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Molise, flying over the Matese massif, in the realm of currents and free-flying enthusiasts

09 September 2022

Travelling through the bucolic landscapes and picturesque villages of Molise, you may happen to look up and catch a glimpse of people in flight.
Don’t be misled! It’s not an alien invasion! These are the colourful hang-gliders and paragliders piloted by the many enthusiasts who attend the schools and flying centres located on the Matese massif, the chain of limestone mountains between the provinces of Isernia and Campobasso, which is a mecca of free flight in Molise.

The topographical features of this extraordinary natural flying arena provide airflow from both the north and the south. Using strictly non-powered aircraft, lovers of free flight take advantage of this environment to find excellent opportunities for take-off and a more varied range of experiences, depending on the time of day, routes and weather conditions.

1. An immersive and intense experience in contact with nature

As opposed to what you might imagine, free flight is not an extreme sport that involves dangerous risks and requires reckless athletes.
The principles on which activities such as hang gliding or paragliding are based are simple and natural: the pilot gives himself a push with his legs as he sets off down a slope, and the energy of the wind and currents keep him balanced at altitude as he glides towards the landing point. 

2. A dive where the sky is bluest

The flight centres provide experts and beginners with various take-off (and landing) sites, scattered along the slopes and esplanades of the Molise Apennines.

In the Matese area, the most famous is Bocca della Selva, located at 1180 metres, at the foot of Mount Mutria. Campochiaro is the perfect place to cover long flights. Calvisi overlooks the Alife plain, the most popular destination for novice pilots, who are still unfamiliar with flying practices.

From there, even if you are not an expert, you can take advantage of a flight on a tandem plane driven by a professional pilot to enjoy the unique view of the sun playing catch with the clouds, driven by the breezes of the Samnite Apennines. The most experienced pilots are able to remain suspended in the air, taking advantage of the currents for hours, in order not to miss the most suggestive views and explore the gorges, lakes and valleys that run along the massif.

3. Competitions and events in the Windlands

In Molise, the passion for this sport is growing strongly and steadily, gathered in a community inspired by the now widespread tradition of flying over the Apennine territories, which is contributing to the expansion of the local tourist offer.

Since the 1980s, Le Streghe paragliding club, for example, has been organising the most important free flight events in Molise. With dedication and passion, pilots and enthusiasts, in close cooperation with the Molise region, have succeeded in making the Matese and its natural heritage a popular and popular stop for free-flying fans from all over the world.

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