Combined Culinary and Horseback Riding Program
As you explore Tuscan cooking and its origin, you’ll also get a taste of Italian culture. Then, travel by horseback and get an amazing view of the gorgeous countryside. Combined, the equestrian and culinary program gives a well-rounded journey through Tuscany.

In the Saddle, In the Kitchen, and On the Town

Spend your morning in a cooking class with authentic Tuscan mamas. Then, feast on the lunch you prepared. In the afternoon, gallop across the Tuscan countryside to a national forest. Travel to a medieval town for dinner at a local restaurant.

The itinerary is unique to your specific group and you choose your excursions. For inspiration, take a look at the culinary or horseback riding programs. You may also read our sample itinerary below. Or, visit with Tamara Sorley, your Program Director, for plenty of ideas.

Whatever you decide, we assure you a true taste of authentic Tuscan life.

• COOKING SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS: cooks of all abilities welcome; need only love the creation and consumption of regional Tuscan specialties.
• HORSEBACK RIDING REQUIREMENTS: Intermediate level riding ability required. Please bring your own helmet and riding boots with heels. Tack is English (Australian or Western tack available with advance notice).
A minimum of four people is required for this program.
• Large groups may split to explore separate interests each day. With a group of eight, for example, four can ride in the morning while the remaining guests cook. The whole group would gather together for dinner, excursion, etc.

Combination Equestrian and Culinary Program: Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Meet your host at the Siena train station at 5:30 pm, followed by a scenic 30-minute drive to Villa Ferraia. Settle into your rooms, then enjoy a welcome drink, orientation, and dinner.

Day 2: After breakfast, transfer to La Ripa to meet your horses. Explore by horseback the beautiful valley surrounding Castello di Belagio. Visit a horse-breeding farm, specializing in the Maremmano, the stock horse used by the famous Butteri or Italian cowboy. Enjoy an elaborate picnic lunch and return to the stable via a different route through the forest. Help the chef prepare dinner from age-old Tuscan recipes.

Day 3: The morning is spent in a cooking class with the chef, followed by the lunch you have prepared. In the afternoon, tour the towns of Buonconvento and Montalcino. Taste the famous Brunello wines at the Fortezza. Dine at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Ride through the countryside to the village of Orgia and dine on seasonal specialties. The afternoon 2-hour ride continues along the crest of hills, with amazing views and exhilarating canters and gallops. Return to Villa Ferraia for a cooking class with the chef, dinner, and relaxation.

Day 5: Start your day with a cooking class led by a chef “mama” followed by the lunch you prepared. In the afternoon, visit San Gimignano, the most favored of Tuscan medieval villages, famous for its many towers and delectable white wine. We’ll taste their Vernaccia di San Gimignano white at a local wine shop. Dine that evening at a restaurant frequented by the local residents.

Day 6: Ride through ancient forests and along a river to reach San Galgano Abbey. The spectacular remains of this important Italian monastery still stand, partially restored. Enjoy a sumptuous picnic lunch with the Abbey as a backdrop. Ride back to La Ripa and prepare for a wonderful and memorable farewell dinner.

Day 7: Transfer to the train station in Siena following breakfast.

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