Bassano del grappa area - the monte grappa
bassano del grappa area - semonzo village
Semonzo lies at the foot of the 'Monte Grappa' ridge. The peak touches 1750m with the highest launch at 1580m.
The launch sites find themselves on the first foothills of the Southern Alps, just in front of the Feltre valley & the Dolomites.
The flying is a combination of both ridge and flatland XC. The wind is usually light enough to complete circuit routes, first along the ridges then out into the flats. However when the wind is over 10kmh we will run downwind, check the map for details.
Out front is the mainly flat Po basin dotted with small hills that can act as perfect trigger points. The primary routes use the main ridge as these flats out front depend obviously on the day. Launch is a leisurely 12 minute drive up an asphalt road which is extremely convenient.
This is more a relaxing flying holiday location & DEFINITELY NOT A "budget, drive for hours to the middle of nowhere, fly then drive back again paragliding trip."
Due to Bassano's location its unique microclimate is possibly one of the most flyable areas in Europe. The mountains here are relatively low but the huge mountains behind protect the site from strong north-winds that 'blow-out' the Dolomites, Feltre and sites further North.
Even in the winter, when the thermals on the North side of the Alps are sleeping, this area works really well. It's a great place to stay current throughout the winter months, without venturing too far south. Although, our courses start in May when the XC potential here really starts to get going.
Thermals can be moderate to strong, depending on the conditions, obviously. However, if we find it uncomfortable on the ridge, it is normally very nice in the flats making it possible for some interesting routes out there.
Often the thermals work with surprisingly little sun as there is such a huge area heating in front of the mountains. The mountains are the first big trigger. Soft smooth thermals trickle off the mountain side, which makes grabbing an hour in marginal conditions possible and a lot of fun.
Although close to the sea, this is not a major problem as base is normally between 1000-2000+m. On exceptional days base can reach over 3000m, but this is very rare.
Pilots on both our 'Pure XC' & 'Thermal & XC lite' courses will have retrieve back up with our driver Luigi, a great pilot with superb local knowledge. In effect, our courses feature two very experienced local guides.
The main landing area in Semonzo is at the Garden Relais Hotel, our base for these weeks, easily the best set up for visiting pilots. Land at the end of the day, pack up and you are home, plus it's got the best food in town.
Not to mention indoor and outdoor swimming pools, in addition to an extensive spa with wellness centre, great for non-flying partners.
This area is already very famous amongst pilots all over Europe. The sites have successfully held PWC competitions over the years and the local club reshaped the launch here in late 2016.
A great place to perfect Alpine and Flat-land skills alike, plus a fantastic place to train the subtleties of efficient climbing.
It's easily reached by flying to Treviso or Venice.
around semonzo - food & drink
Breakfast is served at the hotel from 7:30 - 10am, a huge and varied buffet. Well worth the stay there alone.
There are 2 main restaurants in the village, L'Antica Abbazia & Garden Relais. My favorite is Garden Relais with great food & wine, very reasonably priced.
The area is famous for its strong spirit called 'Grappa.' Very similar to Alpine schnapps but drink with caution.