Ballooning in Tuscany

March 25, 2009 / Local Interest
Val d'Orcia
balloontuscany1Dawn. Who gets up at this ungodly hour? Well, if you are visiting the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, there are several wonderful reasons to do so. One of my favorite reasons involves ballooning over the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Come along for the ride!

So you wake before sunrise, stretch and shower and head out to seek the day’s adventure. You drive through tiny little villages bumping over the twisty, windy country roads in second gear, the sun just starting to peek at you on the horizon. Roll down your windows and listen to the beautiful silence.

balloontuscany2After a cup of tea it’s all hands on deck – time to prepare for launch! Big fans get the balloon started and the burners finish the job… then watch as the balloon slowly rises. Everyone clambers in the basket, none too gracefully, but you make it. The takeoff is gentle and you find yourself thinking of the Wizard of Oz for some strange reason.

You’ll spend the morning just dreamily wafting along with the gentle breeze, over the Crete Senesi, hill towns in the distance. Families staying in villas (with huge blue pools) will come out and wave as you waft by. Dogs will bark and run along beneath you, horses will curiously line up to watch, and sheep and deer will run startled from your shadow. Robert, your host and pilot, will give a very entertaining patter on the local history, food and wines. Look, there’s Montalcino – let’s go there for lunch!

The landing is just as graceful as the launch and Robert has chosen it with care. You will have noticed that Liz, his wife, was tailing you the entire time and you soon find out why. It’s time for the traditional champagne breakfast! Toasts all around for an amazing morning.

Scroll down for more amazing photos. Thanks, Beth! Also, a note on Robert and Liz, Tuscan balloonists extraordinaire, coming soon!




Elizabeth Anderson

by Elizabeth Anderson

You can see some of her great photos at

16 Responses to “Ballooning in Tuscany”

  1. Dorothy Barrie

    Looks like such fun. Where exactly in Tuscany is this. I would certainly like to try it when I am there this summer. Thanks for this the photos make you want to be there.

    Dorothy Barrie

  2. Lesley Nathan

    Ballooning in Tuscany, I took this trip with Robert and Liz about 3 years ago. It was amazing. I have photos of sunflowers where the basket came down and kissed their tops and then we went up and over the house we were staying in just outside of Buono Convento! Absolutely marvelous!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Truly spectacular and just as (if more) beautiful from the air.
    Thank you!

  4. Fantastic photos and ballooning, my n┬░1 item on universal wishlist. I will look into it and report back. Congratulations on this great entry, Italian Notebook! I have contacted the author paying my homage there as well. Now I want to see the champagne breakfast photos and find out the address to Robert and Liz!!!

  5. Hello everyone,

    Wow! I am so flattered, thank you so much! I will dig up some more photos and post the link here later (so please do stop back).

    You may find Robert and Liz at They live in Montisi, which is near Pienza.

    They are utterly delightful – warm and hospitable. I have gone ballooning with them twice now and have visited them (without ballooning) as well. After one ballooning adventure, they took us to Bagno Vignoni for a stroll, biscotti and caffe.

  6. Just went through your slide show – I feel as if I just took the hot air balloon ride myself over Tuscany. Thank you so much for posting these lovely photos and transporting us over Tuscan skies!!

  7. Lesley Nathan

    I have posted some other photos at as well….Enjoy!


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