Next Trip: DATES TO BE RELEASED - Trip Cost $3,350 per person
Comments from our guests who rode with us in Sicily in the past:
"Sicily was a revelation! Beautiful geography, warm, generous people, and fabulous cuisine. The horses and the trekking guides were top notch. This riding adventure will be difficult to surpass. Our experiences ranged from galloping along mountain ridges through the snow to riding through the heart of medieval hill towns on cobblestone streets. Bellisimo!!"
"Thank you for planning such an awesome trip to Sicily. It was evident how much effort went into providing a trip of a life time. The trails were breathtaking and the scenery gorgeous. I not only had a wonderful time on the rides, but I also enjoyed being introduced to so much of the foods of Sicily. Our guide Salvo and his crew planned some of the most interesting and exciting rides I have ever been on. They provided wonderful picnics and went out of their way to assist us and make the trip memorable. Thanks again to the entire Dabney team for all you do."
Join us for an enchanted time of riding fine horses in the lush, rolling countryside of the ancient Mediterranean island of Sicily. Upon your arrival in the historic village of Castelbuono you’ll be swept back in time to a bygone era of quiet beauty and graceful living.
Our lodging for part of the week will be the quaint Villa Letizia Bed & Breakfast. The comfortable, quiet environment, offers a friendly welcome and hospitality recalling the origins of the Sicilian country tradition. Most of our meals will be served at the famed Romitaggio Restaurant. Our riding host, Salvatore Baggesi, is also the owner and chef of this beautiful restaurant, located in an ancient Benedictine Monastery. The genuine cooking offers a typical selection of homemade dishes of the Sicilian tradition made only with fresh local products. Our meals during the week will be delectable Sicilian dishes expertly prepared with traditional recipes using many local organically grown ingredients along with local cheeses and wines. The food alone is worth the trip!
We'll ride out from this location to a variety of beautiful destinations traversing the magnificent Madonie Mountains and foothills in the Madonie National Park which are rich in natural flora and fauna. Along our daily routes we will enjoy incredible landscapes and ride through ancient mountain villages preserved from medieval times with narrow stone streets, markets and churches. For horse lovers, riding over this amazing landscape is an exciting and spectacular way to discover the beauty, history, and atmosphere of this wonderful island in the Mediterranean. This will be an adventure in which majestic nature meets with ancient history, beautiful architecture, genuine local culture and, of course, the finest gourmet food and wines!
This will be an ideal time to visit Sicily as the daytime highs should be in the 70s with the lows in the 50s and minimal rainfall. Our horses will be well trained native Sicilian horses, a hearty yet refined breed developed over centuries of influence originating from the Arabian horses, Spanish Andalusians, and European Warmbloods. Salvatore Baggesi, our riding host and guide, is one of the best Sicilian horsemen. He specializes in custom designed horseback trekking in Madonie Park. He has conducted many horseback trips of varying lengths with guests from all over Europe.
Some days we will go on morning rides and return to our lodging place for lunch and rest then venture out again for an afternoon ride. You may choose which ride you wish to join or ride both morning and afternoon. Some days we will go for an all day ride to a more distant destination stopping for lunch at a local cafe or having a picnic in a scenic location.
One of our full day rides will take us on a spectacular trek over the top of the Madonie Mountains above timber line. We'll descend on the other side where we will spend two nights at the Terra Vecchia http://www.agriturismoterravecchia.it which is a beautiful sprawling hacienda built with traditional Spanish influence architecture. The ranch features a large lodge decorated in equestrian motif. Relax in the plush furniture surrounding the fireplace in the gathering room. Meals of local fresh produce will be served in the large dining room and then retire to your comfortable bedroom or take a walk on the property to enjoy billions of stars in the night sky. The next day choose from options of slow or fast rides, lessons In the arena or just relaxing.
Another of our rides will take us to an ancient monastery which is now the Abbazia Santa Anastasia winery www.abbaziasantanastasia.it and the adjacent five star Relais Santa Anastasia hotel and restaurant www.santa-anastasia-relais.it . After settling into your luxurious rooms and freshening up, we'll be given a private tour of the winery. A fabulous, world class gourmet dinner will be served in the formal dining room. (Dressy attire required).
The next day you have your choice of a beautiful ride or relaxing around the large pool enjoying the splendid panorama of the verdant valley below. The ride will take us along a high ridge from which you will be able to view the magnificent mountains on one side and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. We'll have a picnic lunch on the beach. We'll return for another memorable meal and evening at the Relais Santa Anastasia then ride out the next day for another destination.
Franco Barbagallo will be our guide and translator. Franco has been a friend of Ed's for many years. Franco is an Italian photo-journalist specializing in horseback travel destinations (www.francobarbagallo.com). He has had articles published in numerous European magazines. Franco is a perfectionist and definitely knows the premier locations for horseback holidays. Franco has made all arrangements for our Sicilian Riding Holiday with locations and people he knows personally. This is definitely a custom made trip just for our guests, not a package tour from a catalog. Ed and his daughter, Elizabeth, who will be along for this trip, rode this route in April with guests from the US so they are already familiar with the locations, hosts and horses.
We are offering this riding holiday for September 21-29, 2013. We have a maximum of eight participants. The price of $3,350 includes all meals, guides, horseback rides, and ground transportation to and from the airport in Palermo, Sicily. This price does not include air transportation, optional tours or gratuities to staff. You would fly into Rome or Milan, change planes and fly to Palermo, Sicily. We will pick you up at the airport in Palermo.
Many activities for non-riding guests can be arranged such as golfing on the 18 hole course in Collesano, guided tours in the area and in the national park, hiking in the park, sight-seeing and shopping by rental car or just relaxing with a good book in this Mediterranean paradise.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Reservations will be accepted on a first come first serve basis when we receive your reservation form and full trip payment. The reservation form may be printed from our web site here.
Click here for more photos and a full detailed itinerary of each day’s activities.
We look forward to you joining us for this exciting, historic and elegant riding vacation.
- ED DABNEY Gentle Horsemanship