2400 Km on horse-back across Italy
Photojournalist Barbara Essl together with the European trekking champion of 2002, Massimo Peresson, trekked across Italy on horse-back from September 10 until November 13, 2004. With the slogan, “Italia a Cavallo,” they mapped a novel route from Marsala, Sicily to Kötschach-Mauthen, Austria, useable for equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers alike. The regions covered by the trek include Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata, Apulia, Molise, Abruzzi, Latia, Umbria, Marken, Emilia Romagna, Venetia, and Friaul Julien Venetia.
The goal of the two entrepreneurs was to create a versatile roadmap suitable for anyone who wanted to do it in part or in its complete stretch. During their adventure, sixty so-called “Agriturismi" were tested for their food and accommodation, and local information and valuable hints for travelers were compiled. For most of the trips Essl and Peresson designed roadmaps, even for the most surreal paths.
Numerous sponsors supported this project, including the regional tourist bureau AIAT Carnia, Ford Italia, and the Austrian trailer manufacturer Pongratz. Other sponsors include agricultural machines Stefan Gailer from Kötschach Mauthen, agricultural feeds Italfiocchi, "CIA" (Confederazione Agricoltori Italiani), Arta Terme, the cheese producer Alto But, and the honey producer Seccardi Silvio.
“Italia a Cavallo" has generated significant media
attention in Austria and Italy. The leading equestrian magazine "Il
mio Cavallo" featured this project in a three part series. Notably, the
first part was showcased at the prestigeous equestrian fair in Europe, the Fieracavalli
2004, in Verona, Italy. In February 2005, Essl and Peresson were invited to
attend the International Tourism Fair BIT in Milan, Italy.
Massimo Peresson, European Trekking Champion (European World Running Trophy 2002 in Bratislava, on his internationally renown stallion Lawyer) is also an entrepreneur in Arta Terme in Carnia/Friaul. Peresson is well known for his guided horseback riding trips, such as the 3-day from-museum-to-museum tour, starting at the museum Tolmezzo/Friual all the way to the folklore museum Möderndorf, Austria.
Barbara Essl is an Austrian photojournalist and former televison and radio anchor at ORF in Carinthia, ZDF in Rom,“Südtirol Heute,” and at RAI in Bozen, Italy.
Gino Chiussi of Arta Terme and Giacomina Dereani of Treppo Carnico worked as technical assistants on the project.