See the villages of the Valdinievole area and Natural Reserve of Monaca-Righetti.
Point of departure/arrival: Pescia (Pt)
Distance: 30 km
Road surface: asphalt and dirt roads
Recommended bike: Mountain bike
This itinerary represents an important connection between the path system of the Swiss Pescia area and the Lucca hills with those of the Natural Reserve of Padule di Fucecchio and, from here, to the ancient Via Francigena that once crossed Tuscany taking pilgrims to Rome.
We recommend you depart from Pescia, where there is also ample space to leave your car. Take the riverside trail on the left. The terrain is grassy, head under Ponte Europa, then Ponte dei Marchi. Continue along a rocky path as far as Ponte della Ferrovia, cross the Passarella Furicaia over the torrent of the same area.
Carry on over the weir, following the bends of the river. Follow the signs, crossing various local roads. Cross Ponte Severini, Ponte Uzzanese and Ponte Camporcioni.
Continue over the grassy weir, alongside Pescia di Pescia as far as the village of Ponte Buggianese, where you leave the weir and descend into via Garibaldi as far as Piazza del Santuario. Looking at the sanctuary take the narrow road to the left, via Giusti, and follow the signs cross via Puccini using the pedestrian crossing, pass Ponte della Vittoria and return to the weir on the right as far as Ponte alla Guardia.
Upon reaching Ponte di Mingo, enjoy the poplars that break up the basin, cross via Gentile and continue along the weir as far as Ponte Galligani. Follow the signs, turn left onto asphalted via Giatta, leaving the weir to continue along a loop leading to the Natural Reserve of Monaca-Righetti. After about 200 metres, turn off via Giatta, which bends to the left and carry straight on (via Prato Grande).
The road, asphalted at the beginning, then unpaved as it bends to the left, runs alongside a wonderful brick building on the right (the former tobacco factory of Prato Grande). As you carry on you see a large lake on the left as well as lots of poplar trees and the Natural Reserve of Monaca-Righetti is on your right beyond the Fosso del Vescovo.
Carry on along the unpaved road, passing wide expanses of fields, with the Fosso del Vescovo on your right. Having passed via Giardino as far as Ponte alle Ragnale, which we leave behind us on the right, to bend to the left into via Ragnaia, then left into via della Prata and immediately right into via Fattoria and into via Ponte alla Guardia to finish the loop and return to the Pescia a Pescia weir in Ponte alla Guardia, where you carry on behind the weir as far as Ponte Buggianese, Chiesina Uzzanese and Pescia.