Matera – Pietrapertosa – Castelmezzano -Locorotondo – Alberobello – Matera – 6 September
Flying like angels
Above the Lucanian Dolomites, in the heart of Basilicata, about an hour’s drive from Matera, a steel cable suspended between the tops of two small towns, Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa lets you live a unique experience called Il Vollo dell’Angelo (The Angel Flight). We decided to spend the second day of our stay in Matera “flying”.
With the road from Abruzzo to Matera being largely flat and dry, we were somewhat blown away by the rapid change in topography and vegetation on our way to Pietrapertosa, the village where we’d begin our zipline flight. It was largely main road, so we could relax and enjoy – until the last 10km which was a steep ascent up the mountain (something the British guy we met on our flight had found out when he cycled in at 10pm the night before).
As we approached the village, the view of the return flight (second one we would do), caused heart rates to go up and some hyperventilation. We could see the coloured balls on the wire stretching far across the enormous valley.
Tied side by side with a harness, attached to a steel cable, we had the thrill of flying across beautiful landscape at a significant height – TWICE. The first, known as “San Martino” line, starts from Pietrapertosa (altitude 1020 mt) and arrives in Castelmezzano (arrival altitude 859 m) after covering 1415 meters with a top speed of 110 km / h. At the end of the first flight, the “angels” were brought back down to earth in Castelmezzano and freed from the harness. We reached the station of the return line by shuttle and a steep walk (which is where we met the British guy that had spent the previous day cycling from Matera – taking 12 hours for the trip that took us 1 hour by car) . The dream began again as we were suspended between heaven and earth during the return flight. The “Peschiera” line starts from Castelmezzano (altitude 1019 meters) and arrives in Pietrapertosa (arrival altitude 888 mt), covering 1452 meters with the top speed of 120 km / h.
Do we look scared…no
Visiting the Trulli of Puglia
As the zipline had not been busy, we were able to fly earlier than our booked time, giving us some free time for the day. So we made the decision to drive back to Matera the long way – via the coast (the instep of the boot of Italy).
This meant we were also able to make our way through Locorotondo and Alberobello, known to be the key area to see trulli, which we were keen to do. (A trullo (plural, trulli) is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof.) We were certainly not disappointed. We thought we may spot one or two, but instead, spotted hundreds lining the road and into the farmlands.
We stopped at Locorotondo for lunch and were treated to a view over the numerous trulli dotted around the valley below. We were also fortunate to enter a little shop that sold food delicacies – and the person at the counter was so friendly and helpful that she cut our block of cheese and bread rolls for us so that we could sit and eat them in the park overlooking the trulli.
Alberobello regarded to be the “home of the trulli”, with row upon row of the conical buildings, was full of busloads of tourists – we were satisfied that we had seen so many trulli “in their natural environment” that after a few photos, we were content to give up and make our way home.