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Paragliding in Cinque Terre left me speechless! I had a great paragliding experience: it was beautiful and relaxing and so scenic!

OK, now I vented a bit, and I can tell you everything about it, even if I’m still oh so overwhelmed and excited I won’t actually “land” for a while.

But to sum it up: last Wednesday, on April 25th, I flew from Soviore, the Cinque Terre shrine where I was born and raised, and flying over Vernazza and Monterosso, landed on the beach in Fegina, practically in front of Monterosso train station.

I obviously didn’t fly by myself… I had a two-seater paraglider flight, along with Gabriele, a real pro.

Paragliding in Cinque Terre

My paragliding experience in Cinque Terre

Paragliding in Cinque Terre was a last-minute decision, something I had never considered, but as often happens, sudden and casual choices treat you with special moments and memories.

I had already done it by helicopter, but these are two absolutely unparallel experiences and paragliding wins!

I booked through Arbaspaa, a local travel experience agency based in Manarola. My pilot was Gabriele, founder of Fluo Flights, an international two-seater-paragliding association, which offers the possibility of paragliding in very different locations, but all extremely scenic.

We met on the seafront in Monterosso, early in the morning, and it was cool cause at that time, the village is still asleep, and the beach is quiet and peaceful. A great thing to start the adventure.

We quickly introduced ourselves and then boarded a taxi towards the shrine of Soviore: the journey takes about 10 minutes and is included in the flight fee. The launch takes place from a clearing between the shrine and the “Termine” junction, from where the Cinque Terre coastal road starts.

Once on the spot, Gabriele immediately started the preparations, fairly quick to tell the truth, consisting of fan-opening the glider’s sail and spreading the multicolored ropes.

He had me wear the harness, very light, and the helmet and put his equipment on. He then gave me the instructions to take off:  run in a certain direction (no more than two or three steps actually, a bit like taking the chairlift) and, once in flight, push on the handles I had on my hips and sit down.

So easy and the seat is also very comfortable!

Paragliding over Monterosso was a marvel, and I think I have expressed it from the very first second with a “how cool” 🙂

The flight lasts about 15 minutes, all in slowness and silence with a spectacular panorama that wraps and enchants, and I must say I kept telling myself that I had to repeat the experience over and over again.

I felt so calm and happy that once I sat down, I took the iPhone off my pocket and filmed everything, even landing. A few moments earlier, Gabriele told me to start walking, still in the air, and I think I took two steps in flight and one on the sand, slowly, without even a backlash.

Other flying options with Gabriele

With the Cinque Terre and Monterosso beach quite overcrowded in the height of summer, it’s more difficult to organize flights in the area. Still, Gabriele offers other options I can’t wait to experience: Pisa, Lucca, and the Italian Riviera hinterland. All destinations that guarantee breathtaking views!

Anyway, I think he is preparing to land at sea … a dreamy solution. I’ll keep you posted on this!

Practical information on paragliding

Between my flight and this post, I already answered many questions of my Facebook page’s fans, and I, therefore, studied more practical issues. So, here’s a selection of useful info:

  • There is no athletic requirement, maximum age, or necessary skills to fly a paraglider, so there is no compulsory medical examination. Only pregnant women should avoid it.
  • The passenger’s weight has its own importance, also concerning that of the pilot and the available equipment. Regarding the two-seater flight with Gabriele, he told me a minimum of 25kg is required, and the maximum he can handle is 120kg.
  • Flying a paraglider, you do not suffer vertigo! As mentioned before, you are sitting, and therefore you do not use your balance; moreover, not having earthly optical references, there is no perception of depth. For these reasons, vertigo when paragliding is absolutely and scientifically impossible.
  • There is no specific clothing for paragliding. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and sneakers. Depending on the season, a jacket may be needed, of course. I recommend sunglasses and sunscreen!
  • If you do not feel like using your own smartphone, Gabriele always offers his GoPro.
Parapendio alle Cinque Terre

To sum up: as you might have understood, this experience overwhelmed me, and I heartily recommend it. I liked the view, of course, and above all, the slowness and sweetness of the whole flight. Being in the air, comfortably seated and in silence.

Pure magic.

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