Agriturismo Cornacchino
Castell'Azzara, 58034

Tel: +39.0564.951582




"A date with myself" Interview with a Cornacchino regular

You live near Munich and actually had nothing to do with horses. How did you discover Cornacchino?
"My husband got the tip from a colleague at work who had just returned from Cornacchino, absolutely thrilled. I must have mentioned a few times that I would like to learn to ride at some point - not as an ambitious sportswoman. Relaxed rides in the countryside were more what I had in mind. Well, at a certain age you realize that time is a scarce commodity and someday actually means now or never. I then got my first Cornacchino trip as a birthday present, which was in the summer of 2016."

And that's how you learned to ride, on holiday?
"Yes, it was virtually the first time I sat on a horse - apart from a few inglorious vaulting attempts in my childhood. From the beginning, we rode into the woods and onto the mountain plateaus, from which you have this magnificent view all the way to the sea. By the end of the week we were already cantering short distances. I would never have expected that beforehand. But the horses here are so great and give absolute confidence and security to beginners. But even anyone who has been adept in the saddle for years always learns something here."

That sounds more like "learning by doing". Were there also real riding lessons?
"Of course. Cornacchino organises an incredibly wide range of courses. From absolute beginners to experienced western riders, everyone can learn here individually. Even farriery courses are offered. Most courses are led by Fabio - a real horseman with a fascinating understanding of rider and horse. His patience on the riding or trail course is worth its weight in gold. The horses' patience too, of course."

How would you describe the life of the horses here at Cornacchino?
"I still remember the moment when I saw these endless paddocks for the first time, with groups of shady trees, small woods and streams. It was hardly comparable to the compact, neatly fenced lawns I knew from Bavaria. At Cornacchino, the horses really do lead a species-appropriate life. They roam day and night in small herds over their extensive pastures and are familiar with every forest inhabitant and all the sounds in nature. This is probably why they have such an unshakable calm."

Five years and nine more visits have passed since your first visit.  Why do you keep coming back? Don't you get bored?
"Never! I guess it's because Cornacchino is more than just a holiday destination for me. There's something magical about this spot of earth, it's hard to describe. It's as if the soul is coming home. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you come to rest here, become mindful of the moment and grateful for the breathtaking beauty of nature. A date with myself - that's how I feel about the time here. It is incredibly valuable and grounds me. By the way, it's not just me. Cornacchino has an incredible number of regulars who describe their impressions very similarly and feel forever connected to the place."

Why do you think that is? What makes Cornacchino so special?
"Apart from the magic, you mean?  I think it's the whole package: firstly, this indescribably beautiful and wild landscape, then these amazing horses that carry you so calmly and surefooted through the rough terrain. Being with a horse, whether in the saddle or on the ground, is always a very special and intense experience that changes many people permanently. Two other feel-good factors are the delicious food and the family-like warmth with which Cornacchino welcomes its guests. This sets the tone for the entire atmosphere, and friendships are quickly formed among the guests. I have already met so many great people here, laughed with them and had enriching conversations. Of course, many guests come from Italy, but you also meet Swiss, Germans, French, English - even from Norway, Australia and Israel horse lovers find their way to Cornacchino."

You mentioned the good food. Our cooks are actually showered with praise by the guests. Do you have a favorite dish?
"Only one? Impossible. There are at least five courses every day for lunch and dinner with anti-pasti, salads, soups, fresh pasta dishes, meat and vegetable side dishes - you can't decide on one dish. But I especially love the Minestra di Ceci, the chickpea soup, and the Tagliolini al Limone and the asparagus risotto and, and, and... In the end, nothing beats Deborah's Torta della Nonna - it's to die for."

Horse riding in a beautiful natural setting, good food and a warm atmosphere - so you would definitely recommend a trip to Cornacchino?
"Absolutely, and in any constellation: for families, Cornacchino provides moments of happiness together in nature, far away from Playstation and Netflix. But Cornacchino is also a gift for solo travellers. Here they are short-term drop-outs, released from all duties and responsibilities. Groups of riders, on the other hand, experience unforgettable adventures together on the trail rides, which they remember for a long time at home. I spent another fantastic ten days at Cornacchino with two friends in June, including a three-day trail ride through the Etruscan area around Sovana and Pitigliano. In Corona times, that is not a matter of course. I'm all the more grateful for the experience and the opportunity to come back to this place where the world always seems to turn a little slower."

The last year has indeed been tough for Cornacchino and what the next one will bring is still uncertain. We are grateful for any help...
"The team here is coping with an almost unbelievable feat of strength to survive this pandemic with its harsh restrictions and still allow the guests to have a wonderful holiday. Many people who have grown fond of Cornacchino will actively support them. For example, you can adopt your favorite horse, recruit new guests or donate money to feed and care for the horses. Now, cohesion is needed so that we can all preserve this paradise."

Your favorite .... on Cornacchino:
"My favorite time on Cornacchino is early morning, when other guests are still sleeping and nature is awakening. Then I like to go for a walk uphill until I can soak up the view over the wide plain to Lake Bolsena on one side and the sea on the other."

Cornacchino in three words?
"Pure, be aware, horizon"

Your most impressive experience on Cornacchino so far:
"The first canter in my life, back then on Giorgia. She had carried me so carefully and safely the days before. When I felt this pure power under me for the first time in a canter, it was overwhelming."

If Cornacchino were a pasta,....
"It would taste of ripe tomatoes, eggplants and garlic and would never fill you up."
If you could paint a picture of Cornacchino....

"My color palette would probably not be big enough for all the different greens and golds of the woods and meadows around."