Julie Italy 8 Comments

Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa are two hilltop towns in Basilicata, Italy. Both of them are beautiful to visit and fun to explore. But what makes them even more exciting is the fact that you can get from one to the other on a zipline.

In fact, one of the best things to do in Castelmezzano is to zipline to Pietrapertosa and then zipline back to Castelmezzano. We have been ziplining numerous times around the world and this is a good one! This zipline, also called Volo dell’Angelo (the Angel’s Flight), is one of southern Italy’s most thrilling experiences.

In this guide, we’ll let you know what there is to do in Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, how to do the zipline, and the practical information you need to know to plan your visit.

Get ready to explore two of Italy’s most beautiful villages.

Overview of Castelmezzano & Pietrapertosa

Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa are two small towns that sit side-by-side in Basilicata, Italy. Also in Basilicata is the very photogenic town of Matera, which is just over an hour away by car.

These towns are located in the Lucanian Dolomites, a mountainous region in Basilicata. These spires form a ridge and both Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa are located along this ridge. These spires are a popular spot to climb via ferratas.

Both towns are very small and you don’t need much time in either one of them. You can walk from one end of town to the other, in both Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, in about 20 minutes.

However, if you want to add on Volo dell’Angelo (the zipline), your visit will take most of the day.

Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa can be visited on a day trip from Matera or you can visit these two towns on a road trip across southern Italy. We visited Castelmezzano on a southern Italy road trip, driving here from Matera, spending the day in Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, and then driving to the Amalfi Coast the following morning.

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (places to go and the zipline stations). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Volo dell’Angelo (the Angel’s Flight)

The best thing to do in Castelmezzano is to zipline to Pietrapertosa. We cover this in its own section a little later in this guide, or you can skip ahead now.

Piazza Emilio Caizzo

Piazza Emilio Caizzo is the main square in Castelmezzano. From Terrazza Panoramica, you get the iconic view of Castelmezzano with its colorful buildings and backdrop of Dolomite spires.

Piazza Emilio Caizzo | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Piazza Emilio Caizzo


Castelmezzano Italy | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

The view from Terrazza Panoramica

The Mother Church of Santa Maria dell’Olmo

This church sits on Piazza Emilio Caizzo. Inside are several painted canvases that date back to the 17th century and a wooden sculpture from the 14th century that depicts Madonna with Child, also called “Madonna dell’Olmo.”

Mother Church of Santa Maria dell’Olmo | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Mother Church of Santa Maria dell’Olmo Interior | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Mother Church of Santa Maria dell’Olmo

Take a Stroll through Castelmezzano

Two narrow, hilly streets wind their way through the heart of Castelmezzano, Via Roma and Via Guglielmo Marconi. They form a loop and pass small cafes, shops, and houses. It’s a quick, scenic, hilly walk.

Castelmezzano Signs | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Street signs in Castelmezzano

Gradinata Normanna

Gradinata Normanna, also called the Norman Stairway, is a series of 54 steps carved into the rock of one of the tallest Dolomite spires in Castelmezzano. This was once a lookout post of the castle Castrum Medianum.

The only way to climb these steps is on the via ferrata located here. There is a locked gate that prevents people from climbing the steps on their own. If this is something you would like to do, you can take a guided tour with the same company that runs the Volo dell’Angelo zipline.

Visiting Gradinata Normanna is worth it, even if you don’t plan to do the via ferrata. There are two viewpoints here with beautiful views of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.

To get here, it is an uphill walk on narrow, hilly streets from the east end of town (follow signs to Fortezza Normanna and walk up Via Domenica Volini).

Castelmezzano Street


You will arrive at a wide terrace, shown in the photo below.

Castelmezzano Terrace | Things to Do in Castelmezzano


To continue up to Gradinata Normanna, continue up the metal staircases. From here, you get a great view of the tiny steps on Gradinata Normanna and a view over Castelmezzano.

Gradinata Normanna | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Gradinata Normanna


Castelmezzano Viewpoint | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

The view from the terrace next to Gradinata Normanna

There is a second viewpoint that is not to be missed. From the wide terrace, there is a set of steps that lead down a short distance and out to some rocks. From here, you can look across the valley to Pietrapertosa and watch the zipliners on the Angel’s Flight.

Volo dell'Angelo Zipline View | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

In this photo you can see the zipline and if you look closely, someone on the zipline flight. This gives you an idea just how high the zipline wire is.


Castelmezzano View of Pietrapertosa

The view looking towards Pietrapertosa from this same viewpoint.

