Hamlets and Castles by horse
Castles and hamlets have a special place in our imagination since ever; they are rich of poetry, a journey back in time. Visiting or coming by one of these old buildings means not only to re-evoke another era, but to dive deeply into the culture and history of a territory.
We will do this by horse!
Meeting at the railway station of Siena and transfer to the Equestrian Tourism Center Borgo Cignano with welcome cocktail and allocation of accommodation. Dinner at Borgo Cignano, where you will meet your equestrian guides, who will introduce you the trekking program.
Riders meet at Borgo Cignano at 9:30am, horse assignment and departure for the Castello di Meleto. After having left the Equestrian Center, the itinerary leads us along the hills of Cignano with view over the Valle deiPasseggeri, the hamlet of Quercegrossa and Siena. Having crossed the hamlet Carpineto, the Mulino del Lupo and waded the river Arbia, we will continue towards the Castello di Tornano, built during the second half of the year 1000. Surrounded by forests and vineyards we will reach the Castello di Meleto, which founds its origins during the 11th century. Its lookout control position over the roads between the Chianti and the upper Valdarno valley, signed Meleto’s destiny during secular wars.
Riders will be transferred at the staging point. Departure towards the Castello di Brolio. We will enter the largest territory for Chianti Classico wine production, approx.. 1200 hectares. The estate of Brolio continues even nowadays with modern methods its mission, which in 1872 brought Bettino Ricasoli, to invent the Chianti formula. After a visit of the Castle we will continue our journey towards the Rocca di Montegrossi in the south, dating back to the Lombards (7th – 8th century AD) and rebuilt several times and then destroyed by Carlo V, in 1530. Waded the river Arbia we will cross the estate of Dievole to reach the Equestrian Center. The Estate of Dievole officially dates back to the 11th century, precisely the year 1090.Still today the care of the vineyards and gardens witness their passion for the territory.
Today the horses will have a day of rest, while we will go all together to Siena for a guided tour of the City of Palio. Surrounded by the FortezzaMedicea, the Piazza del Campo, the Torre del Mangia, the Cathedral and the streets of the historical center there is a lot to discover.
In the afternoon there will be a tasting of Chianti Classico wines with typical products at the Fattoria di Dievole.
Departure from the Equestrian Center to reach toe Castello dellaChiocciola. The itinerary leads along the hills of Cignano and Quercegrossa, covered with vineyards of the Chianti Classico and secular olive trees. Having left behind the Mulino di Quercegrossa, we will continue along the road of mines and cross the hamlet Lornano. Along a short piece of unpaved road, in midst of vineyards and forests we will reach the plain, dominated on the background by the Castello di Monteriggioni. We will continue a short piece of the old Via Francigena, that led from France to Rome and between clearings and thickets we will reach the Castello dellaChiocciola. The name “Chiocciola” (snail) has been attributed to the castle because of its helical stairs in the tower. We will continue our journey to reach the staging point of the day in Fungaia.
From our staging point we will reach the Castello di Monteriggioni. This part of our journey will lead us through the territory of the MontagnolaSenese, which is one of the main hilly areas of the Province of Siena. The paths at the slope of the Montemaggio will conduct us to the Castel Pietraio, where the Middle Age left indelible signs. We will continue along pieces of the Via Francigena until reach the fortified hamlet Abbadia Isola, whose name derives from the marshes that surrounded the settlement, making the fortified Abbey appear as if it was laid out on an island. Around the year 1000 a community of Benedictine monks started a difficult marsh reclamation. Our itinerary will lead us to the Castello di Monteriggioni, built between 1214 and 1219. The Castle of Monteriggioni is even today the entrance of the territory of Siena and the area above it has been the boundary of war for centuries.
From our staging point we will turn back to the Equestrian Center, passing through the downstream of Castellina in Chianti. Along vineyards, and fields, following a white road we will reach the hamlet of Fonterutoli, an ancient Etruscan settlement. We are at the end of our journey and in midst of cypress trees and along forests we will get back to the Equestrian Center for lunch.