The source of the Pesa
Fattoria S.Michele (847 m) – Volpaia (617 m)- Dogole (625 m) – Badiaccia a Montemuro (706 m) – Fattoria S.Michele
Lenght: 14 km
Time required: four and a half hours
Roadbed: prevalently tracks with a natural road surface
Difficulties: none with respect to the physical challenge; be very careful in the Volpaia – Dogole stretch: it is unmarked and tends to be complicated near the latter locality. Excursion with average physical challenge
Recommendations and notes: the signposts are old, and several segments of road are not marked. Take a map, preferably to 1: 25.000 scale, and follow the itinerary on it.
Ideal season: all, except very rainy periods during which muddy spots are abound
How to reach Monte San Michele: from Greve in Chianti we go up the slopes of Monte San Michele on the smooth dirt road that first reaches the villa – estates of Melazzano and Caprolo, in a rural context that becomes always more panoramic. The first stop is interesting for visiting the characteristic medieval nucleus of the Presbytery, gathered around the church of Santa Maria. The major peak in Chianti, Monte San Michele (892 m) is very close- by, and is covered with dense conifers. We then continue until we cross the road that ascends from Lucolena, always ascending on the right we arrive at the nature park of San Michele and at the entrance to the estate of the same name.
After leaving the estate of San Michele, we continue in a southern direction along the hillside road that follows fenced fields. At the first crossroads, we have to turn off the track and bear left, continuing straight in a slight descent. We are now on the CAI path marked with numbers 30 and 32. Around Poggio Sereno there is a tract of luxuriant and impressive pinewood, thereafter the vegetation alternates between bush-covered and open terrains.
A crossroad indicates the direction for Lamole, followed by signpost 30, which we ignore and continue – southwards- on the same level as far as Poggio Querciabella. Here, a steep shortcut on the left makes it possible to descend to the dirt road that leads from Panzano to Volpaia, which can be seen shortly afterwards among the crops.
After the visit to the castle and a timely request for information on the old mule track for the Badiaccia, we begin to travel it, constantly descending. The route keeps to the left of the valley until it crosses a secondary ditch. Once past it, it starts to climb a spur of the hillock of La Vecchia, amid dense coppice woods, and reaches the abandoned houses of Dogole that are compressed by the vegetation. The ancient path is covered with leafy branches as far as the ditch below the Lungagna house, from where it travels smoothly to the nearby Badacchia above.
The route is closed within a ring by travelling a few hundred metres of asphalt of the almost always-silent provincial road leading to Lucolena, until the beginning of path No. 9 appears on the right. Exactly opposite, an initial uphill track, roams the southern spur of Monte San Michele, amid reforestations and wooded maquis, and then leads back to the first crossroads encountered after leaving the estate.