Take the Death slide from Pietrapertosa to Castelmezzano

  • Posted on: 12 May 2009
  • By: Senichi

CastelmezzanoIf you are someone who likes to travel fast and being scared at the same time then this ride is for you. The ‘death slide’ we called it or the Volo dell’Angelo (Flight of the Angels according to the Italians) is meant to recreate the intoxication of real flight. It carries you face down via a high wire/cable in a baby walker look-a-like contraption across the 400m deep valley, from the hills of Pietrapertosa, 1020m high to Castelmezzano – 859m high.

Unlike riding on a roller-coaster where you know the drop will last for only a few seconds.  The journey on the Flight of the Angels takes about 14 minutes and can travel up to a speed of 68mph/110kph. So the rider has enough time to enjoy the scenery – if their heart allows it.

According to the Metro the death slide idea was fashioned in 2002 when residents joked it was a shame they could not fly between the two hills, with a 400m deep valley separating them.

More about the two towns:  The town of Pietrapertpsa was built on the mountainside of the Impiso Mountain, in the Dolomiti Lucane. The surrounding peaks have evocative names, such as 'the hawk', 'the anvil', 'the great mother' and 'the owl'.  Pietrapertosa was founded around the year 1000 by the Saracens as a fortress, and it became important under the Normans, who built the Castle.

The town of Castelmezzano dated back to around the sixth century when the Greek settlers founded a town called Maudoro (meaning the world of gold).  After invasion by the Saracen occupation by the Lombards and it was under the Normans who settled between XI and XII century AD that the town got it name.