Day Trips in Italy The Surprising Italy

Ferrara Balloons Festival – Italy’s Most Important Hot-Air Ballooning Event

Getting the balloons ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Tonight I have been sorting through my stash of photos from Italy, when I came across a folder I had completely forgotten about.

I mean, I can still vividly recall the event where I took them. After all, the Ferrara Balloons Festival is a really outstanding hot-air ballooning display with some of the wackiest and most original balloons you can imagine. But, the fact that I had taken these photos showing some of the highlights of the festival’s last year’s edition somehow had escaped my mind.

The Chicken and Noah's Ark balloons - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

I had never posted these photos on my blog and it is quite lucky that I found them tonight, as the new edition of the festival starts indeed tomorrow – 8th September 2017. It then goes on for nine days until the 17th. So, if you like what you see here and you are looking for fun and unusual events close to Vicenza, head over there this weekend or all of the next week.

After all, Ferrara is only about an hour away from here and, even without this festival, it is a great place to see.

In free fligh -, Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

In any case, Ferrara Balloons Festival happens to be Italy’s most important hot-air ballooning event and one of the largest such festivals in Europe. We went to see it in September 2016 not knowing really what to expect. As it turned out, it was great!

Imagine a large green park with a pond just outside of Ferrara’s historical defensive wall. Then, imagine a huge green field lined up with all sorts of pop-up eateries and numerous attractions and stalls.

Getting ready for the free flight - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

A whole corner of the place is set aside for local reenactment groups who have set up a medieval playground and all sorts of old arts and crafts stalls. Another corner is taken over by a group of bouncy castles, so kids are having whales of fun. Hundreds and thousands of people are milling around taking it all in.

Now, the most important bit is that in the centre of this large field, there are dozens of hot-air balloons.

Balloons taking off - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

From traditional ones to balloons the shapes of which are so unexpected that, while looking at them getting prepared to fly, you can’t help it but think: ‘But how is this thing going to get up in the air after all?’

Getting the Chicken balloon ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Getting the Orient Express and Noah's Ark balloons ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

There was a chicken balloon, a fox balloon, a Marge Simpson balloon and even a Noah’s Ark balloon and an Orient-Express balloon.

The Orient Express balloon - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Crazy, I know!

In free flight - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

It was quite magical watching the teams get their balloons ready for the flight. First, they will take them out of their custom-made trailers.

Spotted the Orient-Express balloon trailer here below?! This is what I call travelling in style.

Getting the basket of the Orient Express balloon ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016 - Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Then the heavy balloons would get unfolded on the grass, fired up and allowed to get filled with hot air, which would slowly start to shape them up.

Getting the Orient Express balloon ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Getting the Orient Express balloon ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

The huge mass would then slowly begin to hover above the ground, taking a more pronounced and defined shape with every fiery breath.

The Orient Express balloon - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Finally, people would climb in the baskets and the balloons would hang up mid-air, supported to the face of the Earth with the help of some thick ropes.

Holding onto the balloon - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Once released, they would fly up in the sky and the crowd below would cheer them up.

A great experience!

Off to the sky - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Hopefully, we will be able to make it to Ferrara again this year to re-live it all. The festival will be held from the 8th to the 17th September in the Bassani Urban Park. This year they have planned 3000 flights and 30 teams from Italy and abroad flying, among others, such novelty balloons as Woody the Woodpecker. The festival has been given the designation of ‘Italian Heritage’.

Getting the Orient Express balloon ready - Ferrara Balloons Festival 2016, Italy - www.rossiwrites.com

Have you been to the Ferrara Balloons Festival or any other hot-air ballooning event before? Did you fetch a ride in one of the balloons? How was it? Let me know.

 

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About the author

Rossi

Rossi

Hello! I am Rossi - a Bulgarian currently living in Italy after a 14-year stint in England. This is my blog about my life in these three countries, travels around Europe and opinions about the world we live in. For regular updates, please, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on social media online. You can also get in touch via the Contacts form or by commenting on the articles in my blog.

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