Horse riding holidays in Tuscany, guide to the main bridleways in the region
Horse riding is an alternative and exciting way to explore the nature of Tuscany. On the saddle of one of these magnificent animals you can live a unique experience, transforming your holiday into an unprecedented and extraordinary adventure.
Breathtaking landscapes await you in some of the most beautiful locations in the region, along exclusive equestrian tourism itineraries that follow the slow rhythms of horseback riding, crossing places of art, among the excellences of the Tuscan countryside and mountains.
The proposed itineraries are many and will lead you to discover authentic territories, where you can breathe the essence of tradition and the beauty of the landscape, crossing villages and castles, woods and dirt roads. Among the most evocative itineraries we find the Via dei Cavalleggeri, a horse trail that connects all the coastal watchtowers in the provinces of Pisa, Livorno and Grosseto. This route starts from the Maremma and crosses the Regional Parks of Maremma, San Rossore and the Apuan Alps, until it joins the Via Francigena in Lunigiana.
The Casentino bridleway will take you on roads that smell of history and mysticism, among majestic forests and unforgettable atmospheres. Riding among fairytale castles, abbeys, monasteries and medieval villages, you can visit many wonderful places of interest such as the parish church of Romena, the castle of Porciano, the abbey of Vallombrosa and the Hermitage of Camaldoli.
In the south of the region we find the fascinating Ippovia dell’Amiata, a path that winds through centuries-old chestnut trees and the ancient flavours, typical of the Tuscan mountains. In the province of Pistoia, the Ippovia di San Jacopo offers a series of horse riding routes that develop around the provincial capital, on mostly dirt roads, which allow you to visit historic sites, villages and landscapes, until you reach such as Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo, Carmignano and the Medici Villa of Artimino.
Furthermore, we cannot forget the Terre di Siena horse trail with its incredible landscapes, where riders and horses can enjoy the beauty of the area, far from the logic of mass tourism. Among other things, despite being immersed in remote places, Siena, its magnificent Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo, are always close at hand.
The experience of discovering Tuscany on horseback is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the nature and culture of the area, away from the chaos of the city and the most popular tourist routes. It is an experience that combines love for animals and nature with the discovery of a historical, artistic and gastronomic heritage of great value.
Horse riding is an activity suitable for everyone, both beginners and more experienced, thanks to the presence of qualified instructors and the adaptability of the routes to the needs of the riders. A different way of travelling, where slowness and tranquility allow you to better appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the places visited.
- Horse trails of the Casentino
- Horse trails of the Amiata
- Via dei Cavalleggeri
- Ippovia di San Jacopo
- Bridleways of the Terre di Siena
- Ippovia della Transumanza
- Valtiberina horse trail
- Horse trails in the Province of Prato
Horse trails of the Casentino
For those who love holidays in medieval atmospheres and in close contact with nature, the Casentino, located in the upper Arno Valley, is a highly recommended destination. Land of castles, Romanesque parish churches, and famous religious sites, the Casentino offers fascinating places, immersed in the striking beauty of luxuriant nature.
If you want to discover all that the Casentino has to offer, you can do it on horseback, thanks to the bridleway that connects most of the medieval historical sites of the valley and also the neighboring ones, such as the abbey of Vallombrosa. Along its over 300 kilometers of trails, you will find numerous qualified accommodation facilities, able to provide adequate assistance to horses and riders, and authorized guides who will accompany you in complete safety.
You will be able to explore the paths and get close to the local excellences, renowned in Italy and in the world: from craftsmanship, to cuisine up to the famous Casentino cloth. What are you waiting for? Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Casentino and its places, let yourself be conquered by the mysticism and harmony of nature on slow horseback rides, to savor every corner of a unique territory in the world.
Horse trails of the Amiata
Do you want to immerse yourself in the centuries-old chestnut woods and discover the ancient flavors of the mountain people? Then your dream can come true. In fact, you can explore one of the most suggestive areas of Tuscany on horseback: Monte Amiata.
This ancient, dormant volcano still holds the heat and energy of past eruptions. Among its centuries-old trees, among beech and chestnut trees, stand imposing trachytic boulders, decorated with soft coats of moss. Its rolling hills extend west to the wild Maremma and east to the undulating lands of Siena.
To explore the mountain on horseback, you can follow the Monte Amiata horse trail, which has two routes. The first, called “Anello Alto“, is a stage of about 30 km with a maximum altitude of 1250 meters above sea level. The second route, called “Anello Basso“, unfolds in 4 stages for a total of 80 km, reaching a maximum altitude of 1230 meters above sea level.
