Seven days in the sun seems like a far and distant time from our little frozen island. However, the trip left such a firm imprint on me that I can recall it clear as day. A Medieval Castle Tour of Tuscany! I remember stepping off the plane into the warm nostalgic atmosphere of Tuscany. This same relaxing ambience is responsible for that special place where I hold Tuscany in my heart. A trip I shan’t forget soon, nor willingly.
The Adventure Begins
On the first day we were transferred to the magnificant castle in which we were due to stay for the start of our holiday adventure. The food there was sublime, and accompanied by a fine red wine which complemented the meat well. As we had spent the majority of the day travelling I was extremely tired and retired early, keen to be well rested to make the most of the next day.
After a hearty breakfast we set out on our first ride, destination Lake Bolsena! Having heard about the lake’s particular beauty, the way it rests in the heat of the land, a hub of life and ripples, I was keen to get going and arrive already! But the wait was far from lenghty and my impatience soon quashed. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I don’t believe the heat permits this rule in Tuscany. Everything’s a little slower and you have time to really soak in your surroundings. We trotted along some ancient tracks trodden by many a steed and these old routes led us to the lake… and it was not a disappointment. To the extent that I acutally stripped down to just my shorts and swam for a while. What a nice change it was from my life at home. Drifting in a lake in Tuscany!
Time Flys By Once Your Settled In
The very next day we visited another lake, this one formed inside a volcanic crater with traces of human settlements from the pre-etruscan era. Having passed the lake we cantered up a tree lined path which later revealed some stunning views over the land. Having completed another great day of riding we returned to the castle for some serious chow.
Over the next three days we toured Sorano, every moment viewing scenery that stands as a testament to the sheer age of the land. For instance the paths weaving their way through the towering ancient rock. Cut by ancient man in a time long forgotton.
The path less trodden
All this was broken into perspective by a few healty picnics and the occasional rest stop. Each night staying in an ancient castle or fortress. The castles were really a highlight of the trip, their architecture was astounding. I couldn’t help but think back to my first trip to Portugal, an expertly planned venture organised for me by Equestrian Escapes who later became my standard go to tour operator whenever I wanted a mixture of relaxation and riding.
All Good Things…
Having departed Sorano, we moved down and up the other side of the Stridolone Valley, past an ex-convent and into the heart of the Tuscany countryside where we spotted pheasent, deer and the occasional wild boar! With that we returned to our proud castle for a final meal and good nights sleep. Departing in the morning was ever so painful and I’ve felt a longing to return ever since. Truely a favourite of Castle Riding Holidays, a unique and timeless trip.