Flying over Lake Garda: this is how it went

Birds, Franco Battiato sang, change the perspectives of the world.

That's right: I was able to see it personally with my paragliding flight over Lake Garda.

Although I am an enterprising and even a little daring person (as a girl I ran as a rally pilot), I had never had the experience of flying over the lake yet. I saw them hovering above me and I stood there gaping at them, thinking: how wonderful that must be; I would love to see the lake from above.

You know how it is: daily commitments make the days go by without even realizing it and it was never the right moment.

Then the opportunity finally presented itself: I got myself this gift for my birthday and Mother's Day. What to say? Simply magnificent. And you really see things from a completely different perspective.

Paragliding over Lake Garda

You don't need a particular athletic training: paragliding is really suitable for adults and children, young and old. You don't even need specific clothing: sneakers or trekking shoes, long or short trousers depending on the season; a sweater (and windbreaker if it's cold). The technical equipment consists of a helmet and harness that wraps around the entire torso and to which the parachute is attached.

I had a perfect day to say the least: clear and with a light breeze (even if there seemed to be a strong wind up there...). Unless you are very experienced, it is best to avoid days with strong winds (in addition, of course, to rain and fog: you would not enjoy the view).

I left from Lido degli Ulivi in Toscolano Maderno, from where by jeep, with another aspiring flyer and their respective instructors, we climbed up to Monte Pizzocolo: a steep climb that puts a strain on the driver's ability but which already offers beautiful natural views.

Once there, on a very steep plateau, they made me put on a helmet and harness and spread out the parachute. When the ropes were taut, the instructor gave the go: I started running and I didn't seem to take a step because the parachute inflates immediately and tends to slow you down. When it opened completely I was already in flight without even realizing it: you get sucked in. In short, you don't have to throw yourself off a cliff, if that's what you fear...

Flying is done in pairs: you and the instructor who tells you what to do, how and when. And this immediately made me feel very calm. At the time of getting off the ground I was standing but immediately after the instructor made me sit down (me in front, him behind) explaining how to do the maneuver. And then 15-20 minutes of pure magic began.

How to have wings

It's actually like having wings: you fly. At 40 km per hour. The only sound I heard was the wind whistling in my ears. In front of and below me the lake in all its beauty. I enjoyed recognizing the places, the individual houses, the buildings. I saw all the details up to the opposite bank of the Garda. Sirmione, Bardolino, I had them all there at my feet!

I asked for a quiet flight, to be able to enjoy the view, but the instructor is able to offer a more adrenaline-pumping flight, taking fast currents, doing twists or other maneuvers. The choice is yours.

Until it's time to land. A good instructor manages to take advantage of all the currents and make the flight last as long as possible, but sooner or later the parachute starts to lose altitude and you have to prepare for landing.

The instructor starts his maneuvers and you can choose whether to land sitting or standing with a light jog: I chose the latter. The landing was soft and calm (even if, I have to tell you, the other day an instructor ended up in the water but luckily he was alone…). I landed there from where I left with the jeep: the Lido degli Ulivi.

The last operation, once the helmet and harness were removed, consisted in delivering the photos and videos of my flight shot by the instructor with the GoPro: in a few moments I had everything on my mobile phone, to relive the emotions of the day .

In all, it doesn't take more than a couple of hours, but what you bring home is an unforgettable experience. From up there it's a completely different thing: it's a priceless show. You see things from an unusual point of view; from an unusual perspective, in fact. I really felt like a seagull.

Of course, if you too want to experience the thrill of a flight over Lake Garda during your stay here at Garda Holiday Homes, all you have to do is ask and I will organize everything for you.

I'll wait for you.

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