Both routes allow you to discover Monte Amiata in its most authentic and interesting aspects, for an unforgettable holiday. In fact, Mount Amiata preserves an ancient wisdom, transmitted by its strongest and simplest inhabitants: lumberjacks, charcoal burners and carpenters who have always drawn their livelihood from the woods. Traditions, culture and unique landscapes that you can discover following the roads on horseback, for a slow and peaceful tourism, which will allow you to enjoy the beauties of Amiata with the right ways and times, in a fascinating and particular atmosphere.
Via dei Cavalleggeri
The Via dei Cavalleggeri is a long route that connects various coastal watchtowers which are distributed between the provinces of Pisa, Livorno and Grosseto. This bridleway starts from the Maremma and, crossing the Regional Parks of Maremma, San Rossore and the Apuan Alps, finally joins the Via Francigena in Lunigiana.
This beautiful route traces the coastal defense system built at the time of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. A system that consisted of towers and forts connected to each other and to the fortified urban centers along the coast of the region. Starting from the seventeenth century, these watchtowers were also flanked by accommodation and shelter stations for the “Corpo dei Cavalleggeri” which was in charge of coastal surveillance. This system had expanded after the 16th century, incorporating and strengthening the defensive systems of the Principality of Piombino and the State of Presidi. The Via dei Cavalleggeri was a very important road because it helped to protect the area from the dangers that came from the sea, starting from the incursions of pirates and corsairs.
The Via dei Cavalleggeri winds its way along 210 km stopping in numerous places of certain interest such as Livorno, Santa Luce, Bolgheri, Marina di Bibbona, Guardistallo, Montescudaio. You can reach these places on horseback along paths, mule tracks and dirt roads, enjoying unique panoramas that will make your holiday an experience to remember forever.
Ippovia di San Jacopo
The San Jacopo horse trail is an important horse-riding road that develops all around the city of Pistoia on mainly dirt and public roads. The main route crosses historical and cultural places located along important communication routes of the early and late Middle Ages, such as the Via Francesca and the network of roads and paths that connected central-eastern Tuscany to northern Italy through the great passes of the Apennines. The name of the bridleway derives from the centuries-old history of Pistoia: San Jacopo has been the patron saint of Pistoia since the 12th century, when the relics of the saint arrived in the city from Santiago di Compostela. The horse trail is about 260 km long and consists of 14 stages with variable lengths and different difficulties. The stages allow you to discover historic sites, villages and panoramas, among which Serravalle Pistoiese, Vinci, Carmignano and Poggio a Caiano stand out.
Bridleways of the Terre di Siena
Exploring the wonders of the Terre di Siena on horseback means abandoning your senses to discover a landscape in motion, blending perfectly with the surrounding nature. The journey becomes a unique experience, where the routes move away from the common routes followed by men and engines, to embrace the natural rhythms of the earth. Holidays take on a new temporal dimension, passing from excursions to real adventures. This authentic part of Tuscany offers riders and horses the possibility of getting away from mass tourism and discovering remote places, without ever losing sight of Siena and its famous Piazza del Campo with the Mangia tower.
The province of Siena is the perfect place to appreciate the art of the landscape, but also to immerse yourself in the equestrian art. The Bridleways of the Terre di Siena offer 3 routes: A. “Anello di Siena” (60km), B. “Su e giù per le colline di Siena fino alla grotta di Ghino” (90km) and C. “Tra la Val d’Orcia e la Val di Chiana” (25km), for a total of 175km. All the routes cross the historic Via Francigena, offering unforgettable emotions and reaching magnificent places such as San Quirico d’Orcia, Pienza, Sarteano, San Casciano dei Bagni and Radicofani.
Ippovia della Transumanza
The Ippovia della Transumanza (186km) represents the Arezzo part of a route that also crosses the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, connecting the Apennine mountains with the Maremma, following the historical itineraries of transhumance from upstream to downstream and vice versa. The main route joins the Val Tiberina to the Valdarno and Valdichiana, before continuing towards Rapolano and connecting to the Sienese part of the road. This bridleway reaches various locations such as Badia Tedalda, Anghiari, Castiglion Fibocchi, Arezzo and Civitella Val di Chiana.
Valtiberina horse trail
The Valtiberina horse trail (90km) consists of a circular route that crosses the characteristic villages of Anghiari and Monterchi, and connects to the Transumanza horse trail. From this main ring branch off two routes that lead respectively east to Sansepolcro and west to Caprese Michelangelo.
Horse trails in the Province of Prato
The bridleways of the Province of Prato extend along the entire provincial territory, for a total length of 170 kilometres, from the upper Bisenzio valley to the plain of the metropolitan area and Montalbano, connecting to the San Jacopo bridleway of the Province of Pistoia and the Ring of the Renaissance of the Province of Florence. It can be divided into thematic itineraries, through loops that allow for daily stops, such as the Upper Bisenzio Valley, the Acquerino Cantagallo Reserve, the Calvana, Monteferrato-Piana, the Montalbano and the Carigiola.