Two beautiful small towns, perched on small hills over-looking their respective vallies are found in the middle of Italy’s central region of Umbria commonly known as the “Green Heart of Italy”, are proud to stage the 29th. edition of the Italian International Balloon Grand Prix after having staged the “Sagrantino Cup” for the past 7 years with the participation of circa 100 hot air balloons arriving ALL from abroad.
The event celebrate’s it’s 36th. year anniversary with this 2023 edition, having strenghtened during this time the general belief of being a truly “relaxed ballooning vacation” second to none on the international ballooning calendar.
It was with great pride that the organisation were able to announce that their 2020 event was one of only a very few international ballooning events of a “certain level” to have actually been held during the 2020 initial pandemic year………….Although this caused additional organisation for everybody involved again the event resulted in an enormous success and all teams returned home very happy they made the effort to attend!!
The event was staged the following year 2021 with great success which enabled the organisation to look ahead with confidence at repeating the experience for 2022 and securing once again a most enjoyable ballooning occasion.
Because it is anticipated that a relatively high number of participating teams (circa 100) will want to attend in July 2023 it has been decided to use again BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY the Parco Acquarossa airfield in the Gualdo Cattaneo area and Ponte Naia/Pantalla in the Todi area so as to take full advantage of all the various and wonderful options they each offer.
The Bennett Balloon team has now arrived safely back in the UK having had a fantastic time at the II° Sagrantino meet.
Thanks from all of us for all the hard work put in behind the scenes to produce such a great event. We loved the flying, the events you laid on, finding new restaurants and meeting new friends.
Thanks again for everything, we had a wonderful time.
Yours, Peter Dowlen. (England)
Hi Ralph, just to say how much we enjoyed the balloon meet. Great pilot packs with wine and the really lovely framed fabric. We thought the organisation was great with so much to do in the evenings. You should be very proud of what you have achieved. Well done to you. Very best wishes, Geoff Down. (England)
We like to thank you very much for all your work you have done for this (again) great event. We enjoyed ballooning and holiday in combination, had some nice flights, sights in nearby towns and some very relaxing hours just enjoying sunshine, pool and a good glass of wine or beer. As always, we have no fixed plans for every following year, but we’ll come back, sooner or little latter!
Dominik Haggeney (Germany)
We had a very good and relax drive back home. Ralph, this year it was really TOP!!
We were 9 days there, we had 9 flights….70 balloons…3 launch fields.. wine tastings…dinners…fantastic!!
We, Alda, my crew and myself like to THANK YOU so much for all your efforts….. It was really great!!.
Harry Vos. (Belgium)
Dear Ralph, As always we had a terrific time in Umbria at your event. Great flights, good company, wonderful Italy, delicious food and wine – what more can you ask for!!! We would like to thank you and everyone who made this happen and contributed (especially the people from La Veneranda, San Terenziano and Bar Cleri) for all your/their efforts to make this all possible. We will be on our way home to Germany tomorrow and are looking forward to seeing you all again next year. Take care and all the best Team 39 (Uwe, Dagmar, Rainer, Gaby and Georg)
Uwe Ehrenfeld (Germany)
It’s unbelievable again how you set up an event with 90 balloons during this difficult time. For that we give you the utmost respect. Full of power for everyone every day. Thanks very much! I don’t think there is a comparable event in Europe this year.. This year everything was again very good and well organized. Starting places, refueling, social program points were very good and nice. We always look forward to the evening at Roberto’s. I think the whole procedure for the notam also worked very well and everyone was very disciplined. you can see it works without a military sound :-). Of course, there were always small problems in some places, but she forgets them again at a nice event! We are definitely looking forward to next year and hope we can come to Todi for many more years to come
Many greetings from Munich
Mit freundlichen Grüßen Andreas Baus
Hi Ralph, thank you very much for this year’s event, its been totally relaxing.Your event has always been an intimate balloon meet which draws me to it. 1200 miles is a long way to come and the relaxed intimacy is what draws me to it. Personally I am a little concerned about your intention to create an event similar to Metz in terms of high number of balloon team participants which in my opinion would lose its appeal for many fans of your usual laidback and relaxed event. Please keep it as the world’s most relaxed balloon meet!! Bruce Harris (England)
Brucie, let this be the least of your worries, we have no Intention to make our event anything like Metz! Our event has success because it has always been and always will be a very relaxed meet and it is for this reason we can only accept entries for the first 100 balloons. We had 72 balloons this year and we will aim for a max. 100 next but that’s it no more ever!! THIS MUST ALWAYS BE A BALLOONING VACATION!! Ralph Shaw
Thank you Ralph. You gave us the perfect combination of flying and vacation. I remember your words “This is the most relaxed event in the world”. You are right, you going to see us again!! Pascal Maes (Belgium)
We may have travelled twice as far as those who went to Chambley, but we were so glad we’d chosen to go to Italy – Sagrantino to be precise, 30 miles south of Perugia… AEROSTAT/OCTOBER 2017
Derek Maltby (England)
2022 EVENT REVIEWS
Team 5 landed – Thank you all for this wonderful experience this year – looking forward to see many of you in the air again – Martin, Albert und Simon
Team Bridge number 75 landed 07:05. Last flight for us, now heading home. Thanks for a great event and many great flights! Safe landings everyone
Hi Ralph, just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to you and your team for organising a great event, I know it’s been tough but you pulled it off, now you can have a lie in Any way from Geoff and Mike team 18 Hasta la vista, baby
Team 51 and 22 landed, our last flight today, thanks very much Ralph, as always friendly meeting my always favourite, thanks very much from Rainbow Balloon Team 22 &51.
