This is not the usual Equitours riding vacation. Nor is it the typical tourist experience in Tuscany. We invite you to the village of Tocchi, about 40 minutes outside Siena, for an extended stay in a 13th century villa tastefully converted into a 5 star destination. Villa Ferraia is rightfully featured in ONCE IN A LIFETIME TRIPS: The World’s 50 Most Extraordinary and Memorable Travel Experiences by Chris Santella (Clarkson Potter, May 12, 2009).
If you enjoy riding, the Villa offers 15 well-trained horses and lovely rides exploring ancient ruins, quaint villages, pristine streams and forests but the really exciting part of this experience is the ability to take advantage of the many other included activities. From cooking and painting classes to the on-site astronomical observatory and spa facilities you will quickly find that there are not enough hours in the day.
This program is designed to present the real Tuscany in a comfortable and relaxed way. Your Italian host says it best:
“ It is our intention to introduce you to the ancient Roman concept of otium, generally used to refer to a time in life in which the search for pleasure, serenity, and esthetic beauty becomes a state of mind.”
Vittorio Cambria – Owner and Proprietor
Best of all, Tuscany is quiet in the off-season. Most tourists have gone home, leaving cities, villages, and the countryside in the hands of those who love her most. On a typical day in almost any town, you may see only a handful of people in the piazzas, all of them speaking Italian. At museums and famous churches, you’re likely to see no lines at all, and in restaurants and bars reservations are rarely needed. The olive leaves turn from green to silver; wildlife thrives in fields that have recovered from summer plowing; chestnuts and mushrooms and persimmons make their way to market; and thick, hearty soups bubble on stoves of local homes
Activities can include the following:
Cooking Lessons from a Professional Chef
Use the power of the flavors, fresh herbs, and vegetables picked straight from our organic garden to experience traditional rural Tuscan cuisine. Three cooking classes are offered each week, but guests are also encouraged to visit the kitchen at any time to watch and help the chef prepare meals in the spirit of the slow-food experience.
Astronomical Adventures Under the Tuscan Stars
Discover the celestial underpinnings that led Galileo to his discovery of the wonders of the universe. Visit the Galileo Museum in Florence that houses the instruments he used to understand the planetary physics and stellar motions and that guide us in our galactic quest today.
Back at the Villa, an on-site astronomical observatory is available to our guests under the guidance of a local amateur astronomer. Instruments include a Meade LX 200 R14” f/10 telescope with GPS.
Health and Beauty
Yoga classes, sauna, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and healthy food, keep your body healthy but manicures, pedicures, and an array of natural beauty products are also on offer.
Painting and Drawing Classes
Our guests are encouraged to take inspiration from the spectacular landscapes surrounding the Villa and the interiors within its beautifully crafted arches to create their own masterpieces. At the Villa, an on-site studio offers painting, drawing and mixed media classes to guide one’s creative experiences. Models and still lifes are available alternatives to work from during studio time. Choose between a conventional class under artist Sarah Holl’s introduction or an unconventional class with independent studio time and Sarah’s guidance. Hone your skills in conventional materials, or learn from Sarah through the use of mixed media. Supplies, including oil and acrylic paints, are available for guest to use.
With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have about this ride. We want to help make sure that you select the trip of your dreams. Please call or email and get ready to pack your bags for a wonderful adventure!