Hello, We are planning to move to

AliM Image
02/13/2016 - 15:56

Hello, We are planning to move to Piemonte from the UK. We have two horses. Can anyone advise please, of horse riding activites in the region? Are there specific laws about keeping horses on your own land /stables? Is the region good for trekking and generally is it horse friendly? Are there riding activities/events/clubs that it is possible to join? Grateful for any feedback and experiences of any of the above.Many thanks.



Thank you looks interesting. Very kind of you to respond. I am hoping to find out more about keeping horses in this area of Italy. Live in the north of Scotland so probably having horses is very different in Italy from Scotland. Hoping the horses will cope with the changes.

I've seen a few places here in Abruzzo where horses are kept and are obviously for riding, including a couple of schools by the look of them. Our only interest being that our two children have been horse riding since they were very young and still do al the time. Your comment on hoe the horses will settle caught my eye as I do suspect it will be very different for them here (and you). The heat is an obvious difference and likely one it is worth doing some research online about how to cope. Would have also thought diseases and pest would be worth checking out, your vet there may help or know someone to advise you. 

Hi, Yes we eventually took possession of our property in September and now waiting form the planning permission to come through. Our area is quite hilly (round Cossano Belbo). I think if you move over towards Nizza Monteforate and where Julie Gilmour lives (who has also posted to this series, it is much flatter and gentler. But both areas are absoutely beautiful.

Piedmont seems a popular destination for a lot of English speaking people at the moment, only been the once and it was covered in snow! Well it was Christmas and it was still beautiful. Perhaps another forum will come out of this influx of people. Best of luck to you all on your venture.

Hi AliM,We have a house in Piedmont – in a place called Calamandrana to be exact. We see several horses that are kept in the surrounding fields and we know of at least two local horse enthusiasts who keep horses and enter them in horse events. If you want we could contact them and ask more details on your behalf regarding laws about keeping horses; trekking; riding activities/events/clubs. Let me know where in Piedmont you are going.There is a little local ex-pat network also, with a few Scots. I myself am from Northern Ireland. All the best Conor

In reply to by orangetokyo

Hi Stephen, Julia and Ian have set up mid week aperitivo meetings fo ex-pats in English around Nizza Monferrato. I live mainly in Milan and have a house near Nizza, which we go to on weekends, but can rarely be present at the mid week meet-ups, but have met up with some otf the ex - pat characters. See Julia's blog http://juliasgardencom.com/blog/?m=201504 for contact. Do you live near Nizza Monferrato?Ciao Conor

In reply to by orangetokyo

Hi stephen your comment has just flashed up on my computer useful things these I don't know what us expats would do without them. Where do you live or stay etc. We are all in the region of Nizza monferratto, if you are within travelling distance you are very welcome to join us.I can see that Conor has given you the details of my blog site there is another address www.juliasitaliangarden.com  you can make contact  with me through this and I will send you the details etc. Getting a little behind on the blog at the moment I have been somewhat busy. I set it up to try and help other expats who are considering doing something crazy like selling up everything and moving here to take on a huge renovation project on a very tight budget. We are still here 3 years later enjoying every moment of it although my other half has taken to bed this morning with a bad case of the man fluThe group meet up each week ,girls Monday guys Wednesday we are a diverse group from all over Europe with a common language English we exchange experiences,information, etc  at times it can be a relief just to speak English to someone.  Look forward to hearing from you. Julia 

Hi  I  must thank Conor for mentioning the little expat community we have started in the area around Nizza Monferrato, We are now totalling over 15 members from all over Europe the only requirement is that you must be able to converse in English.We live in the countryside and are aware of a few stables in this area, certainly it would be a haven for trekking as much of the area is national park. My husband has a vast experience of horses having had his own livery in Scotland many years ago.  To the comments regarding the heat he says that providing you turn them out early and bring them into the shade before the sun reachs its peak you should have no problems. Basic commonsense, we also have some very good vets in this area.note that  last summer the temperatures did reach well into the 30 s for a considerable time.Where is your house?,you may find my blog site interesting it has taken me a while to get it going but I am now well on my way. www.juliasitaliangarden.com or www. juliasgardencom.com.By the way Conor finally i have remembered that woodworm treatmentSovereign chemicals limited  -   DEEP KILL. hope you find that useful.regards julia  

