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Horse riding

The Monterano Nature Reserve


Fa parte dell'itinerario storico di: La Via Claudia Braccianese

This itinerary unfolds within the Monterano Nature Reserve, which is included in the EU list of interesting sites which should constitute, in accordance with CEE Directive 43/92, a European network of protected areas.
The natural environment which here frames the path is that typical of the copse, with many oak trees, although the unique environmental conditions have enabled many interesting plant species to grow here, including two rare examples of ferns. We are now in an area with a volcanic past, which is proved by the undulation of the hills and the wide river valleys, where areas of gentle slopes alternate brusquely to sudden cliffs with vertical walls.
One of this area’s distinguishing features is the Mignone stream and its valley where small wild herds of Maremmana cows can be seen, identifiable by their typical long horns.

However, the place which has marked the history of this area is the Monterano rise, which is the final destination of this itinerary. To reach this place where the ruins of the original town of Monterano can be seen, riders cross an area which bears plenty of marks left by the Etruscans, easily identifiable by some of the monumental tombs. However, it is with Pope Clement X that Monterano reaches its peak and to this today, when riders dismount, they can enter the town to see the open gallery of the old feudal palace.
This was designed by Bernini, as was the Fontana del Leone (fountain). The history of the town however ends drastically in 1799, when it was bombed and half-destroyed in retaliation by French troops. The town was then abandoned, also due to a continuing plague of malaria, and built anew where today’s Canale Monterano stands.
A few years ago the old town was included in the Nature Reserve and restoration started of the local community heritage. This has on one hand stopped a progressive physical deterioration of the town and on the other put an end to the urban legends which had started to rise around it, such as the one which had the deconsecrated church as a centre for unlikely satanic rites.

This itinerary is organised by the Associazione Equestre “Caino”
Via Braccianese Claudia, km 34 – 00060 Canale Monterano
Phone 06/9964137
This horse-riding centre is affiliated to FITETREC-ANTE, the Federation of Equine Tourism.

Throughout the year visitors can partake in typical local festivities. On 17 January there is the feast of Saint Antonio Abate, when animals are blessed. In May the Riarto dei Butteri is held, when equestrian talents are displayed and local dishes can be sampled. In June the Corpus Domini feast has a characteristic “infiorata” (when roads are decked with flowers), and on 25-26 August there is the feast of the Patron Saints: Bartolomeo and Calepodia. Parades are then held, as well as horse-races.