Via Ferrata

In addition to Gradinata Normanna, there are other via ferrata routes in and around Castelmezzano. Visit the Volo dell’Angelo website for more information.

Scenic Walk on Via Paschiere

For more views over Castelmezzano, go for a walk along Via Paschiere. This road runs through the hills above Castelmezzano, past homes and a church (Cappella Santa Maria Regina Coeli).

It is a hilly walk to get up here, but once you are finished, it’s a downhill walk back into town.

Here are photos of the views you get from the walk.

Castelmezzano Italy Photo | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Overlooking Castelmezzano with Pietrapertosa in the distance.


Pietrapertosa Italy



Cappella Santa Maria Regina Coeli

Cappella Santa Maria Regina Coeli

Worth it? It’s a nice walk with great views. It takes about 45-minutes to an hour, so if you are short on time, it’s probably not worth it. It’s better to put your time into the zipline than this walk, if you had to choose between the two.

To do this, we walked up to Via Paschiere from Via Domenica Volini. There is a small street that connects these two roads that does not show up on Google Maps.

Where to Eat in Castelmezzano

Trattoria al Vecchio Scarpone. We had lunch here and it was amazing. This family run restaurant serves traditional local foods, along with wine, beer, and coffee.

Lunch in Castelmezzano | Things to Do in Castelmezzano

Lunch at Trattoria al Vecchio Scarpone

Peperusko. For food or drinks with a view, put Peperusko on your list. This small restaurant has a few outdoor tables with a view of Castelmezzano.

Peperusko View

The view from Peperusko

Al Becco della Civetta. This Michelin-starred restaurant serves great food with a great view of Castelmezzano. We did not eat here because our timing did not work out, but it gets fabulous reviews. You can see the menu here.

Best Things to Do in Pietrapertosa

Castello Normanno – Svevo di Pietrapertosa

This castle sits on the highest point of Pietrapertosa. The main reason for visiting the castle is for panoramic views.

You will walk up to the highest point in town and then walk up a very steep path to the castle entrance. There is a small fee to enter and then from the castle you get panoramic views of the area.

Castello Normanno

Castello Normanno

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you plan to do the Angel’s Flight, you will have limited time in town. You will not have enough time to visit the castle. I was able to get up to the entrance into the castle and take a few photos, but did not have time to pay my fee, enter the castle, and see the view. If this is something you want to do, you will have to return here after the Angel’s Flight, or extend your time in Pietrapertosa when you make your zipline reservations.

For us, it was not worth returning to Pietrapertosa after the zipline. The views from the zipline are incredible and it was not worth the hassle to drive to Pietrapertosa, park, and visit the castle for a slightly different view.

Chiesa Madre di San Giacomo Maggiore

This church contains frescoes and paintings from the 1600’s and 1700’s as well as an underground crypt. You will see the church from the outside while walking through Pietrapertosa (if you are doing the Angel’s Flight). If you want to go inside, you will have to return to Pietrapertosa after the zipline (or extend your time in Pietrapertosa).

Volo dell’Angelo (the Angel’s Flight)

Volo dell’Angelo is a series of two ziplines connecting Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. The entire experience takes about 2 hours, which includes the two flights, three rides on a shuttle, and a walk through Pietrapertosa. You can book the flights with more time in between, which gives you more time in Pietrapertosa. We’ll get more into that shortly.

You can start and end the zipline in either town. We started and ended in Castelmezzano, which is the more popular way to do this.

Here is an overview of the entire experience.

Check In

Before starting the zipline, you will have to check-in at the office. They will weigh you and anything you plan to bring with you and make sure you are wearing proper shoes and clothing. They will tell you your number in kilograms. Remember this number because you will need it both times you zipline.

Note: On their website, they state you must be wearing a T-shirt, not a tank top. If you are not wearing the proper clothing, you will not be allowed to zipline.

START: Castelmezzano

In Castelmezzano, you will board a small shuttle van at the intersections of Via S. Croce, Via Michele Volini, and SP13. It is a 5-minute shuttle ride uphill to a drop off point, high in the hills above Castelmezzano (not far from the scenic walk along Via Paschiere mentioned earlier in this guide).

From this drop off point, you will walk about 1 km on a paved path to the first zipline station. This walk does have some steep hills and takes about 20 minutes. This is the most strenuous part of the experience.

Walk to the Angels Flight Zipline

View of the last part of the walk to the zipline station, which is on top of the hill in this photo.