Coen van den Heuvel
Last flight for team 47 Joost & Coen today too. We had a great time, we enjoyed the surroundings of Todi very much! Thanks to the organisation of this great event and thanks to Bar Cleri
Hi Ralphie. Another fantastic flying holiday, great flying, beautiful countryside, plenty of sunshine, delicious food and wine. Lots of new friends. Thank you so much. We’ll be back next year. Love from Team 24
Thank you again for a really great event… we will definitely come back My and my family has enjoyed the stay and all 8 flights so much. Thank you all and especially Ralphie “The number one balloon vecation” A picture from today’s landing /Morten and Team 84
Mille grazie Ralph. Era il incontro migliore. Non vedo l’ora l’anno prossimo. X
Thanks to Ralph and his team for a wonderful balloon meet, from all in team 26. We hope to see you again soon. Safe travels home to everyone.
Thanks Ralph. Teams 9 and 10 hitting the road after a great week. Thanks to all – especially the gang at La Venderana. We’re just regretting not planning on staying for tomorrow as well. Andy and Colin and teams
Team Tico (83) on our way now back to UK. Thank you Ralph for another amazing event. We much appreciate all you do to make this happen and look forward to being able to join you next year.
Bonjour Raphl. Nous avons passé un tres bon séjour dans cette region à voler. Bonne continuation. Nous partons aujourd’hui du festival. Bernard
Team 7 will be leaving early in the morning, thank Ralph and your team for a great event. Hope to joint you again soon.
Hi Ralph. Thank you for fantastic time. See you in 2023! team 33
Hi Ralph, we are on our way back tot Belgium. Thanks for the organisation. We had a wonderfull week and everybody enjoyed each minute! Ciao! Team 27 Gaverzicht Hendrik Deleu
We had another fantastic time in the Sagrantino region, Ralphie thank you so much for all your team’s organization- we will be back next year – just let us know details when you can. Thank you so much.
Hi Ralph, we make today the last ride and go tomorrow back to Germany. Thanks for all work and Time there you gave for this amazing Event. We had a wonderfull week and everybody enjoyed each minute! We come next year again! Warm regards Team 88 Christian
Dear Ralph, We, Team 49 and 50, would like to thank you and your helpers for the outstanding organisation of this fantastic balloon festival. The last few days have given us a lot of pleasure and lasting impressions of the country and its people. It was a wonderful holiday with and in the balloon. We will be happy to come back next year if you can spare a place for us. It was also nice to meet so many teams from different countries. We thank you for the new friendships. Jacqueline / Martin and team.
Hi Ralphie, we’re going back to Austria tomorrow morning. Thanks for the wonderful relaxed days in this marvellous area. Inge+Richard+Team
Ralphie thank you very much h for your hospitality. My family and I had a brilliant time and go home with lots of great memories
Hi Ralph, we also did our last ride this morning. It was our first time in sagrantino and we enyojed it very much. Thank you to you and your team for this great experience. We are looking foreward to come again. Team 89 Martin
Hi Ralph. Sad for us, today was our last flight. Tomorrow we start our long journey home to England. With lasting memories and the thought of coming back next year, hopefully the time will pass quickly. Thank you, and all those you have involved, for making this so special for all of us. We are most grateful. Grazie mille! From Ian, Laura, Amber, Hannah & Sarah.
Thanks Ralph .Had a great time, thanks for all your hospitality. Gail, Wendy, Will. Team 8. One more flight to go
Thanks Ralph Team 52 the Brits and Aussies had a fabulas time met old and made many new friends. Thank you for your hospitality and all the organisation. Hope to see you next year. Graeme, Judy, Kevin and Bruce. Bee balloon.
Hi Ralph, thank your very kind hospitality, we had a wonderfull week here in Todi. All the best for you, and see you in the next year. Team 55 Sándor, Anikó, Sára, Linda
Hi Raph, we start our journey back to the UK tomorrow morning so today was also our last flight. This is our first time at Todi and the whole of Team 2 have really enjoyed it, including our two young children. Many thanks for your all your work to organise such a great event and we hope to be back in the future. Best, Mark Wrigglesworth
Team 69 have all arrived home safely and are already suffering withdrawal symptoms from our fantastic time at your Italian Grand Prix. I cannot thank you enough for your stamina and devotion to improving the event over the years. Long may it continue.
I fully understand the need for the new landing procedure and the fact that the balloon teams were happy to comply shows that they fully understand the shared airspace requirements with Perugia. This is a victim of your success in expanding the appeal to more balloonists each year.
Happy to understand you’re satisfied with your really beautiful balloon meet. From a pilot’s point of view I can tell it really was a very top one! Probably my very best ever one! I attended balloon meets all around for several years and I can tell your format is great and the idea of a ‘balloon vacation’ is a winning one, that’s for sure.
I’ll be glad to attend the next year event as well and as long as I do really understand all of the efforts you had to face for such a huge event.
2022 PRESS ARCHIVE