Tuscany Ballooning was our most magical morning in Florence, watching the first rays of sun paint Tuscan cypress-studded hills, vineyards, ancient castles and renaissance villas in solid hues of gold. We had to pitch ourselves to make sure that what we were seeing was not a painting but a reality! If you would have asked me what is the one thing to do in Florence, this is it. Flying high at the altitude of 6000 meters and going wherever the wind takes you! It was such a free and magnificent feeling.
Taking hot-air balloons is a guaranteed way to rekindle a love of air travel and an extraordinary opportunity to witness the world’s most beautiful landscapes. We have done quite a few but this one is by far the best! It is the kind of an indulgence that you will be talking about long after you are back on the ground.
We chose Tuscany Ballooning, a professional Italian company that operates throughout the country. The company is family owned and provides such heart-warming services. Their Chianti base is only 25 minutes from Florence city center so we decided to go there in our red Vespa.
But it was the longest 25 minutes of my life, it was 7 degrees (because it was before Sunrise, oops forgot, during the day it’s 21 degrees!) but the worst part was the wind breezing down on us as they rode our Vespa. I was wearing my leather jacket, red silk dress and a pair of open toe high heels. I know, right? In Sweden there is a saying that there is no such thing as cold weather, only wrong clothing. I would like to say I agree wholeheartedly. Upon arrival, I swear that my toes are completely frozen and if I stumble up them, I would break them. The team immediately took us into the car and turned on the full heater, after 20 mins we were back in business. Thank you to the great hospitality of the Tuscany Ballooning team! Tip, which should be obvious already, is to go there by car.
The adventure begins as soon as we arrive at the launch spot as we watch the balloons inflating in front of our eyes before the breaking of dawn. This view never gets old. And the hot air does keep you warm so that is perfect (another tip would be to wear multi layers of clothing so you can peel them off and put them back on as needed, the weather does get hot later in the day!).
Once our pilot and the crew have done the final checks and safety briefing, we climb up into the basket and up we go, chasing the morning Sunrise! There is nothing quite like floating and gliding over endless hills, valleys, and vineyards above the morning mist in Tuscany. Soft rays of the first lights gently touch the horizon then slowly move their way down onto the ground.
This must be a way the sun hugs our mother earth. This is the true beauty of Tuscany. Upon landing we enjoyed our Prosecco breakfast paired with fresh Tuscan local fruits, cheeses, meats and breads in a picnic style. We could not have asked for a more perfect way to speak our morning! We are very much looking forward to our future balloon!
Cheers to a beautiful life!