Italy ~ Riding through the ruins of Ancient Rome

You know that feeling you get when you have discovered a spectacular place and had the best time and yet it was completely unplanned? That is what happened to me a couple of months ago as I was flying from Madrid to meet some family and friends to watch a Six Nations Rugby game in Rome… I got there a day before everyone thinking I really needed to get a head start on all that pasta and wine.

It was my fourth time in Rome and I thought it would be great to see something different this time. Perhaps something not so touristy… ?

As I always do (let’s be honest), I started looking for some places to go riding around the city. I initially thought it would be complicated and super expensive to get to so I wasn’t too hopeful.

Luckily, I found Cavalieri di Gaia on TripAdvisor, which seemed like a wonderful place to go riding. I took the train to Ostia Antica from the city center (for 1.5 EUR) and I was there in less than 30min!  Alessia, the owner and guide, picked me up from the train station and drove me to the ranch.

Alessia is very knowledgeable about the area and passionate about its history. These trail rides are the perfect combination of horses, history and nature.

Alessia has a dozens of rescue horses, all of which are very sweet, well behaved and well cared for. They are free to roam around in the nearby fields and are more than happy to come to us when we call them (even though they probably know this means work!)

Doing a trail ride in Ostia Antica is a great way to escape the city and see something a bit different from all of the major tourist spots while still enjoying an incredible view of the Ancient Roman ruins that belong to the biggest archaeological site in Europe.

My horse, Rio, was a rescued thoroughbred and former racehorse. I noticed he was quite forward going during the trail ride but it wasn’t until we reached the (thankfully empty) beach and were allowed a proper gallop that I realized the power and speed he could reach. It was an unbelievable experience and one of the greatest adrenaline rush I have had in a long time…(or ever). I highly recommend asking for this horse if you are a confident, experienced rider.

Horseback riding on the beach during sunset in Rome

On our way back to the stables, we stopped in a nearby town to enjoy a warm cappuccino. Horses got a treat too, as they are well known in this area and the lady from the coffee shop enjoys spoiling them.

Horse portrait next to table with coffee

Last but not least, I loved the fact that Alessia gives you the option of taking care of the horses. From going out to the fields to get your horse, to grooming and tacking up, I feel that this was an important part of the experience and loved forming this connection with the horse before and right after the ride.

I look forward to coming back to this beautiful place!

Useful tips:

  • Cavalieri di Gaia is able to accommodate for all riders, from beginners to experienced riders. All rides are private and Alessia will make sure to find the right kind of horse for you.
  • I think it is worth mentioning that while you are there, you might as well take advantage of some of the activities that are offered in that area. You could take the rest of the day to visit some of the Ancient Ruins by foot, visit the Castle of Julius II, or even participate in other outdoor activities including rope challenge, archery and tree top trekking!

Happy trail ride!

For trail details and updated price list, please check out Cavalieri di Gaia’s website.

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