Europe's Newest High-Flying Attraction: The Ponte Tibetano di Sellano

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.07 - 2024 10:38 PM CET

World
Photo: nit.pt
Photo: nit.pt
Thrill-seekers, behold: Italy unveils the sky-high Ponte Tibetano di Sellano, challenging the brave at 175 meters up.

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Europe has a new "highest" badge of honor to boast about in the world of pedestrian suspension bridges, and it's not for the faint-hearted.

The Ponte Tibetano di Sellano, inaugurated on March 23, takes thrill-seekers on a breathtaking journey across a ravine at a dizzying height of 175 meters above sea level, extending over 517 meters.

This marvel of engineering not only surpasses Portugal's famous Arouca bridge by a meter but also adds an adrenaline-pumping twist with its ascending pathway and a floor that literally keeps you on your toes.

A Bridge Not Just for Crossing

Nestled in the heart of Italy's green Umbria region, the Ponte Tibetano di Sellano is more than just a path from one point to another.

It links the medieval village of Sellano to the Montesanto castle, traversing the scenic Valnerina valley.

The journey across this architectural masterpiece is a test of courage and endurance, requiring about 1,023 steps to complete within 30 to 45 minutes.

However, it's the bridge's unique ascending feature, with a 68-meter elevation difference between its start and end points, that makes the walk an unforgettable challenge.

Designed for the Brave

What sets the Sellano bridge apart is its "discontinuous floor," a design choice that leaves a gap between steps, offering a walk filled with heart-racing moments.

This feature, combined with certain sections where the floor solidifies to allow for photo opportunities and landscape admiration, adds to the allure of this newest tourist attraction.

Sellano's mayor, Attilio Gubbiotti, shared with the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” the ambition behind this project: to rejuvenate the area and counteract depopulation, especially after the 2016 earthquakes that left many nearby villages, like Castelluccio, in ruins.

The bridge symbolizes a beacon of hope for new businesses and the return of life to these historic lands.

An Adventure with a View

The bridge can accommodate up to 90 adventurers per hour, but not everyone can take on this challenge.

Participants must be at least 1.20 meters tall, in good mental and physical health, and importantly, not prone to vertigo.

Safety is paramount, with helmets and harnesses mandatory for all, while gloves are optional.

The experience costs 25€ ($27), with an optional 35€ ($38) package including shuttle service back to Sellano village.

Getting There

The adventure begins at Sellano village and is a one-way journey across the bridge.

The nearest airport is San Francesco d’Assisi in Perugia, with round-trip tickets from Lisbon starting at 543€ ($588).

Though a car ride is the most convenient mode of transport, taking less than an hour, public transportation options are available, albeit with a longer travel time of around three hours.

This architectural and engineering marvel is not just a bridge but a journey through Italy's green heart, offering an experience that blends adrenaline with breathtaking vistas.

As Europe's newest and highest pedestrian suspension bridge, the Ponte Tibetano di Sellano invites the brave to take a step into the void, literally and metaphorically, bridging more than just two points but connecting people to the beauty and resilience of Italy's Umbrian region.

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