Hello Conor and JuliaHope you do not mind me addressing you both together.  Thank you so much for your insights into the local life in Montferrato.  We have just begun our search for property and key is finding the right home for our horses, so we have an open mind at the moment.It is great to hear that keeping horses is a fairly normal activity and that finding places to ride should be easy to find. My horses are very important to me.  We have kept horses at home for several decades and I agree that by taking a sensible approach to their care there should hopefully be no major problems with moving them from Scotland.  So much like ourselves, we will adapt their care to the changes in environment.  Comforting to know there are good vets in the area.We would be keen to find out more and exchange e mail addresses to perhaps share our journey as we be delighted to progress to finding our home in Piemonte. We loved reading your blog, Julia.  Quite a journey you have had.  We are hoping for a much quicker transition for ourselves, but all will be revealed in due course.  We look forwards very much to staying in the area for a few days at the end of March.Ali  

Hi thankyou for your kind comments about my blog I am delighted to hear that people are finding it interesting. I do enjoy writing it and have many stories to tell. I had so many questions when i started out but nobody to ask  so we found our way by trial and error. I wanted to write the blog as a  story describing our adventures. I do hope it maybe be of value to others.There is one thing that i have not mentioned to date on the blog    -----there has not been a moment that i have regretted coming here, if you are prepared to embrace it, it is a beautiful and rewarding place to live.By all means, I am happy to exchange e-mail addresses contact me via the blog and possibly we can meet up when you are over here in march.  My husband wants to know more about the horses I am a fraid these days we have no more than beswick adorning the dresser. If i can be of any further help please do ask.Regards Julia

Julia, we are also starting our search in this area. I do not know your blog. Can you give the address please as I would love to follow it. We have found s house and now the nerves are setting in, is this the right thing, will we be lonely etc! To read about your continued love of the area after moving in is really reassuring. I would also be very pleased to contact you via your blog. Thanks.

Hi LyndaI perfectly understand the nerve situation I went through hell and back at the beginning. Due to the recession in the Uk it took a while for us to sell our business so we had to remain in the Uk a lot longer than we had hoped  hence I had a long time to consider the move. You will find the address of the blog on the the thread but  here it is just in case www.juliasitaliangarden.com   or www.juliasgardencom.com  both lead to the same point.You will also read on the thread that we have started a small group of expats which meet in local bars once  a week.I do understand the lonely bit and will be addressing this in the blog.I try to add at least one new story a week usually at the weekend.Have you bought in our area?Contact me through the blog .Regards and good luck,Julia 

Hi Lynda and AliYou both asked if you could contact me and I suggested through my blog site did you have a problem with the messaging system as Conor did say he had struggled with some cookies. ( unfortunately I am not very computer literate but would appreciate knowing if there is a problem)AliFurther to the horse question my husband has also thought it would be wise to tell you to becareful not to choose an area too close to fresh water i.e the rice fields which are in abundance in the northern part of Monferrato. We are prone to mosquitoes in Italy and they can be a problem around fresh water areas. You said you were from Northern Scotland so I guess  you will have plenty of experience fighting back those midges, we worked up at Loch Lomond one summer and I was completely covered in bites. My husband said it was because I was welsh!!Regards julia.

In reply to by julia G.

Hello again Julia Thank you again. Sorry not to have been in touch. I have been extremely busy these last few days. I now have several days off, so I will email you directly to follow on from our chat.We are not keen on the Zanzare....... However Zanzare, although nasty are usually a few in number, although we will not need much persuasion to keep our distance from their favourite habitats,......Midges usually attack in their millions...! My husband says that one of the main reasons he moved from the West of Scotland was to escape the midges......!!!I hope to be in touch again soon.Ali

concerning sanitary aspects and rules to follow in case you decide to build a stable/keep horses, there's a specific Code:
Consider the fact that you're not allowed to keep horses anywhere. Each Comune (town) through its Piano Regolatore -PRG (Urban Planning) defines the areas where you 're allowed to keep them. Normally they would be the rural areas of the PRG (aree agricole) but I'd advise to check each time.
As an alternative, you could search for properties where they already kept horses. I know of a few on sale in my area (Asti Province).
Riding Clubs: according to the link below, there are at least 17 active clubs in our Province (they must be more than that because I myself know of a few which aren't listed).
You can check here to see where they're located: http://www.maneggionline.it/maneggio/provincia/Asti/6
Let me know if I can help you with anything else,

Ciao ElisabettaThank you for your information about the challenges of looking after horses in the area.We have been on the website for the F.I.S.E which has a wide range of documentation regarding horses including the one on your link, and we were able to get translation. It sets out the minimum requirements for looking after horses and there are similar requirements in the UK. I should say that our normal practices far exceed the standards required, both here in the UK and laid out in your document for Italy. Thank you also for highlighting the point that there may be local laws governing where it is possible to keep horses. We shall bear this in mind as we go house hunting.We have been very busy with work these past days so apologies for delay in our response. We will look into these riding clubs on your link, and try to make contact prior to our visit in March.  We really appreciate you taking an interest in our plans.Grazie mille.Ali

