We schedule hot air balloon rides morning and evening, seven days a week, all year round in Italy. This varies in some areas and by the end of October to end of February some flights will take place morning and afternoon.
In the early morning conditions are best for ballooning . During the main part of the day the sun reflecting from the ground heats the air above causing thermal activity and bubbles and pillars of rising air. These thermals cause unstable air which makes it difficult to control the hot air balloon.
A hot air balloon ride with us lasts for around one hour, depending on prevailing weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, but you should allow at least three hours for the whole experience.
We have several launch sites in Italy; in Tuscany, we fly near Florence, in Chianti, Siena, Lucca, Crete Senesi, Montisi, Lake Bracciano, Volterra; in Lombardy near Milan; other locations are close to Turin, Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Rome. Please see our locations section for full details.
During the day, the sun heats the ground which in turn heats the air above causing thermals or columns of rising air. These thermals cause updrafts and downdrafts which affect a pilot’s ability to safely control the altitude of a hot air balloon. Lower temperatures in late October mean these conditions are not as common which allows day flights to take place.
These are some approximate meeting times. You will be given the exact meeting time when you call the flight confirmation line.
Time of Year : morning = A.M. afternom =P.M.
month A.M. P.M.
January 9:30 14:00
February 9:30 14:00
October 8:00 15:30
November 9:00 13:30
December 9:00 13:30
PLEASE NOTE: These are only approximate times which can vary by an hour each way and depend on weather conditions and regional variations. Call the flight line on your booking confirmation for your exact time.
We are insured for public and third party.
Sometimes up as high as 5,000 feet – although this depends on airspace and it does vary from area to area and time of the year flown. Even at a few hundred feet the views are incredible and over 1,000 ft you can start to see for miles!
Hot air balloons cannot be steered in the normal sense as they travel on the wind with skilled pilots controlling the altitude by heating the air inside the balloon. How far you will fly depends on the wind speed. It also depends on how long it takes the pilot to find a suitable landing spot. You could fly a relatively short distance or as far as 20 milia.
Hot air balloons cannot be steered as they travel on the wind and you never know where exactly you are going to land. The pilot will start looking for a suitable landing site after around 45 minutes. The retrieval crew will track the balloon on the ground and aim to arrive shortly after landing.
That’s no problem as you can cancel your booking by calling or emailing us in line with our cancellation policy:
You can cancel up to 30 days before the flight date there is no charge.
If you cancel within the final 30 days up to 72 hours before a 25% cancellation fee applies.
If you cancel within 72 hours before the flight you will be charged 100% cancellation fee.
Don’t forget – ballooning is a weather dependent activity, if the flight has to be cancelled and cannot be re-arranged at your convenience then there is no charge, no cancellation fee.
You can request an exclusive flight / private, book the entire balloon just for you.
Flying in a balloon is a very serene experience while in the air, but it is an adventure activity in the great outdoors and sometimes on landing the basket can tip and/or drag along before coming to rest. This is how balloons have been landing for over 200 years and is perfectly normal. The balloon and basket are designed for your comfort and safety throughout the flight. During landing you will be in the safe, seated landing position within the basket as instructed by your pilot. The landing is an exciting part of the experience and in many cases people say it is their favourite part of the flight.
We would love to be able to promise this but, obviously, as hot air balloons cannot be steered, it’s a bit tricky. If you take off from a launch site in your home town or county and the wind is on your side, it is possible you’ll see your home. But, to avoid disappointment, please don’t expect it.
Spectators are welcome but please let them know that there may not be toilets or other facilities at the launch site. We would not recommend that spectators try to follow the balloon by road for safety reasons. Passengers will be transported back to the launch site after the flight, around 3 to 4 hours after the initial meeting time.
No, you will need to make your way to you launch site before the flight and our balloon crew will transport you back there after the flight. You will then need to make your own way home.
We recommend clothes suitable for a walk in the country depending on the time of year and on the specific day you are flying. Generally warm, comfortable layers are a good idea, plus a cap or other hat for the warmth from the burners. Depending on conditions, you may be walking in wet, muddy fields so sensible shoes or trainers are essential.
Usually passengers are asked to help with the inflation and deflation of the balloon which most people really enjoy. This is much appreciated because it helps to make the process much quicker for everyone. So we also recommend you wear clothes which you don’t mind getting a little dirty. No designer wear, flip-flops or high heels please as we are unable to accept responsibility for any damage to clothing and anyone who is dressed inappropriately may not be allowed to fly.
Yes, you can bring a camera, binoculars or camcorder as the balloon makes an excellent platform for photography. They must not be in metal cases and they are carried at your own risk. Some of our pilots in certain areas offer an in-flight photo service and if this is available they will explain this to you on the day.
YOur hot air balloons are very large and, once inflated,from 25 to 33 meters high. They take between 2700,00 and 10,000,00 Cubic Feet of air to fill.
Our balloons have baskets which carry either: 4, 5, 8 or in most cases 16 passengers at a time. The balloon basket is split into compartments with one, two and four people in each, so you have your own space and can enjoy an intimate experience with your guest.
In order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone who flies, passengers must be satisfied they are physically able to take part in the experience. This means that they can climb in and out over the sides of the basket , stand unassisted for an hour and adopt the bended knee seated landing position. Passengers must also be able to fully understand and follow all instructions given by the pilot and react quickly to them in the unlikely event of an emergency. Under Civil Aviation Law the balloon pilot has a duty of care for all passengers and, ultimately, it is their decision if someone is able to safely participate on the day. Please see the sections on age & weight restrictions, medical conditions, pregnancy and disability below.
