Horseback tours of Italy

Riding through the Italian countryside on a horseback tour of Italy

At an agriturismo, a local guide might take you on a private, half-day ride across the countryside and moutaintops for a grand total of €15.
At an agriturismo like Monaco di Mezzo, in Sicily's interior, a local guide like Antonio here might take you on a private, half-day ride across the countryside and mountaintops for a grand total of €15. [read the blog: Sicily in the Saddle]
True story: First time I ever fell off a horse was riding through the Mugello hills northeast of Florence.

I don't mention this to discourage you (besides, it was entirely the fault of the surly and inconsiderate person riding in front of me, who turned a blind corner and pushed a branch out of the way but failed to call back a warning; I caught the branch square in the chest as I rounded the corner, landed on my back with my left foot stuck in stirrup, and was dragged several yards).

It's just that falling off that horse is the second thing I think of when I think about riding in Italy (and, for the record, I did, indeed, get right back up on it; had to swallow about half a bottle of Advil that night, though).

More importantly, the first thing I think about is the awesome morning I once spent on horseback riding across the hills of Sicily with a local who told me tales of life in central Sicily and pointed out caves where mafiosi used to hide in the bad old days. » more

I had both of those horse riding experiences in Italy thanks to the fact that I have a penchant for staying on agriturismi (working farms that take in lodgers). But those were just day rides—a chance to get off the tourist mill and get in the saddle for a few hours. If that's all you're a-hankerin' for, scroll down a bit for more details.

If, however, you'd like to actually ride across the countryside on a multi-day horseback tour of Italy, here are some resources for you.

Horseback tours of Italy

Hidden Trails ( - Travel agent aggregator of horseback adventures, including some 20 in Italy (half in Tuscany the others spread around Lazio, Campania, the Veneto, Lake Garda, and Sicily)

Equitours ( - Major riding tour company with four Italy itineraries.

Chianti Trail ( - [from catalog]: Tuscany is an area of great beauty, rich in wildlife and history, where time flows at it's own pace. What better way to both explore and preserve the environment than to enjoy it from horseback. Chianti Trails equitrekking stables offer alternative and unique horse riding holidays in an enviable position in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Based strategically between Volterra and San Gimignano, our trips are designed with horse-lovers in mind.

Sicily Horse Vacations ( - [from catalog]: We are a small British family run holiday center here in Sicily. We specialize in horse riding holidays but our extensive traveling around the island have enabled us to learn a lot about it and its history and we do design itineraries to suit every taste. Our place in Alia is in the midst of a mountainous farming community and the emphasis is on nature and old style living. We are within reach of all types of places and mix the old with the new to produce fun holidays with constant action and activity.

InfoHub ( lists several horseback tours in Italy under "ecotourism".

If you just want to ride a horse for half a day

You don't have to stay in the saddle all week to experience Italy by horse. A few horse farms do tourist rides, as do many agriturismi (farm lodgings) that have horse farms attached (or affiliated). All can arrange for a half-day or day-long ride. Expect the rates to range anywhere from €10 to €20 an hour at a modest agriturismo to €150 for a day (if lunch is included) at a stable.

Here's one of the best half-day rides in the Chianti hills outside Tuscany, offered by our partner site Viator:

Horse Riding in Chianti Day Trip from Florence (6 hrs; $165.13) - [from catalog]: Led by your friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guide you will be taken on horseback into the Chianti region where most of the region's famous wines are produced. You will ride for two hours through vineyards, olive groves, and Middle Age villages seeing the Tuscan landscapes at its best. Once back at the farm, you are served a delicious Tuscan lunch of Pecorino cheese, prosciutto, salami and bruschette. After your meal you will have the chance to sample some of the finest Chianti wines (the wine tasting fee is included in the tour, wines are also for sale). The stables cater for riders of all abilities and beginners are welcome; previous riding experience is not necessary. Riding helmets are provided free of charge. Please note: If a member of your group prefers not to ride carriages are available. » book

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