Italy’s hidden equestrian heritage
This past weekend, the Italian capital city of Rome was host to one of Europe’s finest equestrian competitions, the 81st edition of the Piazza di Siena – Fixdesign Horse Riding (23-26 May 2013) with British rider Nick Skelton nel Gran Premio Loro Piana Città di Roma, sponsored by Italian luxury house of Loro Piana which many consider the ‘Hermes of Italy’.
Piazza di Siena takes its name from the city of origin of one of the most ancient and noble families of Rome: the Borghese. At the end of 16th century, Prince Marcantonio Borghese commissioned to architects Mario and Antonio Asprucci a new space, able to recall the places he beloved. His desire, in fact, was to bring, in the city of Rome, the traditional popular celebrations atmosphere they enjoyed, since the Middle Ages, in Tuscany. Piazza di Siena’s debut in equestrian competitions was in 1922, but only in 1926 the International Equestrian Federation included the Roman competition in the international agenda.
The San Rossore racecourse, outside the town of Pisa (20 minutes drive from Forte dei Marmi) is yet another legendary equestrian destination in Italy, Premio Pisa being the most prestigious prize instituted in 1885. The racecourse in San Rossore Park is open all year round and some of Italy’s finest ‘scuderias’ being within a close proximity, including the Day Hospital, a state of the art veterinary hospital dedicated to horses.
The beach of Forte dei Marmi has been host to several international Beach Polo competitions, the most recent in 2012 - the Forte dei Marmi Beach Polo Audi Gold Cup. This year the Audi Polo Gold Cup Circuit 2013 includes the Rome Polo Club, combined with the Duca D’Aosta Cup which will take place over 5 days from 24 to 29 June 2013.
Our preferred hotel in Forte dei Marmi – PRINCIPE FORTE dei MARMI provides horse riding on the beautiful beaches, within 2 minutes walk from the hotel and in the nearby ’La Versiliana’ park, complementing the traditional bike rides, each guest being able to enjoy, complimentary, a Principe Forte dei Marmi branded bike during their stay.