September 18: Horseback Riding in Tuscany.
Today I went horseback riding through the Chianti Wine region in Tuscany with one of my roommates. We were transported by van from Florence to a camp ground with four other girls from California who were also studying in Florence for the semester.
On our way out of Florence there were a ton of detours and traffic because there was some sort of music festival going on this morning. Marching bands were performing all over the city drawing in a ton of spectators and lovely traffic officers. [yay] I’m still wondering exactly what was happening. Our guide who was driving the van didn’t even know what was happening and he’s a resident of Florence. Odd. Wishing now that I had taken pictures or even recorded a few of the bands, they were quite entertaining.
On our way through the Tuscan countryside we had the windows of the van open and Matteo our guide was driving like a mad man so we were getting a pretty nice stream of air coming through. Somehow this made me incredibly home sick. For the first time since I landed in Florence I was missing home. I couldn’t help but feel all nostalgic about being home and getting to drive around in my old rust bucket of a car with the windows down. I knew I still had three months before I can have that experience again so I made it a point to enjoy this wind in my face.
With a nostalgic mind the ride went by pretty fast and we found ourselves at a horse ranch at the top of hill surrounded by vineyards of grapes and olives. It was here that we said our goodbyes to Matteo who we’d be meeting up with for a tour later in the day and we met our riding guide Julia.
After introducing ourselves to Julia we all signed our insurance waivers [comforting] and got fitted for helmets. [ACTUALLY somewhat comforting] Then Julia assigned everyone their horses. I was given Naomi.
Naomi was a beautiful horse but quite stubborn and easily distracted at times. When we were walking she would always stop walking halfway up the steeper hills and would stop to eat anything green that was within her reached. What a turd.
Naomi’s disturbances aside the ride was absolutely amazing. The weather was perfect, rain was coming later in the afternoon so the breeze was cool and the clouds blocked the hot sun. The ride was slow and peaceful with great views of the Tuscan countryside. We made our way through acres of olive trees, grape wines, and natural forest.
Rufus, the ranch dog, also followed us along on the trip and would run off for a bit only to magically appear around a corner farther ahead. You could tell he’d been on this path a few times. There was one point in the woods where he actually scared a deer and it ran right in front of my horse.
I’ll be posting more photos of all the beautiful views. Of course all good things must come to an end but lucky for us the riding ended at the Principe Corsini winery, which is a whole new post in itself.