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On the wire – Italy’s highest and fastest zip wire

High in the mountains of Basilicata, the world’s highest and fastest zip wire gives fearless travelers the ride of their lives. Fleur Kinson straps on a helmet and prepares to launch…

Forget lazing by the pool reading the latest blockbuster novels, or nosing round museums, strolling the seafront or relaxing at sunny cafés. Surely there’s no greater enjoyment to be had on holiday than being trussed up and thrown off a mountain. Well, not thrown exactly. More like shot. Off a mountaintop. Hurtled between one jagged peak and another at up to 90 miles per hour. Across a drop of 3,000ft. Alone. Strapped face-down in a harness with your hands behind your back. What could be more pleasant?

Basilicata, which tickles the instep of the Italian boot, is a region with a bit of a ‘Wild West’ vibe about it. It’s the least-known and least-visited part of the country. Elemental and untamed, with a tingling aura of adventure, it seems a fitting place for a gung-ho undertaking. Cue the world’s highest and fastest zip wire ride: the so-called Volo dell’Angelo, or Flight of the Angel.

“Hang on a minute. What’s a zip wire?” you ask. For the uninitiated, it’s a steel cable strung between two mountain peaks, with one end a little higher than the other. An oiled metal cradle slides along it, propelled only by gravity, with you in a harness dangling beneath it. It’s the closest you’re ever going to get to bird-like flight. No engines, no artificial wings to steer with, no sense of tumbling downward, falling as you would with a parachute jump. It’s straight ahead all the way. Face-first and horizontal. But you’ll be flying at speeds no bird could ever achieve. More like a bullet than a bird, in fact. If this is how angels fly, they must have jet-packs. It can’t take them long to nip across eternity! READ MORE:

On the wire – Italy’s highest and fastest zip wire

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