Our meeting point is a small parking area at Hotel Villa Belvedere just off the Autostrada between Florence and Siena. From the Autostrada, turn off the Colle Val d’Elsa Sud junction towards Colle Val d’Elsa. After 100m, at the roundabout, turn first right towards Colle Val d’Elsa/San Gimignano/Volterra (SP5). After 200m, on your right, you will see the sign for Hotel Villa Belvedere. The parking where we meet is just by the road.
We will decide the exact launch site in this area when we meet in the morning of your flight. Our choice is governed by weather conditions and/or logistical factors.
The launch sites are situated close to the geographic centre of the Chianti region 12-15 miles south of Florence along the Pesa valley, close to the ancient crossroads of two Roman roads — the “Via Cassia” leading from Florence to Siena and on to Rome, and the Via del Chianti towards San Donato and Castellina in Chianti.
From here, you will fly over the legendary Chianti landscape with its hilltop towns, castles, valleys, famous vineyards, and mixed woodlands. A powerful landscape, one of the most civilised rural scenes on earth, cultivated tranquillity of olives, vines, and corn. The olives’ silver and the many variegated shades of green appear as a veil over elemental majesty and silence. On clear days in the distance you can see Florence to the North and the Apennine mountain range in the background; to the West you can see the Elsa valley, Certaldo, and Volterra and the sea in the far distance. To the South you can see Poggibonsi, Colle Val d’Elsa, Siena and Monte Amiata in the distance. To the East you can see the higher Monti del Chianti and mixed oak woodlands.
As with any commercial flight, if you miss your flight no refund will be due but if you think you are going to be late you can try to contact the pilot on the mobile number you will be given after you have booked your flight. There is no guarantee that you would be able to contact the pilot in the morning since the mobile phone signal might not be good at the launch site and after the balloon is inflated, about 20-30 minutes after the meeting time, it might not be possible to delay the launch. If you miss your flight we would try to fit you in to a flight one of the following mornings, subject to available spaces.