Tree experience

Take adventure to a new height

Alexandre Vladimir
June 4, 2009

Sunbeams shine through the Tuscan cypress. Below the Castle of Vincigliata, in the peaceful hills behind Fiesole, the Etruscans once watched the arriving Romans. There, high in the treetops, reconnect with nature as you climb, swing and walk on a tightrope.High in the treetops? The Adventure Park of Vincigliata offers four challenging routes run among the forest's trees: at three different heights: two, seven and, yes, ten meters high.There are many situations in life where we are not allowed to make mistakes: making a presentation, parachuting, on a date, motorcycling at high speeds or free climbing at heights in the nearby Maiano quarry. Here, however, safe in a harness connected to two spring clips and a pulley, you can test your limits-or discover that there are none in these surroundings.Consider Sara. On a recent morning, Sara was excited at the thought of traversing the treetops without fear of error. The perfect understanding and control of her body, self-confidence and the will to achieve keep her balanced and helped her win her battle with fear. Walking on swinging logs and cables at these heights triggers an adrenaline rush that increases her heartbeat. A deep breath of oxygen fuels her mind, increasing its ability to calculate balance. She pursues her task with stability by willing a lower heartbeat, feeling in her trembling hands ropes of the oscillating bridges between the wooden platforms. Focused on every step, her mind is detached from everything but her life. As she reaches the last platform, she feels a profound and immediate sense of achievement, having overcome natural boundaries and man-made hurdles that she earlier thought to be impossible. One can also take the challenge of hitting targets, similar to Inspector Callaghan's practice course. With a welcoming atmosphere and well-trained staff, the adventure park is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Do not fear fear. Try an afternoon in the treetops. For more information, see the Vincigliata Adventure Park's website at www.treeexperience.it.

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