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Winter Hot Air Balloon Fights in Italy

Our winter flying experience continued from France through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Mondovi in the Piemonte region of Italy where the towns annual balloon festival was being held. The region produces Barolo and Asti Supmante wines, truffles and balsamic vinegar.

Hot air balloons flying over Mondovi market place The Mondovi Railway viaduct viewed from a hot air balloon A frosting of snow on the rooftops make for a magical view from the hot air balloon Our reflection in a building as we fly past!
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The winds in the area are normally very light, as it lies between two mountain ranges that create something of a "bowl". A sprinkling of snow made the buildings in the city look as if they were frosted with icing as we flew in the company of up to 30 other balloonists over the town and surrounding countryside. The Italians love the balloon festival and you are welcome wherever you land and however low you fly over their roof tops.

Hot air balloon flying over Mondovi old town Looking down on Mondovi town centre and market place A stop to change passengers in the car park in the centre of Mondovi by the railway viaduct Our balloon recovery vehicle follows the balloon as it flies over Mondovi
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On one occasion we flew past a church tower as the midday bells were being rung. Clearly someone saw the balloon close to the church and rang every bell in the tower in an amazing peal, either to warn us of the church or to join in our fun!

Floating past church steeples A landing in the countryside The ground crew take an arty balloon picture Hot air balloon take off
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With so many churches in the area we were bound to land near one, but were inspired by the Cathedral or "Sanctuary" at Vicoforte near Mondovi which has the largest elliptical dome in the world we were told.

Italian folly in the English style? Some crazy bell ringers in this tower! Aerial view of Sanctuary of Regina Monte Reale Basilica in Vicoforte near Mondovi Landing by the Sanctuary of Regina Monte Reale
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