 Castelmezzano Zipline Station

Zipline station for the Castelmezzano to Pietrapertosa flight

Zipline to Pietrapertosa

At the end of the walk, you reach the first zipline station. You will be outfitted with a helmet and ziplining gear. This zipline is done “superman style,” so you will wear a harness with an apron.

Tim Castelmezzano Zipline Gear

You can zipline solo or as a couple.

If you have a small bag, that will be attached to your back (just make sure it can zipper shut, if not, don’t bring it along). I had a small purse that was attached to my back during the zipline.

Many helmets are equipped with a GoPro attachment, so if you have a GoPro, be sure to bring it. This flight is incredible!

From Castelmezzano, you will zipline across the valley to Pietrapertosa. This line is called the “Peschiera” line, it is 1,452 meters long, and you will reach a top speed of 120 km/hour.

It’s a thrilling flight, as you soar over the Dolomite spires and then watch as they drop away and fly over the valley below.

Castelmezzano Pietrapertosa Zipline Photo

The view from the zipline station, showing the arrival station and Pietrapertosa. You will ride a shuttle to get from the arrival station to Pietrapertosa.

 Volo dellAngelo Zipline Photo

Tim on the zipline.


Angels Flight Castelmezzano Photo

Julie on the zipline.


Volo dell Angelo Zipline

A view of the zipline between Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa


Pietrapertosa Zipline Arrival Station

The Pietrapertosa arrival station


The arrival point on the opposite side of the valley is just outside of Pietrapertosa. You will wait here while the rest of your group finishes their zipline. You can also purchase the photos taken during your flight. When we did this, photos were only taken on this zipline flight, not the one from Pietrapertosa to Castelmezzano. Then you will all board another shuttle for a 5-minute ride into Pietrapertosa.

View of Castelmezzano

The view looking towards Castelmezzano from the shuttle stop next to the zipline station.

We had about 15-minutes in Pietrapertosa before we needed to be at the second zipline station. This gave me barely enough time to walk up to the gates of the Normann Castle to take a few photos.

Pietrapertosa Rooftops



Pietrapertosa Street

Walking through Pietrapertosa

 Volo dell'Angelo Sign

Follow signs for Volo dell’Angelo


32 Pietrapertosa Italy

Pietrapertosa Produce Shop

Castello Normanno View

The view from the entrance into Castello Normanno


View from Pietrapertosa

The Pietrapertosa zipline station

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you want more time in Pietrapertosa, you can book your return zipline flight to Castelmezzano later in the day. We did the typical out-and-back flights which only gave us a little bit of time in Pietrapertosa. For us, that was fine, but if you think you would like more time here, adding on an additional hour would give you enough time to visit Castle Normann and not feel like you are in a race.

Return to Castelmezzano

From Pietrapertosa, you will zipline to Castelmezzano superman style. This line is called the “San Martino” line, it is just over 1,400 meters long, and you will reach a top speed of 110 km/hour. It’s another thrilling flight and enjoy those views of Castelmezzano…it’s better than any other viewpoint in and around town.

Angels Flight Castelmezzano

Things to Do in Castelmezzano

The view of Castelmezzano from the shuttle stop.

From this zipline station, you will board one final shuttle that will take you back to Castelmezzano.

When we did this, it took 2 hours, from 11 am to 1 pm. We booked our tickets the same day, but we were here in mid-October, which is the off season. We recommend booking your tickets online in advance to get the time slots you want.

For more information, including pricing, hours, rules, and regulations, and to make your reservation, visit the official website.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: You can also do this in the opposite order, starting and ending in Pietrapertosa.

The Seven Stones Path

The Seven Stones Path is a 2 km hiking trail that connects Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. This hike takes you through the valley and gets its name from a love story between a witch and a man. There are seven chapters of this story along this walk are told with stone sculptures.

On this walk, you will descend down into valley and then back up again, so it is a hilly walk. On average, it takes 1.5 to 2 hours one-way.

Italy Travel Guide

How to Get to Castelmezzano & Pietrapertosa

The best way to get to Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa is by car. Public transportation in this part of Italy is not as prevalent as in other places in Italy.

