Leonardo da Vinci said: “When you walk on the ground after flying, you will look at the sky because you have been there, and there you will want to return”. This citation will come to mind after trying the flight of the angel in the town of Rocca Massima, or ‘Flying the Sky’, that follows the flight route of the peregrine hawk.
Flying in the Sky near Rome
Man has always wanted to fly: he, terrestrial creature, who has managed to explore the seabed, to sink into the depths of the Earth and to conquer even outer space, constantly yearns to be face to face with the sky.
Since he has no wings man invented them: Icarus tragically tried to build himself wax wings; Leonardo dreamed it, half a century ago, when he imagined the first flying machines. Today, also thanks to his studies, man can finally fly through the skies around the globe by aeroplane, and man comes close to flying by way of extreme sports where speeds of up to 200 Km per hour are reached.
And man’s flight resembles, in this second case, that of a peregrine hawk that is very fast, especially when swooping, and is considered the fastest animal in nature, even more so than the cheetah.
These were the considerations that went through my mind on the eve of my twenty-fifth birthday. I also want to fly, challenge the laws of physics and hover in the sky like the peregrine hawk. But a bird flies because it must fly; I wanted to fly because I was hoping for a feeling of uncontrollable happiness!
With FLYING IN THE SKY I can make my wish come true because, in 2014, Rocca Massima, the highest village in the Province of Latina, inaugurated the longest aerial cableway in the world that was dedicated to all those who, like me, are cold-blooded and want to test their courage.
The adrenaline runs along a steel cable of 2225 meters, darting at a speed of over 150 km/h, simply hanging from a contraption hooked to a pulley and suspended in mid air.
I booked 2 tickets: I certainly could not forget my best friend John, inseparable adventure companion.
Finally, my birthday arrived, we headed to Rocca Massima driving along a panoramic road full of bends that would delight any rider, especially those who, like us, are riding a motorbike.
At the top we are greeted by a breathtaking view that captured our senses: the scenery extended from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Abruzzo Apennine Mountains along an area of great naturalistic value characterized by vast olive groves and karst areas, as far as the slopes of Mount S. Angelo, where the peregrine haewk nests, the splendid predatory bird and unwitting inspiration of a birthday that I will never forget.
On this wonderful day at the end of September, I am am visibly excited as I get in line to wait for the launch of other people and shortly after it is my turn.
A girl helps me to put on my “artificial feathers”: the harness, a helmet, goggles and a micro-camera attached to my helmet. So concentrated listening to the advice received, ”Put yourself in a horizontal position and stretch your legs”, I barely had time to say “Here we go!”, before being unhooked and left sailing into the air.
A jump into the clouds and immediately afterward an abyss opened under my feet, I no longer touched the ground. I became weightless and hovered under the sun.
It was a magical moment full of pure madness. My heart accelerated the beats due to emotion and natural fear.
Actually, my feet have always been on the ground, it is my head that is sometimes in the clouds. But then, challenging gravitational laws, both were feeling light and it seemed as though I could touch the clouds.
I was flying!
Below me there were meadows, expanses of olive trees, microscopically small houses and human beings similar to ants waving their hands in greeting.
In front of me there were mountains that have never seemed so high, but then they seemed friendly to me.
Alone with the abyss, the sky, the deepest part of myself. I felt free and happy, lulled by a light breeze blowing. This was what I wanted, feeling for just a minute like the master of the world: of the sea, of the sky, on the earth and the underground. When I finally put my feet back on the ground, I felt like I had done something unique and memorable.
“Open your heart more, you are not a prisoner, you are a bird flying in the sky in search of dreams” (Haruki Murakami). For a wonderful and unforgettable moment, thanks to Flying in the Sky, my dream came true and I also became a peregrine hawk.