You might, like me, quiver at the idea of riding a horse through the brambles and brush of the Maremman countryside, but don't worry. The Maremma is known for its horses and the horseback riding tours here cater for beginners all the way to experts.
If you need a few lessons before you head off into the sunset, that's okay. All the best tours include an introductory lesson for those who aren't particularly steady on horseback. And it's definitely worth the effort. I'm constantly going on about the hidden beauty of the Maremma. The best natural and man made sights can't be see with a car. You need to wander through the gorgeous, but vast Maremman countryside to get a glimpse of the breathtaking coastline or take in a hidden Etruscan city or medieval monastery.
Sure you can do all of this on foot with a walking tour, but it's pretty unforgettable on horseback. Riding across the rolling hills of the Maremma, soaking up the incredible countryside firsthand sounds close to paradise to me!
The first place to check for full day and half day horseback riding tours is with your accommodation or closest tourist information centre. Otherwise, here are a few, well-established equestrian centres to get your started:
- Il Pietriccio Rosso: This huge farm in the Fiora Valley has stables of beautiful horses, including the coveted Arabian breed. Their instructors are very experienced and they do lessons and tours.
- Cavallo Natura: The website isn't in English, but this company offers affordable horse riding lessons and tours throughout the Maremma.
- Centro Ippico Cavallo Maremmano: A really comprehensive tour company that caters to adults and children
- Centro Equestre Ambasciador
- Centro Ippico Western Pegaso
- Cavallo Duska
Photo: Blese via Flickr.