Hello Jean, Thanks for visiting my FB page for Monferrato. I hope that some of my photos, and news will remind you of our beauties. I have also been here more than 20 years, and I started the page to help Monferrato and Monferrini to share and exchange with each other and with the world beyond. Best, Toni

Pleased to hear that you are planning a move to our region. I live with my husband and daughter in the Monferrato area of Piemonte, and we think it is great horse riding country. Our 18 year old daughter keeps a horse in Casorzo in a lovely stable: Hilltop with spectacular vineyards all around. They ride out on dirt roads and in fine weather often stay out all day--riding to other villages for lunch or visiting other stables. As opposed to Langhe or other areas at higher altitude, Monferrato has long, low hills and a nice microclimate.I am not a rider myself, but one of the other 'stable moms' is originally from Norfolk. I'm sure she would be pleased to give you more information.  I am not sure how to connect personally via this community, but if we can help, just ask...and I will figure out how to respond. Toni

 I administer a Facebook page called "Monferrato Mio", and it is Eng/It bilingual, photos, current events--festivals, concerts, museum shows, restaurant specials, wine/cheese tastings, cultural information, etc....to promote our lifestyle and local business. You will find that English is not commonly spoken in Piemonte, and I started the page to help local vacation home and B&B owners have information available for their guests. The stable I mentioned previously is also present, with a page called "Cascina Monticello".I invite all of you in the 'Italy community', but especially those interested in Piemonte to come visit the page virtually.I also have a Facepage for our own vacation rental property "Casa in Monferrato". Senza impegno!Toni..(I hope it is all right to mention other Facebook pages within this discussion context...)

Hi KevinThanks for your interest re expat communities unfortunately we are further south , in the wine region around Nizza Monferrato. A friend of mine had to do a teaching course in Biella last week she mentioned it took well over an hour and a half  from Asti.You are quite high up there and today, I imagine under snow, as we have had at leat 10 cms this morning. Which happens to be our first snowfall this year.!!Have you read my blog you will find the address in this thread ,. I am writing it to hopefully help all new expats,  it is about our experiences here and has useful information.  I do try to add a new story each week however my life is pretty hectic at the moment. If there is any information or advice we can give you please ask.  

There are a lot of initiatives in Piemonte for horse riding, for example : they are cleaning up old mulattiere (muletracks) to be used by horse riders.

Where exactly are you planning to live? Piemonte is a large region, where exactly are you looking for properties?

As Italian Dream House allready mentioned, there are rules for stables (there are always rules here :-) ) and of course there are also rules for importing horses. (ask for certificates from your vet, don't forget to mention which countries you will travel through too).
About stables : if you have only two horses you ufficially don't need stables.

Finally getting round to it - I had been meaning to share a little story about the origins of the name Monferrato - which has horsey links.The legend that I heard from my mother-in-law (who is Monferrato born and bred) is that in the 10th century the founding duke, called “Aleramo”, had a wager that he would become lord of the land that he could ride his horde around in one day – so he picked a route that included all the undulating hills – hence the name Mon meaning My and Ferrato meaning the route he followed with his iron shoed horse.A romantic story which does not sound too realistic, but stuff of legends!Whereas Wikipedia has three different versions of the origin of the name, the last one is also horse related:“There are various interpretations and assumptions concerning the etymology of "Monferrato", but to date none are certain. There are many opinions, like the one advocated by Aldo Ricaldone stating the name was derived from "Mount" and "farro,"—a variety of wheat, and another according to which derives from the Latin "Mons ferax," meaning "mount fertile and rich." Still another refers to the irons left by the Romans in their conquest, "Mons ferratus." Finally, an interpretation derived from a legend according to which Aleramo of Montferrat, the legendary founder of its march, wanting to shoe a horse, and not finding a hammer, used a brick ("mun" in local dialect), and thereby the horse was shod ("fra"), hence the name "Munfra" yielding Monferrato.” (from Wiki)  

Hi ConorI am glad you finally got to writing about the Monferrato, I vote for number one I love these old legends and no doubt there maybe a thread of truth in it. If we are honest it must be the the rich fertile land anybody starting to garden here will be amazed at how everything grows so well.  Julia

In reply to by Ronco

  C Yes your so right, you read  my blog.  It was unkind to the plant to even try as it was way out of its comfort zone. It is always worth a try!!!!but we failed big time. J