Here are driving distances and times from nearby destinations:

  • Potenza: 40 km, 45 minutes
  • Matera: 80 km, 1.25 hours
  • Bari: 150 km, 2 hours
  • Naples: 190 km, 2.5 hours
  • Salerno: 135 km, 1.75 hours
  • Rome: 400 km, 4.5 hours

How Much Time Do You Need in Castelmezzano & Pietrapertosa

For the best experience, plan on spending one day in Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. This gives you enough time for the Angel’s Flight zipline, to explore both towns, and have lunch and/or dinner. You can do this on a day trip from Matera or on a road trip through southern Italy.

WHAT WE DID: In the early morning, we drove from Matera to Castelmezzano. We spent the entire day in Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. We slept in a small B&B just outside of Castelmezzano. On the following day, we drove to Paestum and then along the Amalfi Coast to Positano. Our visit was in mid-October.

Where to Stay

La Casa Nel Verde. This is where we stayed and we chose it because it was the highest rated property on Booking.com during our visit. We had the apartment with mountain view, so we had a small kitchen and plenty of space. Our apartment was spotless, quiet, and very comfortable. It is a 5-minute drive from Castelmezzano.

La Gradinata B&B. This B&B also gets exceptional reviews. It is located on Via Roma, in Castelmezzano, so it has a great location if you prefer to stay in town. Rooms can accommodate two people and breakfast is included.

Casa delle Stelle. Rent a whole house and have a beautiful view of Castelmezzano. This one bedroom home has a kitchen and a balcony with a stunning view of Castelmezzano. It is beautiful inside, with stone walls and skylights in the ceiling.

Things to Do Near Castelmezzano & Pietrapertosa

Visit Matera. Matera is a little over an hour away by car and is not to be missed on a trip to southern Italy. This is one of the most picturesque towns in Italy and a delight to explore.

Puglia. Puglia is the heel of Italy. This is where you will find Alberobello with its conical huts, Polignano a Mare (a gorgeous coastal town), Lecce, the Gargano Peninsula, and numerous coastal towns.

The Amalfi Coast. Castelmezzano is less than a 2-hour drive from Salerno, the eastern gateway into the Amalfi Coast. These are too far apart to do a day trip to one or the other, but they can be combined on a road trip through this part of Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Castelmezzano famous?

Castelmezzano is known as being one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. With its location in the Lucanian Dolomites, it is also a top spot for via ferratas and to do the Angel’s Flight, a zipline that runs between Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.

Is Castelmezzano worth it?

This small, picturesque town is a hidden gem in Italy. Stroll the narrow streets, zipline to the neighboring town of Pietrapertosa, climb a via ferrata, and dine on traditional foods. If you are planning a trip to southern Italy, Castelmezzano is well worth it and just may be one of your favorite places to visit in southern Italy.

How much time do you need in Castelmezzano?

Ideally, plan on spending one day in Castelmezzano, in order to explore the town, zipline to and from Pietrapertosa on Volo dell’Angelo, and dine on local foods.

If you have any questions about things to do in Castelmezzano or Pietrapertosa, or if you have questions about the Angel’s Flight, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

PUGLIA: Read about 15 beautiful places to visit in Puglia, the best things to do in Alberobello, and check out our Alberobello Walking Tour. We also have a guide to the best things to do on the Gargano Peninsula and how to spend one day in Vieste.

MATERA: Matera is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy. Here is a list of the best things to do in Matera, where to eat in Matera, and the best viewpoints of Matera.

AMALFI COAST: Find out the best way to get around the Amalfi Coast and what it is really like to drive the Amalfi Coast. Learn about the best things to do on the Amalfi Coast, how to hike the Path of the Gods, and things to do in Ravello and Positano.

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary, where to eat in our Rome Restaurant Guide, how to visit the Colosseum, and where to stay in our Rome Hotel Guide. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.

ITALY ITINERARY: On this 10 day southern Italy itinerary, visit the Amalfi Coast, Castelmezzano, Matera, Alberobello, and more towns in Puglia.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Basilicata, and Puglia.

Castelmezzano Pietrapertosa Italy


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Comments 8

  1. Avatar for Michele

    Hi Julie
    Your website is awesome. Thank you so much.
    We are planning a 5 week trip to Switzerland & Italy in Sept/Oct, with part of it in Puglia and Basilicata. We have 10 days in this area and thinking we will fly into Bari from Venice, pick up rental car, stay near Locorotondo for 6 nights then drive via Matera to Castellmezzano for 2 nights to do zipline etc. and then drop car off at Salerno and catch train to Rome for our departure back to Australia.
    Does this sound like the right balance and enough or too much time anywhere? We don’t want to be on the move all the time hence the 6 night stay in Puglia.
    We may have a night in Salerno but it will be brief with the main reason being to catch train to Rome. I think this is possible from my research. Would there be a boat cruise from Salerno to see some of the coast? I’m having a hard time working out how much to drive, train and fly but hope I’ve now got the transport right as it can waste so much time.
    Thanks again for your amazing insights.
    Cheers Michele

