Village of Castelmezzano
Shining city on the hill

Castelmezzano, Italy

What may appear to be an undulating ribbon of fire clinging to the side of a mountain is actually the medieval village of Castelmezzano, considered one of Italy's most beautiful and undiscovered places. The town is perched along the western side of the San Martino mountains in the southern part of the Italian Peninsula. The population of Castelmezzano has found protection on these craggy cliffs since it was first settled by Greeks around 2,500 years ago. The villagers who live there today speak a distinct but dying variant of Italian, and with an aging population, the village is hopeful it can find new arrivals who appreciate the old ways.

Looking for an unusual journey? Consider visiting Castelmezzano for the Volo dell'Angelo (Angel Flight), a high-speed zip line across the valley between Castelmezzano and neighboring Pietrapertosa that reaches speeds of more than 70 mph more than 1,300 feet off the ground. Hurtling through the air not your thing? Consider the enchanting Percorso delle Sette Pietre (Seven Stones Path), a literary walk based on ancient stories handed down orally. Each of the seven stations you'll visit has a huge stone statue that, as the visitor passes, activates voices and sounds, narratives and music. The 1.5-mile-long path connects the villages of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.