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On the transhumance trail in Siena

The best way to see the area is on horseback

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The landscape of Siena is a breathing work of art, replete with ancient hamlets, winding streets, picturesque cypress trees, castles and rolling waves of land in constant movement: a true world to discover on horseback, far from offers of consumerist tourism and motor vehicle transportation.

The new way to explore the territory and take in the beauty of the landscape is to travel by horseback, perfect for those who love to be outdoors. There is a variety of routes offered for expert riders who can resist 4-6 hours on the saddle, as well as for beginner riders who are accompanied by a guide who is ready to offer any kind of assistance.

Eight designated paths cross the lands of Siena, true journeys through wildlife. One of them is called “on the traces of transhumance” and is a fascinating course designed to express the value and worth of the paths once crossed by shepherds during the seasonal movement of the livestock. The men and herds who have become founders of that which we can define “the civilization of transhumance”, or rather a conglomeration of cultural, environmental and anthropological values that have crystallized into an historical and social identity.

Different routes are offered, among which the route of Calcione (in the municipality of Lucignano, Arezzo) extending all the way to La Befa in the municipality of Murlo, passing by San Gimignanello, Bagni di Montalceto, Belsedere and San Giovanni d’Asso; this is the route from which a folkloristic group of eight horsemen, complete with traditiona Maremma style costume and horse trappings, and six cowboys left from Arezzo for Grosseto along a trek of 170 km. the route unfurls through the Colonna del Grillo in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Mucigliani and Vescona along the Crete until reaching the Castle of San Fabiano in Monteroni d’Arbia, to overlook the Arbia river and head up to Cuna, to visit the ancient Grancia and continues along the road towards Radi and the castle of Grotti, Bagnaia, the Merse River, Orgia, Brenna, a walk up to the Poggio in the direction of Pentolina, and descend to Pian di Feccia and admire the splendor of the hermitage of Montesiepi and the abbey of San Galgano to follow through to Roccatederighi, until reaching Grosseto.

Many options for a vacation on horseback, like the trek “secret hamlets, noble vineyards and ancient parishes” which extends from Badia a Coltibuono in the municipality of Gaiole in Chianti, until reaching Poggio Tagliato in the municipality of Monticiano ( 80 km), or the option known as “On the shadows of the towers” which departs from the Abbadia Isola (the municipality of Monteriggioni)until reaching Castelvecchio di San Gimignano (38 km). “the scents of the Maremma. The red hue of Montalcino, the mountain air” is a trek that is 54 km long and extrends from the woods of the Val di Merse into the inner depths of a wild nature, the small hamlet of La Befa, and to continue on to the abbey of Sant’Antonio, among the olve trees and lefendary Brunello vineyards.

Another trip to take, by no means small, is the “Ring of Siena”, crossing the red lands of Montagnola and reaching the Crete clays between Poggio ai Frati and Mociano, until reaching the tufa stone found in the area between Monteliscai and Valiano. This journey allows a remarkable vantage point from every corner of the city to admire the tower of the Mangia and the cupola of the Siena Cathedral. “On the crests of the lands of Siena to the peak of Ghino di Tacco” is the extraordinary journey that traverses the north and south of the Sienese territory for over 104 km: From the Crete to the Val d’Orcia, passing through Mount Cetona, while a shorter albeit rich trip is that of “Poetry of the Val d’Orcia, the streets and cypress trees along the river”, a 28 km trek in the harmonious landscape of cypress trees and antique colonial homes, Montalcino vineyards and the hills of the Foce, through the magic of the Val d'Orcia.

Come discover the Lands of Siena by horseback and let yourself be transported by the enchanting landscape and the charming animals and live nature to its fullest.

(Source: Ansa)