domenica 1 luglio 2018

Camping with our horses

Camping with our horses

Sometimes our horses need a fresh environment, fresh grass, fresh air - and sometimes humans and animals are infecting each other. Why sleep in the bed when the mountains of Tuscany also offer sleeping places in the green? No sooner said than done. 

As the day drew to a close, the sun turned the evening red and the birds started their songs of the night, our two "presidents of age" of the stable were saddled and provided with bags. At a leisurely pace, the ride into the evening mood began, past our paddocks, together with greeting horses, splashing streams and passing roe deer. The fresh air of the evening was pleasantly cool and provided an excellent change to the day's events. On the meadow of a small hill, with a view in all directions, surrounded by the panorama of the Maremman hills, the night camp for man and animal should be spread out. While the horses were plucking the first flowers, we positioned our tent, got out of the riders' clothes and draped the blankets of the horses for our night camp. When the crickets started singing, lit our small campfire and we watched the sunset with a glass of wine, a pleasant silence lay over man and rider. Our Hotel Rifugio Prategiano, on the slopes of Poggio di Montieri, shone lonely and quietly. Between grunting, nocturnal friends, rustling surprises and Tuscan birdsong, we finally found a restful sleep. There is something special about sticking your head out of the tent, breathing in the fresh morning air, seeing the mist climb up the mountains and riding your horse to work. Sometimes you have to leave, sometimes the change of wallpaper can also be done without wallpaper. Only recommended and possible here, in the Maremma-Tuscany.

domenica 24 giugno 2018

Bicompleanno - or how to celebrate an Italian birthday

Bicompleanno - 
or how to celebrate an Italian birthday

Slowly the sun sets behind the backdrop of Gerfalco's local mountain, Cornate. The bright red of the evening sky brings the paddock of the Maremma horses at the foot of the Poggio di Montieri in a gentle evening mood. But the appearance is deceptive. In the stables of the Rifugio Prategiano is a lot going on. For half a day one was diligently clearing, sweping, preparing, snipping, cooling and dressing up. The wood for campfire and barbecue is ready, the mayonnaise-containing pasta salad for one of the German birthday children was distributed in bowls con carne and senza carne. At an Italian feast, the food plays an equally present role as the red wine. It's finally Bicompleanno - a union of two birthdays and two nationalities.

Kisses on the right, kisses on the left, Ciao here, Ciao there. All of the happy guests become a festive community. Between petting horses, putting together a playlist and selfies in front of the fragrant rose bush, the smell of sizzling delicacies spreads slowly on the already lit hearth. Whether you know each other or not, whether you speak the same language or not, ultimately it does not matter and the vino rosso does the rest. Arriving at the long table the neighbor becomes a friend and the remnant raises his plastic cup to the common "Cin Cin!" The Bratwurst of the Italians (salsiccia) mixes up on the plates with German crispbread and pasta salad, tuscan, salt-free bread with hummus spread and grilled pecorino cheese. This scenery stretches over the majority of the evening, until finally the homemade dessert leads to excitement. The creamy cake and the sugary-red dough balls filled with Nutella (pesche) make the hustle and bustle and loud conversational culture silent for minutes. Now the happy pack spreads around the campfire, watching the countless fireflies or walking in the moonlight. Under the tent of the considerable and clear starry sky, many stories are still told, many laughters echoes and finally it becomes long, the summer night of Bicompleanno.

martedì 19 giugno 2018

Summer awakening in the Prategiano

Summer awakening in the Prategiano

Our Hotel Rifugio Prategiano has blossomed. At all corners and ends, the sun lets the green flourish velvety and the scent of the countless roses nestles against the gentle summer air. Here, at the foot of the Poggio di Montieri, the most beautiful month of Tuscany shows its sunniest side.

Where a few weeks ago eagerly cut, cleaned, moved, and built, people and animals now enjoy the prosperity of the landscape. Children play around, conquering the bright blue hotel pool, while the older children make themselves comfortable on the loungers and perhaps hold a long-overdue book in their hands. If you pay attention, you will discover an incredible diversity of insects and smaller animals. Some may be surprised, but the nature lover knows that here, away from big cities, smog and noise, living things are in their best condition and therefore it is only a gentle indication of the purity of these landscapes in the Maremma Tuscany.

So lovingly here is taken care of every flower, so careful you pay attention to the flourishing of the garden. This is managed ecologically-sustainable and serves our regional cuisine in the preparation of fresh delicacies. Surrounded by cherry trees, smaller oak trees and lush meadows countless vegetable plants are growing. One discovers beans (fagioli), cucumbers (cetrioli) with a home-made roof for climbing, tomato (pomodori), peppers (peppers) and the sharper relatives: the chili plant (peperoncino).

A shady corner is adorned with sage sage (salvia), oregano (origano), parsley (prezzemolo) and the classic Italian kitchen, basilico (basilico).


We can only see the beginnings of all its fruit, but the Mediterranean climate will do its job and soon you will find some herbs or first crops on our table.

