Those arriving from North America in particular will notice that costs are much higher than they’re used to, partly because of the much higher cost of aviation fuel and higher landing fees.
You must be licensed before you can fly solo and all craft must be registered with the Aeroclub Italiano, Cesare Beccaria, 35/a, 00196 Rome (06-3608 461, www.aeci.it).
Other aerial sports such as hang-gliding ( deltaplano), paragliding ( parapendio), parachuting and hot-air ballooning are all popular in Italy, particularly in the Alps and Dolomites, where the main season runs from June to October.
For obvious reasons, all such activities require beginners to undergo an extensive training programme leading to internationally recognised qualifications.
However, it’s usually possible to try these sports by taking a tandem flight with a qualified instructor for a reasonable fee to see whether the freedom of the skies appeals as much in reality as it does in theory!
For further information about free flying, especially hang-gliding and paragliding, contact the Federazione Italiana Volo Libero, Via Salbertrand, 50, 10146 Turin (011-744 991, www.fivl.it).
This article is an extract from Living and Working in Italy. Click here to get a copy now.