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The setting for this weekend break in Italy is the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Beginners and experienced riders alike will head out on guided treks into the glorious Tuscan countryside where ancient castles, thermal pools, and Chianti vineyards dot the landscape. And if you are with a non-riding partner, fear not, there is plenty to keep them occupied while you take to the saddle.
Tuscany, in central Italy, has something for everyone. Art and architecture lovers will be bowled over by Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, just three of the many jewels to Tuscany's crown. The region is predominantly known for its Chianti grape and the sun drenched rolling hills in the countryside are dotted with vineyards. Based in the heart of Tuscany, the tiny village of Iano is located in the south of the Montaione region. Surrounded by olive groves and woodland, this spectacular countryside is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the busier cities, yet within spitting distance of both Siena & Florence for that dose of culture.
In the peak season, the area is busy with tourists and holiday makers making the most of the sun. However, outside of the summer months, this region is still a beautiful place to enjoy. Consider visiting during the spring or autumn, when there are fewer people and you will feel like you have the place to yourself!
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider you are welcome on this trip. Beginners will be given a lesson before riding and will be accompanied by a guide to help. You will then be able to head off on horseback to enjoy the scenic Tuscan countryside and ride through a patchwork landscape of beautiful Chianti vineyards, discover natural thermal pools – perfect for a quick dip, and seek out San Vivaldo – a Franciscan monastery that dates back to the 16th century. And, with two heated thermal springs set in olive groves, a swimming pool, and mountain bikes to ride, there’s also plenty to entertain you back at base, too. What’s more, non-riders can head out to visit nearby Florence – it’s only about 40 minutes away on the train.
If you’re not sure you could handle a whole week in the saddle, then this long-weekend break is the perfect chance to test your stamina. What’s more, if you’re travelling with someone who doesn’t want to ride, they can come too and explore the countryside by foot – they’ll pay less for the privilege, too. In terms of horse-riding, if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll be given a 45-minute lesson at the start to get you into the swing of things, and as well as that, there are different options to choose from depending on your skill level. So, all in all, it’s a pretty flexible break, and good for a mixture of abilities.
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