Epiphany signals the official end of the Christmas period, and in Mondovì, Italy, this is usually also marked by the Epiphany International Air Balloon Rally, which is the first significant event of the ballooning calendar. This year, however, an alternative event took place.
The rally is the country’s oldest ballooning event, and it attracts visitors from the world over. In what would have been its 34th year, the event was cancelled as a consequence of the coronavirus; however, that did not stop local ballooning enthusiasts from taking to the air to pay homage to this iconic ballooning event.
The hot air balloon festival usually takes place against the picturesque backdrop of the Italian Alps, with pilots departing from the aptly-named Balloonporto airfield. The stunning vistas that this Piedmont region affords makes this festival one of the most popular in the hot air ballooning community.
The Epiphany International Air Balloon Rally typically sees up to 50 hot air balloons, including special-shaped balloons, descend upon the town to glide through the crisp alpine air. The event features dawn launches and night glows. On this occasion, only a handful of enthusiasts gathered to take to the skies, but the sight of even these balloons gathered in the sky cannot fail to inspire those looking up at them from the ground.
If you want to get a taste of hot air ballooning adventures over similarly stunning landscape, hot air ballooning flights over Bath, Bristol and other parts of the South West can be booked.