Cooling down in Bassano

Episode 15 of our European Overland trip 2020

For those who prefer the vlog, it’s at the bottom 😉

Edgar’s favorite flying site is Monte Grappa near Bassano del Grappa. It’s the most southern ridge of the Dolomites with great views over the mountains in the north and the Po Valley in the south. When the weather is good, you can even see the city of Venice and have great cross country flights to any direction from here. We’ve flown from Bassano with our hanggliders; a ramp that requires assistance and courage!

The site is flyable all year round because of micro climate at this location. It comprises of seven launch areas (some more difficult than others) and two landingfields and there is a shuttle from Garden Relais. Lot’s of schools come here with their students and as it is very populair amongst both hanggliding and paragliding pilots, it can be very busy on launch and in the air.

After a long drive up with 26 hairpin bends and a challenging tunnel without a height indication, we make camp at the Panettone launch (1563 m) just below the World War I monument on Monte Grappa.

We prefer staying on the mountain because of the views, the possibility to launch directly next to the cars and it’s great to have our little off the grid camp. And it’s a lot cooler too!

As cloudbase is rather low and the air a bit turbulent we make some small flights and enjoy the Italian kitchen at Garden Relais (landing field). Here it’s either steaming hot or raining with cats and dogs and lot’s of thunder. Thank god for Italian icecream!

There’s an upside to bad flying weather; you finally get to be a tourist. We’ve been coming here for over more than 15 years, but I (Daphne) have never visited Bassano in all that time. So we visit Bassano on a moment that the sun comes out at the end of a rainy day. It’s a nice town but quite touristical. Because of corona it’s not very busy and the terraces are almost empty.

On the last day here we visit the monument on Monte Grappa (1776m). An impressive site and the largest Italian military ossuary of World War I. The building contains the remains of almost 23.000 soldiers; 12,615 Italians (of whom 2,283 have been identified) and 10,295 Austro-Hungarians of whom 295 have been identified. At the center of the Italian ossuary is the chapel of the Madonna del Grappa. From the top of the mountain you have a great 360 view over the Po Valley and the mountains in the north. And our next destination; Feltre.

For more information about the flying area of Bassano, here’s the link.

Carolien and Edgar also have a blog and share their travel stories. Go to Follow the Red Dot, for their blog on our joint trip and other adventures.

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