Two days with the “Frecce Tricolori”

September 19, 2010 at 13:13 | Posted in Alice | Leave a comment

This is truly a long-overdue post, and I hope you all will forgive me!

I have had the most intense and nerve-wracking two weeks ever! The firm I’m working for was asked by the Italian Air Force to organize and supervise two huge parking lots for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Italian “Frecce Tricolori”, the Italian Air Force aerobatics team, which is stationed in a small town near the one where I live.

The Frecce Tricolori, whose name translated in English would be “Tricolour Flags” (tricolour from the three colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green), are perhaps the most well-known and loved symbol of our country and are famous worldwide for their amazing aerobatic skills and stunning performances.

Having them here, close to home, means that from time to time you can look up to the sky and watch them practice, which is a really wonderful thing!

Once a year, they do a celebration for the Team’s anniversary, opening the base to visitors and inviting fellow aerobatic teams from other countries. This year, they celebrated the 50th Anniversary, and organized a huge two-day event which we were asked to help with.

My responsibility was to keep track of the parking tickets sold and the subsequent cash from a parking lot that could have housed up to 15.000 cars and caravans. I had to supervise over a group of 12 people who were handling the ticket sales: they had small bags with the tickets and the change, which needed to be replaced quite often, depending on the amount of cars that were coming in.
I had to be at the parking lot at 5.30am both mornings, and had to get up at 3.45am to be ready to leave at 4.15am. Needless to say, I had very little sleep! Thankfully, I had two wonderful ladies helping me to sort out and count the money: since the ticket’s price was 3,00 euros, we had A LOT of coins…

On Monday, after two very exhausting days in a caravan counting and tracking coins, my colleagues and I finished the calculations, packed everything and brought the heavy and enormous amount of pocket change to the bank.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to see much of the show, as the parking lot was some 15km from the Air Base, but I know people were absolutely thrilled with it and I had prayed a lot for the safety of the pilots and of the people attending.

I didn’t bring my camera, but here are a few pictures of what the Frecce Tricolori look like:

Here is the team in their most popular stunt: a huge Italian flag! There are 9 planes plus 1 soloist plane, which make them the largest aerobatics team in the world!

In this picture you can spot the soloist plane, too! The team’s captain is actually from a town close to mine.

This is a close-up of one of the planes. They are called Aermacchi MB-339–A/PAN, for those who know “aircraft language”. We call the planes “ponies”, and number 10 is the soloist pony.

Many blessings,

Alice

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