Yes, it is a place to soak up the sun and experience nature, which gives honour to its name "Prategiano" - garden of the god Giano.

domenica 17 giugno 2018

Terme delle Galleraie - Impressions of a day

Terme delle Galleraie - Impressions of a day

Surrounded by an almost untouched jungle of climbing green, accompanied by the scent of wild lemon balm and the singing of the Merlo, you will find yourself in the middle of a former sanatorium, under which for many Thousands of years the warm and soothing thermal water bubbles. But how in the world do you get to this sensually adventurous place? I invite you on a little journey on the back of our horses ...

If you have successfully mastered the first obstacle - to climb the saddle of one of our Maremma horses - then at the gate of our stable you will have a wonderful view over the legendary mountain of the hotel: the Poggio di Montieri. On its left nestles the small, eponymous little town, which is only embellished in spring by white, blooming cherry trees on the poggio. But the path leads us in the direction of Travale and initially past unspoilt nature, as well as bubbling streams. In the quiet step, loose trot and rushing gallop, the green hills of Tuscany pass us by. Again and again we encounter shy deer, marvel at magnificent fig trees and discover wonderful views of the diverse mountains. In the light seat it goes steeply uphill, downhill and in the middle welcomes us a small Tinker horse with his donkey friend next to a beautifully set in the countryside villa, whose owners call us at least one "Buona Giornata!" ("Beautiful day!"). Soon you can see from afar countless olive trees and vines, whose future taste can be guessed only by the snuggling sun and the clear air. While the horsemen grow the fresh acacia flowers almost into their mouths, the horses reach the valley and thus the course of the river Cecina. Refreshing for humans and animals, our horses cross the chilly wet, while you immerse yourself into the bird-and-nature dominated wilderness of this area. And here we are: at the Terme delle Galleraie, whose adjacent riverbed offers us shade as well as a quiet picnic area as a halfway point of our ride.
The area that now reveals itself was already used by the Etruscans as a bathing site and the healing effect of the sulphurous thermal waters was recognized early. With good shoes and sharp machete you can even get to the old ruins of these two-thousand-year-old thermal baths, which nature has, however, largely integrated into their jungle. Next door an abandoned hotel always thrills the minds of our guests and offers space for creative fantasies, what has happened here or what treasure you could fathom from these ruins.
If you close your eyes, you will learn even more stories of this mystical place that you can smell, taste and hear. But everyone has to experience that for themselves - and, as far as the way back is concerned, as well ...

sabato 2 giugno 2018

Prugnolo festival

Every year, with the arrive of the spring and the summer coming, at Montieri it can not miss 
a great classic of Maremma Parties: The prugnolo festival.

It talk about a weekend entirely dedicated to this valuable spring mushroom typical of Tuscany Maremma. Organized every year in the first weeks of may, the Prugnolo festival has as hinge point the food , wine and
the outdoor life, that can be enjoyed in a totally informal atmosphere inthe historic centre of the small medieval centre of Montieri, far few passes from Prategiano hotel.

2 very fict days based on food stands (obviously with prugnolo as protagonist), lunch and dinner based of typical Tuscany local products menu, trekking all together and evening entertaiment with the partecipation of some musical bands Folk-rock to be the ideal setting for one oh the most calssic Maremma Parties. The main theme together with food and wine is the outdoor life : in this weekend will be organized beutyful  guided trails in the wonderful paths by horse or by feet.

In short, a conviviality festival perfectly linear with the summer coming

lunedì 14 maggio 2018

LE BIANCANE natural park

The term "Biancane" indicates a location in which are presents Surface emersion of chalky mineral wich determines the typical white coloration. An important feuture  that makes really unique this phenomenon is the presence of "Boracifeurus Showers", that is reaching in surface by overheated fluids presents underground. You can easly reach those wonderfull natural phenomena in only 20 minutes by car from our hotel Rifugio Prategiano.
In a small country called Monterotondo Marittimo, far few km from Montieri, it's possible take a walk in the amazing  naturalistic trail that cross these beautiful geothermal manifestations.
The trail is open and free to guests everydays.
For more info you can always ask to the reception in the Hotel Prategiano that will be happy to satisfy all your curisities.
Below a small illustrative map of the trail

mercoledì 21 marzo 2018

Maremma in Tuscany


Maremma is a less known but large area in the south of Tuscany and stretches between the provinces of Grosseto and Livorno. The region is unique because of the variety of its territory. Next to the blue sea, long beaches, hills covered with woods, black rock, green hills, marshes and flat lands it also has natural thermal baths to offer.

Maremma is a timeless region with ancient roots where the Romans and even the Etruscans flourished for centuries leaving behind important traces and many archeological finds. In the Middle Ages there were built  high towers, castles and walled towns such as Sovana and Santa Fiora. As the massive Medici wall in Grosseto reminds us, also the Medici and Lorena families lived here.
The region is not just landscapes and culture but also a very good example of green energy. The first geothermal power station in the world is located in Larderello. Here, where sea, hills and mountains melt perfectly together, it is also the food that makes Maremma a perfect place to travel to. The region is rich in typical products to be tasted while enjoying a glass of excellent wine from the area.

Far from the bright lights of Siena and Florence the region Maremma is not, like much of Italy these days, choked by tourists. It is instead one of the very few parts of Italy that remains, uncontaminated by the tourist explosion, true to its ancient roots.