Summer long Thermal courses in Ultra reliable Bassano del Grappa
See both XC & Thermal Courses in Bassano del Grappa, mix of mountains and flatland flying
XC Courses and Tours in Greifenburg, Drautal
Buy the Book, now available in EN and DE

OUR team

a little about us...

Kelly Farina, Austrian Arena main fly guide...

Kelly Farina - Author of 'Mastering Paragliding,'
Austrian Arena course leader & former British Paragliding Team member.

"After learning to fly in the UK I moved to the Alps in 1995 to learn about Alpine flying and I'm still here. I started Austrian Arena in 2002 when I realized the potential for motivated and recreational pilots alike to enjoy safe XC flights in stunning surroundings.

Since then we went on to expand our areas to include the ultra-reliable Bassano del Grappa back in 2006 & in 2007 the ever-impressive Dolomites joined our range.

After fighting with increasingly difficult conditions suffered by the North side of the Alps I had the easy decision to include Greifenburg to our list of areas in 2013. It has proved each time that we were right to offer it. The potential on even average days has impressed even myself. Adding Feltre to our pallet in 2018, which has become the area I am now most excited about.

Over the years I have worked out that being flexible is the key to success when looking for those extra special long-haul flights over amazing & technical terrain or just to have a fun, relaxing flying holiday away from over crowded skies."

BHPA Advanced Pilot rated with around 4,000hrs, mixed of both Flatland & Alpine.

Luigi Basilico - Retrieve Driver, Start Help & All-Round Great Guy.

Luigi has been flying since 1997 and moved back to Italy in 2004 after learning to fly in the UK, where he lived for over 25 years.

Now based full-time in Bassano del Grappa, he agrees that it has got to be the most flyable place in Europe.

When flying he is often seen as a speck way out in the flats or on some interesting line in the higher mountains. It is always a pleasure to fly with him. Unfortunately not that often these days as we keep him very busy driving, following our groups around the flat lands of Italy, most of the time arriving before they have finished packing up.

One of the most over-qualified start help/retrieve drivers in the history of paragliding. Without him things just wouldn't be the same!




BHPA Pilot Rated with around 3000hrs - mainly in Bassano del Grappa.

And never forgetting Otto - Forever Our Best friend.

After spending years in a cage, left alone 24hrs a day, Luigi rescued him and he was an integral part of Austrian Arena.

From cruel captivity to the Jet-Set lifestyle, riding shotgun in the van & staying in fancy hotels at 1800m, Otto was the Star wherever he went.

He was a rare breed, a bright light in an otherwise often dark World. Lifting the spirits of everyone his infectious soul touched.

He has gone too soon, but he taught us many things in his short life. How to love unconditionally & live in the moment. Cliches perhaps but Otto was as special as they come.

Sorely missed but we smile when we think of him, always...


RIP Otto - you're gone but not forgotten.

a few of kelly's results & high-lights

2009 - 2000

The Pushing Years

British Team member for the European Championships in Morzine, France, 2006
1st place Bleriot Cup, Col de Bleyne, 2005
3rd place Dutch Open in Piedrahita, 2005
3rd place Overall in Zillertal Championships, 2007
4th place overall in British Championship, 2005
4th place in Austrian Inter-Club Championship, 2006
4th place open class in British Open in Mayrhofen, Austria, 2005
5th place open class, 1st Brit in British Open, Montelegre, Portugal, 2006

3rd serial class in British Open in Castejon de Sos, Spain, 2004
3rd serial class in British Open in Piedrahita, Spain, 2003

10th place Austrian XC League, 2000

Axis UK Team member, winners of Spanish round, 2009
Airwave Team member, winners of Portuguese & Spanish rounds, 2006
Ozone Team member, winners of French round, 2001
Silver medal in team event of Austrian XC league, 2002

Highest FAI World Ranking Position (WPRS): 18th place, March 2006

Personal Bests

Zillertal - Tuxertal - Lend - Krimml 186km flat triangle, 2009
Zillertal - Tuxertal - Zell am See - Zillertal 160km flat triangle, 2006
Zell am See 140km out and return, 2000
Innsbrucker 110km FAI triangle, 2002

course reports & news

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price & course overview

Bassano del Grappa, Italy

Intro to XC £500
Pure XC £550

Drautal Courses, S. Austria

Greifenburg XC £650

All Prices above are excluding Accommodation.
See here for details.


Click here to preview a small section of the book

Mastering Paragliding
presented by XC Magazine
(Author: Kelly Farina)

Maps & routes

Turnpoint maps and routes around our different areas

View our Waypoint Maps and Typical Routes here

magazine articles

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View past XC Mag &
Skywings Articles


Talking to Gavin McClurg about all things paragliding

Listen to our Podcast on
'Mastering Paragliding'

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Listen to our Podcast on Advanced thermalling