Paolo Cricchio


Tel: +39 340 6883596 / +39 347 8125470 / + 39 333 6915703

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YOUR Sicilian EXPERIENCE

We want to give you a full SICILIAN EXPERIENCE, not just FINE RIDING.
There are around lots of STEREOTYPES about Sicily like  HOT, DRY, ARID, BARREN for the land. Then MAFIA, WOMEN in BLACK ROBES, MEN with the COPPOLA HATS about traditions. Then SPAGHETTI with MEAT BALLS and GARLIC BREAD about food and many more. We want you come back home not only with many souvenirs of fantastic riding in the Sicilian Nature but also having a clear and real idea about this incredible island with so nice people, with a very ancient and rich History, with lots of traditions, with an incredible variety of rich and tasty dishes made with top level local vegetables, wines, cheeses, meats, pastries, that all together will make of our horseback trips a full immersion in SICILIAN NATURE, HISTORY, TRADITIONS and FOOD to have a complete and true SICILIAN EXPERIENCE.

NATURE.
Not too many people know that the nature of Sicily is protected by FOUR NATURAL PARKS ( MADONIE, NEBRODI, ALCANTARA and ETNA) and 77 NATURE RESERVES scattered all along the island (go to www.parks.it/regionesicilia/einex.php  ). More than 12% of Sicily soil is to day protected and soon will be established the fifth Park: the SICANI mountains! Then the protection will reach almost 18% !

Madonie Trip.
With our dedicated trip of 6 days on horseback along the MADONIE Park, the so called Dolomites of Sicily, you will have a really deep knowledge of this astonishing, complex and unique mountain environment that allow you to have, probably for the first time in your life as a rider, the extraordinary experience of a real high mountain horse trekking, very technical,  even challenging for horses and riders.

TranSiciliana to ETNA trip.
With the TRANSICILIANA to ETNA trip we allow you to cross in only 6 days on horseback the huge Parks of MADONIE, NEBRODI and ETNA and to have a glimpse of the ALCANTARA. This is a trip that needs riders to be more fit on the saddle because every day needs no less than 6 hours of saddle with longer trots and canters.

In Every Seasons.
In every season the colours change a lot in the Parks:
green and with thousands of flowers from march to mid June, with all in gold colour till mid September, then with the very many colours of fall in October and November to go to the white of snow in winter at the highest altitudes (and we offer some dates of trips even for the "sun and snow" lovers).

WILDLIFE
In the Parks the wildlife that can be seen along the rides is very reach. Very easy to see are DEERS, WILD BORES, RABBITS and It is not difficult to see FOXES. In the sky the show is astonishing with easy to observe KING EAGLES (with many nesting couples), PEREGRIN FALCONS and other birds of prey, IMPERIAL CROWS, VULTURES and the endemic SICILIAN PARTRIDGE (Alektoris grecae whitakeri). In same designated areas, the mountains host also the domestic animals of the Sicilian shepherds and breeders: sheep, goats, Sicilian cows (the MODICANA breed, able to survive the hot summers and the cold winters), the typical "BLACK PIG of the NEBRODI and SICILIAN INDIGENOUS and SANFRATELLANO horses living free up in the mountains.

BOTANIC.
Who loves PLANTS AND FLOWERS will find in Sicilian Parks a paradise with an enormous amount of surprises: more than 60 endemic species of plants scattered in the Parks, the biggest and oldest OAK of EUROPE, the biggest and oldest HOLLY TREE forest of EUROPE, the biggest and oldest BEECH tree of Europe. In spring there is the flowering of around 250 species of  WILD ORCHIDS. The Sicilian parks are covered by vast forests with five species of Oaks, then beeches, birches, maples forming a green, shady world absolutely not expected.

GEOLOGY.
Madonie are made with hard, stony, sharp, steep, carbonate limestone with fresh water spring everywhere. Nebrodi by soft sandstones disseminated of ponds, lakes and creeks, Etna by black lava soil differently colonized by vegetation or totally barren. Everywhere is possible to do trots, canters and even gallops surrounded by geological environments new and different that will surprise you.

HISTORY.
Sicily was the centre of the world before the discovery of the Americas. Palermo was for two centuries the Capital of the Sacred Roman Empire, the Island was colonized by Phoenicians and Greeks, conquered then by Romans, Bizantinian, Arabians, Normand, French, and Spanish before to be part of Italy. All this cultures and civilizations left their heritage and tracks in monuments, villages, food, language, horses, somatic features of the people (there are in the mountains so many Sicilians blonde or red with clear eyes and very white skin). During our trips we will explain you the "why" that formed Sicily and Sicilians as they are now after a so long, troubled and rich History.

TRADITIONS & PEOPLE.
The Sicilians of the mountains are still very hospitable and nice people, especially with foreigners. They still live in strict contact with the land with an economy based on agriculture, breeding, farming, cheese making. Tourism is starting up in the mountains and it is more and more important but without the excess of commercial mass tourism of the sea coast. Men and women are still attached to their old traditions and values in many aspects of their daily life: the shake of hands still mean a lot more than a contract, homes are left open, life flows on slow rhythms and people has still the pleasure, will and time to stop to talk if met a friend in the street. Most of them are still much tied with devotion to local Saints and Protectors and are many the religious moments in the life of the villages. In CAPIZZI, a small mountain village of the Nebrodi Park, every September is held a pilgriminage on horseback that last from the XII century to honour and prey in the place where Saint Anthony of Padova slept one night during his trip in Sicily. Come with us to discover on horseback this side of the Sicilian world with around other 700 riders (for more news go to: Capizzi Pilgriminage on Horseback).

FOOD.
We choose all our dinner places to give you also a real culinary experience of Sicilian mountain food and local products. The menus were decided with us to have every evening different dishes, to taste all the flavours of Sicilian mountains cuisine. You will be surprised by the already famous "Wrong Pasta" of Hotel Pomieri, by the "Grandmother's little meat balls" of Villa Rainò, the "Antipasti" (entries) of Crispi refuge, the "Pork ragout" of Masseria Rocca di Gonato, the "Pizzas" of Casale Drinzi, just to give only some samples of few dishes that became famous between our previous riders. Also our picnics are special. Every time the minibus can reach the group we have a picnic using camp chairs, a picnic table, a gazebo in case of sun or rain, eating fine local products always coming from zero Kilometres . Good wines are obviously present at each meal. Food is culture and Sicilian culture is ancient, high, various and rich as his food.

SICILIAN HORSE CULTURE, TRADITION and HORSES.
Probably very few knows that the horses winning the most races at the ancient Greeks Olympic Games were coming from Syracuse; that the most ancient horse race of history is held by more than 2.000 years in Sicily in AGIRA till nowadays; that the first HORSE ACCADEMY of history (the ACCADEMY OF THE STAR) was established in the XIII century in Sicily in CASTELBUONO during the Sacred Roman Empire; that in the English thoroughbred there is the blood of 100 Sicilian Indigenous mares bought from the Real breeding farm of the King of the Two Sicilies close to Palermo; that in Sicily are breed today more than 30.000 horses, that there are more than 7.000 trail ride riders with their own horse and, overall, that we have 3 Sicilian breeds of Horses: SANFRATELLANO, SICILIAN INDIGENOUS, SICILIAN PURE ORIENTAL. Participating in our trips you will discover in detail also these and many other aspects of the ancient and so little know Sicilian horse culture.
So to have a full SICILIAN EXPERIENCE you need only just to book a trip with us! To have more news on each singles trip go to read in the ON HORSEBACK SECTION

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 13:18

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