Guys, I finally crossed ziplining off my bucket list.
While prepping for my Italy trip, I stumbled upon Il Volo dell’Angelo – the Flight of the Angels – and knew, instantly, I had to make it happen. HAD TO.
You see, Volo dell’Angelo is one of the highest ziplines in the world. Two separate lines stretch between the mountain towns of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano – one at 387 feet above the earth, and the other at 426.5 feet. To put that into perspective, the Statue of Liberty stands at only 305 ft… so yeah, it’s high! But I’m a go-big-or-go-home sort of girl.
The challenge, for me, wasn’t the height or the speed, or the fact that you zipline TWICE over the valley. (I literally had no fear!) The challenge was getting there. You see, Pietrapertosa is a 2 ½ hour drive from Minori, where I stayed on the Amalfi Coast. And public transportation would’ve taken waaaayyy longer! So, I needed a rental car… and guys? Driving in Italy is C R A Z Y.
Crazy drivers. Crazy hairpin turns. Crazy distracting views. Somehow, I made it without colliding with another car or driving off the edge while staring out the window. It’s a miracle, I tell ya.
When I booked my zipline ticket online, I selected a flight time of 12:30 p.m. Fearing I might encounter driving delays, I gave myself an hour of extra time. And boy, am I ever glad I did! There’s no designated parking for the zipline in Pietrapertosa, so I had to park on the other side of town (cost: €1 per hour at the parking meter), walk through the streets, then climb some seriously steep steps to reach the zipline station. I still had a little time to spare, but wound up needing it to scurry back down into town before my ‘flight’ and use the only public restroom. I figured there’d be one near the check-in station, but nope. (So, take note if you plan to zipline here. Follow the ‘public restroom’ signs when walking through town, and go beforehand.)
Just before 12:30, I was harnessed and helmeted and sent off to the edge of the mountain to wait my turn.
While in line, I met Patrizia, a woman from Germany, who was also ziplining solo. (Oh, right. Forgot to mention that you can zipline in pairs here, too. AND, you can start on either side – Pietrapertosa or Castelmezzano. Both include roundtrip zips.)
Anyway, Patrizia spoke just enough English for us to carry on a decent conversation for the duration of our experience. We even exchanged emails and took photos for each other, since it’s pretty darn impossible to snap a selfie while ziplining. Ya know?
So, we made it to Castelmezzano, where a van transported us (me, Patrizia, and an Italian couple) further up the mountain. From there, we walked what felt like AT LEAST another mile, almost all uphill, till we reached the zipline station. (Castelmezzano is the higher AND FASTER side! Top speed is 70+ mph!!!)
Suited up, we took our turns ziplining back to Pietrapertosa, where I was delighted to learn I could purchase photos of myself on the zipline for only €8. So cheap!
This experience was well worth the long drive and the $50 USD ticket cost. And flying over a valley TWICE is really the only way to zipline. In fact, this being my first time, all other ziplines are basically ruined for me. Complete and utter rubbish. Looking down over that valley – its trees, homes, roads, cars, everything in miniature – was an out-of-body experience. With the wind in my face and the world so far below, I really, truly felt like a bird. I felt like I was flying!
While I’m happy God made me human, I harbor a twinge of envy for birds in flight. If you can relate, you need (read: NEEEEEEEEEEEED) to get yourself to Pietrapertosa. Pronto!
Here’s a list of all my tips for easy reference:
- Definitely buy your ticket ahead of time, which includes selecting a date and times: http://www.volodellangelo.com/
- Arrive AT LEAST 45 minutes early to allow for parking, walking, and that bathroom break.
- If you have a GoPro with a helmet attachment, bring it!
- Personal preference: go in the fall… for the colors!
- You can bring a small bag/purse/etc. It’ll be stuffed inside a plastic bag and strapped to your back for safe keeping.
- Once you park in Pietrapertosa, follow the signs for Volo dell’Angelo. Or ask a local. They all know where it is.
- Plan for at least 2 hours from parking to returning to your car post-zipline.
And please, feel free to ask me any questions about this experience! I aim to inspire!