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Il volo dell’Angelo (Flight of Angels) is one of the longest, highest and fastest ziplines in the world, spanning a distance just shy of 1.5km, at an altitude of up to 1020m, and reaching a top speed of 120km/hr.
In order to experience the Flight of Angels, you’ll need to make your way to the Basilicata region of southern Italy. There, you’ll find not 1 but in fact 2 ziplines connecting the towns of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano.
The landing zone at Pietrapertosa with the launching point at Castelmezzano just visible in the distance
Solo flights: Participants must be 16 years or older, weighing between 35-120kg.
Tandem flights: For those 12 years or older, as long as the accompanying person is an adult, with no more than 40kg weight discrepancy between the 2, and maximum total weight of 150kg.
This activity is not recommended for pregnant women.
May: Sundays only
June: Saturdays and Sundays
September 1-13: Tuesday-Sunday
September 14-30: Saturdays and Sundays
Only return tickets are sold.
Solo flights: €35 weekdays, €40 Sundays, public holidays, May and June
Tandem flights: €63 weekdays, €72 Sundays, public holidays, May and June
First things first, you’ll need a car in order to get to either Pietrapertosa or Castelmezzano, not to mention nerves of steel to negotiate the hairpin turns and narrow roads.
You can start your flight at either town. Once in town, look out for someone in a yellow vest. This is the parking attendant. Get a parking ticket, then find a place to park. We parked at the outskirts of Pietrapertosa, and this cost us €2 for 4 hours – plenty of time to fly to Castelmezzano and back.
Next, make your way to the centre of town and follow the signs to the biglietteria (ticket office).
Once you’ve purchased your ticket, follow the signs to il volo dell’Angelo. Regardless of which side you start from, you’ll be required to climb to the steepest part of town in order to get to the launching point.
Once fitted with the right gear, you’ll be strapped in. Gravity takes care of the rest, taking you from 1 town to the other.
At the other end, a shuttle bus will take you to the 2nd launching point for the return journey back to the town from whence you came. A 2nd shuttle bus will also take you from the 2nd landing point to the centre of the town you started from.
2. The zipline is owned and operated by the local councils of the 2 towns as a means of providing employment, as well as developing tourism in order to generate revenue for town improvements. By participating in the Flight of Angels, you are supporting the local community.
3. It’s a once in a lifetime thrill you won’t quickly forget! Be sure to check my Facebook page for a video clip of the action!
Wear: Comfortable shoes for the steep climbs up to the launching points, and a backpack for your belongings as this can be worn on your back during the flight. Skirts are not recommended.
The stairs up to the launching point at Pietrapertosa
Bring: Some of the safety helmets come with a slot for an action camera, so if you have a GoPro, be sure to also bring your slide mount (how I regret not having mine with me!)
Know: Your weight. Before you are launched, the operators will ask you your weight in kilograms, in order to determine how much weight to attach in order to slow you down.
Expect: You’ll be strapped in with your arms stretched behind you, so don’t expect to take any photos during your flight. You may experience watery eyes from the high speeds. You can also expect a rather sudden stop at the end of your flight.
Be aware: Operations are suspended during inclement weather, for safety reasons.
And if this isn’t for you? It’s still fun watching everyone else take the flight, enjoying the stunning scenery around you, and if you have the energy, there is a path that roughly parallels the course of the zipline at the Pietrapertosa launching point, from where there are reasonable views of Castelmezzano. I didn’t have time to walk the entire path, but I have a feeling it might lead you right to Castelmezzano!
What do you think?
Would you like to fly like an angel too? Or would you take the walking path instead?
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