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Michele. A 5 week trip to Italy and Switzerland sounds amazing! We had about 10 days in Puglia/Basilicata as well and it felt like enough time for use. We stayed in 3 different places in Puglia (Viestre, Alberobello, and Lecce), then Matera, then Castelmezzano, and then Positano, so it was a lot of moving around. Locorotondo has a great location so that will work well, there will just be a long driving day if you choose to go to Gallipoli or Otranto. There should be boat rides along the Amalfi Coast from Salerno. We haven’t done it but I am almost 100% certain that it is an option. You could do a Google Search for it or check GetYourGuide or Viator to see if any boat tours from Salerno are offered. But overall, it sounds like you have the transportation worked out, as you will need a car for Puglia and Basilicata and taking the train is a great way to get back to Rome. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please let me know. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Noelle C.
    Noelle C.


    I am traveling to Italy this week. I am scheduled to be in Matera on Oct. 29th and instead of going back to Lecce with our tour, we arr going to stay and take a taxi or something to Castlemezzano. Do you recommend anyone? I contacted Pellgrino taxi services out of Matera. Also after leaving Castlemezzano where should we be dropped off, in order to take a train back to Lecce ?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Noelle. I don’t have any drivers or taxi services in that area to recommend, since we had a rental car. Your Matera hotel is the best option for advice, since they will be familiar with the options. It looks like the closest train station to Castelmezzano is Albano Di Lucania. Potenza is a larger city with more options. Albano Di Lucania would be better, since it is closer, just check that that station will have a train line that gets you to Lecce. If not, then look into Potenza. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for April

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you so much for the supper fast response! Hope I can ask you another question 🙂 We will be in Rome for two days then go to Positano for two nights before going to Matera. Since we will need a car for Matera and also want to visit Pompeii on the way from Rome to Positano, logistically I think it makes more sense to pick up the car when we arrive in Naples from Rome then drive to Pompeii, I feel that this way we don’t have to worry about luggage storage and train/ferry schedule but I see most people suggested against driving to Amalfi coast area. I understand the drive is not easy and the parking will be expensive but do you think overall this is a bad idea? We will use bus/ferry service once we’re there and only want to use car to save time on travel days (Rome -Pompeii->Positano and Positano -> Matera). Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I think that’s a good plan. It can be challenging driving on the Amalfi Coast, because of traffic jams and the alternating license plate system in the summer, but in your case, you will need a car for the next part of your trip. Take a look at our Driving the Amalfi Coast guide for more info and so you know what to expect. But I agree that Naples is the best place to rent the car for the time that you will need it, and you will need it to get from the Amalfi Coast to Matera. The only other alternative that I can think of is to rent the car in Sorrento or Salerno on the day you leave the Amalfi Coast, but this will take a lot of time and prevent you from getting to Castelmezzano in time for ziplining. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for April

    Hi Julie & Tim

    Thank you for sharing all the very helpful info and inspiration. We decided at the last last minute to do our Italy trip this coming June so I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the planning but I’m so grateful for your site. We will be driving from Matera to Naples to return the car and catch the train to Florence but would like to stop by Castelmezzano to do the zipline so I’m trying to gauge the possibility. I checked their schedule and saw that they require 1-hr to check in before flight time so the doable time for us would be the 12:30PM flight (means we would need to arrive at 11:30AM). You mentioned that the whole experience takes 2 hours, I would like to know if that includes the time from start to finish including checking-in and getting ready for the first flight? Say if we booked the 12:30PM time slot, would we be done at 1:30PM or is it 2:30PM? We are not morning people so it’s probably hard to get there earlier but would love to squeeze it in if we can, you made it looks really fun 🙂 Thank you in advance and love your site!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello April. Thanks for writing in. The 2 hours does not include the check in; it is the start time, basically when you get on the first shuttle. It took us 2 hours from boarding the shuttle in Castelmezzano to getting off the final shuttle that dropped us off in Castelmezzano at the end of the experience. So, you will check in at 11:30 am for a 12:30 pm trip and should be finished at 2:30 pm. It’s a lot of fun and I hope you can fit it into your schedule! Cheers, Julie

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