Children must be aged seven or over and at least 1.0 m tall. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We know that our passengers come in all shapes and sizes, but due to weight and space restrictions of hot air balloons and baskets, anyone who is over 20 stone ( about 130 kilograms ) will be required to pay a supplement. You can call our customer service team to discuss this before booking.
Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to fly women who are pregnant. However, if you become pregnant when you already have a voucher, we will extend the validity until after you have had the baby. All you need to do is contact us.
All passengers should be sure they do not have any pre-existing medical conditions which could be affected by the ballooning experience or could prevent them from safely taking part and should seek professional medical advice if unsure. You must not fly if you are suffering from any significant medical condition or if you have recently undergone major surgery. We require you to tell us about any medical or physical condition that could be considered to affect your safety or the safety of others. We may request a certificate of fitness to fly from a doctor or specialist.
We make every effort to ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in balloon flights with us wherever it is possible and safe to do so. As everyone’s particular situation is different and some disabilities present greater challenges than others in the unique context of ballooning, we require you to tell us about any disability before purchasing a flight voucher or booking a flight. This is so we can best advise you; consider any necessary arrangements to accommodate you, if we can safely do so, and to ensure we fully attend to our duty of care for all passengers’ safety. We can provide information about disabled facilities at specific launch sites on request. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to fly anyone who requires a wheelchair.
No, our pilots are all qualified and highly experienced and we think it’s best to leave the actual flying up to them. However, they will be happy to answer questions about how they got into flying balloons and how it all works. See the Meet the Pilots section in About Us for more information.
Hot air ballooning is an extremely safe activity which is highly regulated in the UK with strict safety guidelines. We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and all of our hot air ballooning pilots hold full commercial pilot’s licences. We also use the latest equipment and have the most modern fleet of balloons operating in Italy.
Balloon Team Italia is insured for public and employers liability so if you fly with us you don’t need to worry about insurance.
The weather is our friend because it is what makes every flight unique but, unfortunately, we cannot control it (no matter how hard we try!). This means sometimes pilots will cancel flights because the weather conditions are not safe to fly in.
Our pilots are all highly experienced and they decide whether it is flyable. We are not allowed to question a pilot’s judgment as this could be seen as pressuring them to fly which could compromise safety.
Our pilots put your safety first at all time. When cancelling a flight, either on the flight line beforehand or occasionally on site, the pilot will usually try to offer some explanation as to why. Our pilots make their decision to fly based on the most relevant and up to date forecast available just before they set their flight line message. Sometimes the actual conditions may be different to what was forecasted. There are also different forecasts and they can be interpreted in different ways. So, like all weather people, we do occasionally make mistakes but unfortunately we can only go by what the forecaster says and some forecasters are better than others. We can tell you some of the general reasons why a pilot may cancel a flight.
The wind at ground or gradient level (2,000ft) or the gust speed might have been too strong and outside operational limits.
Rain may have been forecasted in the area. We cannot fly in rain because it means there will be poor visibility and it also makes the balloon heavier to fly. Getting a balloon envelope wet can lead to some damage.
Thunderstorms or CB (Cumuli Nimbus) clouds may have been forecasted. These are dangerous and we would not fly in their vicinity.
If yours was a morning flight, the visibility early in the morning during our flight period could have been poorer than later in the day.
There may have been a wind direction which would have taken the balloon towards something unsuitable, like a large town or restricted airspace.
Our pilot’s decision whether to fly is not related to what other balloonists decide. Our pilots consider all the weather factors and make their own decision, always putting your safety first.
The other balloon could have had better shelter at take-off from the wind on that particular wind direction.
It might be a private balloon and they can legally fly in much poorer visibility than balloons on public transport licences like ours. Private balloons are also generally a lot smaller and therefore easier to inflate and land.
Don’t worry , if we have to cancel your flight because of weather or other reasons outside of our control, we will try to re-schedule your flight during your stay in Italy. If there is no other possible day, we will cancel your booking, in this case there is no charge. No flight – no charge
Will be retained only costs € 10 if there have been transactions.
Sometimes a flight will be moved to a back-up site because the forecast conditions are not flyable at the original launch site, because the wind direction from there is not suitable (i.e. going towards a large town, an airport or out to sea) or because the site is otherwise unavailable or unsafe to fly from. Back-up sites are alternative locations which give flights improved chances of going ahead and your pilot will advise you of this on your flight line.
Please ensure that you have all maps, directions and transport arrangements in place to get to all of the potential launch sites on the day of your flight.
Once you have a voucher and book onto a specific flight, you will receive a booking confirmation. This will include your dedicated flight line phone number which the pilot will update to let you know if the flight is going ahead, if it is being moved to a back-up site and any other important information. If it is a morning flight you will call the night before.
FLIGHT TIME LINE FLIGHT time to call
AM and flights daily from 19:00 the night before the flight
In the unlikely event that the flight line is not updated within 30 minutes after these times, you can call the pilot on the emergency number which will also be provide on your booking confirmation.
You can cancel off a flight up to seven days before on the balluntuscany.com and up to three working days before by post or email. After these times you will need to attend the flight unless there are extenuating circumstances.