22. Greppolischieto - Montarale

The route begins at the Pievaiola crossroads, beneath Piegaro, and travels towards Tavernelle.

After a while, leave the main road and follow the signs indicatine Ierna-Vignaie. After crossing the Nestore stream, continue climbing towards the small hamlet of Refogliano until you take the tarmac road that goes up to Castiglion Fosco and then a bridle path on the left that climbs further up to a panoramic saddle dominated by the hill of Montalvino. Turn down the natural-bed cart track towards a recently restored ancient village known as Posante di Sopra. Further on, after passing Posante di Sotto, reach the wide bridle path coming from Castiglion Fosco and turn left towards Greppolischieto. Worth a short visit, this small village stands at 672 m a.s.l. and dominates to the south the valley of the Fersinone stream and to the north that of the Nestore.

Start a demanding descent towards “Colavelce” and then ride along the nice ridge road that crosses through durmast and oak woods and heather, a veritable paradise for mushroom pickers. The track extends for the entire ridge, gently descending towards the valley of the Fersinone all the way below the village of Pornello in the township of San Venanzo. The landscape here is intensely green, beautiful and wild and will accompany you until you reach the crossroads for the fortified village of Montegiove with its unmistakable medieval castle dating back to the early 13th century. 
Proceeding towards Montegabbione from there, you will immediately meet a bridle path that with increasing steepness and unevenness and a few ups and downs and a few junctions, takes you towards the top of Montarale and the point of maximum elevation of this itinerary (854 m a.s.l.). The last stretch, that is also the easiest, is the final part of the bridle path that comes up from Montegabbione. Once at the top, cross through the park area and descend on the other side along a rather steep track. The route takes you near Greppolischieto but before arriving in the village take left through thick woods until, after a few ups and downs, you reach the small hamlets of Casa Martino and Pratalenza. The now tarmacked road runs below Ponibbiale and, with a very steep climb, quickly returns to Piegaro and to your starting point.

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