We met a jovial Giulio, a mountain man who looks right at home around these parts. He had our horses tethered to the wooden fence while his partner Ezio rode up on a beautiful horse to help us learn how to master the art of getting on a horse without fear. We nervously put our feet in the stirrups and soon enough, we were high above the ground and walking along paths that would eventually lead to an ancient Etruscan necropolis.
It took some time to get the hang of guiding my new friend Tamerlano, named after the powerful founder of the Timurid Empire (in central Asia and Eastern Persia) and the Mughal dynasty. My new friend was more interested in eating the fresh grass surrounding us while the sun made the day feel like springtime. We rode together through stupendous Volcanic rock villages, at one point traipsing through a steam and stepping carefully down rocky, muddy paths. What blew me away was when we passed through the Cava di San Giuseppe, a sunken ancient walkway carved into the rock.