The tiny village of Mensanello is situated 3 miles south of Colle Val d'Elsa, half way between Florence and Siena. This area witnessed countless conflicts between these city-states in medieval Tuscany and the ages have left their mark. The nearby towns San Gimignano and the walled city of Monteriggioni and several other small hamlets and castles still retain their fortified aspect, reflecting their defensive position from the days when the campagna (the countryside) was fit only for abbeys, monasteries, battles, and exile.
The Mensanello launch site is located on a spacious airfield surrounded by gentle rolling fields. It conveniently serves the southern Chianti region and is easily accessible from Florence and Siena. The fertile and scrupulously cultivated sienna red valleys mixed with woodland adjacent to Colle Val d'Elsa give splendid views towards San Gimignano, the Chianti region, and Monteriggioni, the walled city made famous by Dante.
On some days, a good breeze may take you right over to San Gimignano, or all the way to the Etruscan town Volterra. On other days, you may fly low over the silent landscape, a combination of husbandry with geological majesty. One might spot a family of deer or the elusive and clever wild boar trying to hide from the mysterious balloon gliding overhead looking for a place to land.
We fly in the early morning just after dawn. The inflation takes about 30 minutes, and the flight approximately 1 hour depending on wind and weather conditions. After landing, we load the balloon back onto the retrieving vehicle trailer that follows the balloon throughout the flight. Once the balloon is packed away, we move on to enjoy a marvelous champagne breakfast with local produce. After breakfast, we drive back to the launch field. The whole adventure takes about three and a half hours.
Although we fly all year round, the "ballooning season" is approximately late spring to early autumn with annual variations. Weather in Chianti can be tricky and unpredictable, especially in early spring; but the months of the summer are regularly good for ballooning. Winter flights can be absolutely breathtaking, with sharp clear views and incredible palette of colors of the land; looking directly into the almost leafless forests covered with a veil of white frost. The silver olives and the barren vines look just stunning. In winter, takeoff is a little later in the morning, as the weaker sunshine is not as hot as in spring. As all flights are subject to wind and weather, obviously these winter flights are not as regular as during the ballooning season.
Flights are subject to weather conditions, and for safety, we fly only in the calmest of conditions.
Tel: +39-055-8077940 Email:
338 9077070 Gianna Volpi mobile +39 335 6233934 Stefano Travaglia
Sede Legale STRADA DEL CERRO 3, 50028- TAVARNELLE VAL DI PESA -FIRENZE-
Associazione Aerostatica Toscana
to find us : 43º33' 52.05" N 11º11' 56.32"E
Certified Commercial Air Operator
ENAC COA I - 155 - B -
ENAC COLA I - 091- LA n. 5569