The normal route to Penna di Lucchio avoids the direct south ridge by negotiating the west slopes of the mountain. Orientation is easy for the ascent but when descending the route you can find yourself unexpectedly high in the west face, right above a big drop. There is a possibility to cross over to the south ridge , which itself is an imperfect descent route.
The real ascent starts from a saddle between the Penna and neighbouring Monte Memoriante, always following the ridge. The east slopes are covered with dwarf oaks while the west face of the mountain remains empty except for low brushwork. The north ridge turns steep near the north summit of the mountain but then turns onto the summit plateau.
Getting ThereThe main page details the itinerary to the trailheads at Lucchio in the north and Pontito in the south. Both villages are connected by a potholed dirt road, along which the first part of the ascent runs.
- Start altitude: 600m (Lucchio), 800m (Pontito)
- Summit altitude: 1176m
- Prevailing exposure: East
- Type: Steep exposed Scramble
- Protection: None
Regardless, whether you start at Zato above Lucchio or Madonna delle Grazie above Pontito you need to reach the saddle called Croce a Veglia. Since both villages are connected by a dirt road which runs across this saddle, the first part of the route is easy to find and achieve. From Madonna delle Grazie it is about 1km, from Zato about 1.5km plus an additional 200m of altitude.
From the saddle follow another dirt road which circumvents Monte Granaio on its south-western side. (There is a path across the summit which, however, is pretty hard to find. This path head on to Monte Lischeta, from where an unmarked ridge traverse returns to the dirt road.) Ignore a road which turns off to the left to Casa Nancini, a farm which is plainly visible. Instead take the right road and head on northwards to a second saddle. Here again a road turns off to the left but head on straight. You'll reach the outlet of a gas pipeline, where from the right the path across Monte Granaio and Monte Lischeta joins.
Head north- and downwards from the saddle, diving into a dark oak and beech forest. The road winds towards a third saddle, this time Le Calcinaie, the col between Monte Lischeta and Penna di Lucchio. At a switchback in the road the normal and south ridge routes to Penna di Lucchio separate with the former also being the access route to Monte Memoriante.
Take the road, which leads down steeply into a hollow, where you can find wonderful chestnut trees. Watch out for a path to the right (clearly visible) from where the west face traverse starts. First you hike underneath the vertical part of the face which, however, retreats, leaving a steep slope. The path winds through the chestnut trees slowly gaining in elevation. Finally, a few switchbacks take you up to the saddle with Monte Memoriante.
Here turn right (marks) and head up to the steep nrth ridge of Penna di Lucchio. Oak and beech trees to your left (east) indicate the correct path, which otherwise would get ambiguous. The ridge remains steep and in the topmost part, where the trees to your left recede, it turns into a real scramble towards the north summit of the mountain. Once there, the remainder is a stroll along the summit meadow towards the top of Penna di Lucchio.