I had always wanted to visit Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy’s most North-Eastern region bordering with Slovakia. I love bordering regions, with their indefinite identities, melting cultures and mixed languages. You may have heard about Trieste, its chief town; or about Aquileia, one of the Roman Empire’s largest cities with a population of 100,000 in the 2nd century AD. Perhaps you happened to read about the Castle of Duino on the cliffs overlooking the Gulf of Trieste (so beloved by Rilke… did you read his ‘Duineser Elegien’?), or you may have tasted the typical Tocai white wine (now called Friulano) in an Italian restaurant in your country.
I visited all the above mentioned places during our stay in Friuli three weeks ago (and – needless to say – I indulged in more than one glass of Friulano!). However, the main reason I took my family, my sister and a very good friend of mine to Friuli Venezia Giulia was that of visiting Rivolto Air Base, i.d. the base where my beloved Aerobatic Team drills every day!
Thanks to Friuli Venezia Giulia Tourist Board and – of course – thanks to the National Aerobatic Team of the Italian Air Force, visitors are admitted to Rivolto Air Base from late Spring to the end of Summer on a few dates. We visited the base on Sept. 8th.
If you read my blog post on the ‘Frecce Tricolori’ performing in Pesaro, you know how much I am fond of them! And it was an unforgettable exciting experience to watch them live, watching them take off and land, perform in the sky just for us ‘elected few’. Besides, after the air show, a very kind pilot entrusted with Public Relations (so sorry, I cannot recall his name) introduced us to the Frecce‘s world, answering the oddest (and silliest) questions like: ‘what do you eat before flying upside down?’, and satisfying our eager curiosity.
What struck me most – besides the fact that these guys are absolutely crazy – is their being so humble and ‘easy’ while talking about their superheros deeds (I mean, to me they are much better than Superman or Spiderman!).
And now, some figures:
- 313° Aerobatic Training Squadron;
- 56 years of national pride;
- 100 men;
- 10 (formation of the aircrafts);
- 339 A/PAN MLU Aermacchi;
- 18 figures;
- 110 days away from home every year;
- 4.000.000 live spectators in 2015.
This is their official website with awesome pictures.