the shade of large trees. Shortly afterwards you visit the Tratturo's church and enjoy your last hours in the saddle. Around 5:00 p.m. you will be back at the riding stables, where you unsaddle the horses one last time and enjoy the farewell dinner.

Day 7 - Friday

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

Accommodation

3 nights at your host's comfortable farmhouse and 3 nights will be spent in hotels along the trail route.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders should be able to walk, trot and canter and to mount and dismount unaided. You should also be prepared to groom and tack up your own horse throughout the ride.

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 17, 2023 - June 23, 2023

Sept. 2, 2023 - Sept. 8, 2023

Pricing

2023
Rider; Sharing
£965 $1075 €1100
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, full board meals, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, 5 days of riding and return set-time transfer to/from Isernia train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Drinks Kitty €40
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks and snacks before meals of 35-45 euros per person
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms are only possible on the 3 nights at the hotels. Their availability cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking. Ideally, you should be prepared to share a room on this ride. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive in the evening on Saturday at the farmhouse. After a welcome drink, you will dine with your hosts, who will cook a delicious three-course Italian dinner, always accompanied by delicious local wines.

Day 2

Riding: 3 hours

The morning is yours. You may sleep late, take your time over breakfast, or do whatever you like. Before lunch there is a safety briefing followed by grooming, saddling up the horses and a short demonstration in western riding. After lunch, you will take a test ride (3 hours) to enable you to get acquainted with the horse you are going to ride all week. Some riders like to ride different horses during the week, which is also possible. You will visit the new riding centre bistro owned by Carmine and enjoy a freshly prepared dinner here.

Day 3

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

At about 10 am you will leave the house to meet the horses. After a long ride through a wooded area, you will reach many open fields where you can enjoy a steady canter. Your picnic lunch is at an idyllic spot. In the afternoon, there is a lovely view of the village of Vastogirardi. The route takes you through miles of beech woods. and ends in the Valle Fredda (Cold Valley). Once here, it's time for another long steady canter. In the evening you will enjoy another delicious dinner cooked by Carmine.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today's ride will take you past the new riding centre and ride down to the village of Carovilli. You will tie up the horses and enjoy a fresh aperitif in the Piazza. Take a moment to soak in the atmosphere of this little town, enjoying the hustle bustle and gossip of the inhabitants. Feeling well rested, your next destination is Castiglione, another small neighbouring town. At the top of the hill above Castiglione, there is a ruined church which you can explore on foot and enjoy the expansive view down to the valley of Carovilli. The functioning bell, which still hangs in the steeple, can be rung. After a delicious picnic, you will ride back to the farmhouse and in the late afternoon, you can take time to rest and relax, perhaps with a book in one of the hammocks at the Bistro. By the cosy fireplace in the farmhouse, you can find plenty of books to read, in English, Dutch or German. If you wish to go to the neighbouring town for a swim or to visit the castle in Pescolanciano, your hosts will happily take you!

Day 5

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

On today's ride, you will cross a little river which is immediately followed by a steep and adventurous climb. Continuing uphill along small paths with wild berry bushes left and right, you will eventually reach the forest clearing.  Here you will stop for another delicious picnic lunch. To the north, you can see where the Abruzzo mountain range begins. In the afternoon, it's just a short ride to Pietrabbondante (this literally means "plenty of stones") where you will visit a Roman theatre and the remains of two Samnitic temples. The Samnites were the original ancient population of Molise. It took the Romans three centuries of war before finally managing to conquer this remote region and annexing it to the Roman Empire (79BC). On return to the farmhouse, you can look forward to another of Carmine's wonderful three-course dinners.

Day 6

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After breakfast today, you will ride down the valley in the direction of Pescolanciano. Shortly before reaching the village, you will pass the Tratturo - a 2000-year-old track that is still used to move cattle from the far south where the grass is scarce in summer. From this point, there is a great view of the old castle and the village. The flatter lowland areas will invite some fun steady canters through the fields. Lunch will be served in a little restaurant today; well known for the owner's homemade ice cream!  Next to the horse's resting place, there is a little open-air pool which was built a few years ago. Hopefully, you will have packed your swimsuit and can spend some time relaxing and swimming here.  The last few miles on horseback take you over open heathland and dense oak woods. At about 6 pm you will be back at the farmhouse, where you will unsaddle your horse for the last time and enjoy another delicious dinner.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

* In the event of poor weather or adverse conditions, an alternative programme can be offered for guests. This may include visits to the Bell Museum in Agnone, the Castle in Pescolanciano, or a western riding lesson if you prefer.

Accommodation

Accommodation is at the comfortable farmhouse with shared rooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Novice, Intermediate to experienced riders

Minimum group size 3
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Nov. 12, 2022 - April 21, 2023  (Dates available on request through the winter (shorter 3-6 night stays also possible by arrangement))

May 6, 2023 - May 12, 2023

July 29, 2023 - Aug. 4, 2023

At any time during: Oct. 28, 2023 - Nov. 3, 2023

Pricing

2022
Rider: Sharing
£655 $730 €750
2023
Rider; Sharing
£760 $850 €870
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, full board meals, wine and beer with lunches and dinners, 4.5 days of riding and return set-time transfer to/from Isernia train station.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, additional drinks (a guest kitty is set up at the beginning of each ride to cover the costs for these), tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022/2023 - Drinks €40
Paid locally
There is a kitty for drinks before meals of 30-35 euros per person
2023 - Single Supplement €30 per night
Paid locally
Payable by anyone not willing to share a room with another guest. Single rooms cannot always be guaranteed, so please check with us before booking. Payments are to be made locally in cash.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.