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03 April1927
Balloons at the Arena di Verona
Aleardo Felisi
Music by Mattis Appelquist Dalton. Mix audio Théophile Gagnard & Pierpaolo Ovarini

Hot air balloons at the Arena in Verona only at first glance appear to be an exceptional, unique, never-before-seen event. Instead, in the 1920s, several competitive displays were counted. After the fox-hunting competition 'Coppa Challenge', sponsored by the Aeroclub d'Italia in 1924, the same competition was held in the following years. Here we have that of 1927 - which, scheduled for 27 March, is postponed to Sunday 4 April due to bad weather - when Aleardo Felisi, armed with his 9.5 mm camera, films the starting stages. In fact, you can see the 'fox', which takes off before the others, and some of the balloons taking part in the competition taking off one after the other: the Ciampino XIV with Lieutenant Precerutti (already the winner in '24) on board, the Ciampino XII and one of the Indomito. The 'City of Verona Cup' that year was won by Lieutenant Colonel Leone, on board the Indomito II. And if in the amateur film these physics-defying shapes seem magnetic to us and the effect on the Arena is almost an abstraction of the location, it is clear that this spectacle is part of the race for the sky that characterised Italy at the time. The invention of the Montgolfier brothers, which dates back to the 18th century, and the more modern dirigibles are still aerostats to be admired in the skies, but they will not be considered suitable means of transport for passengers for much longer given their dangerousness and the many fatal accidents.