Anselmo Bucci and the Giro d’Italia: a sports commentary by images

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 8, Florence"

In 1939, Anselmo Bucci participated in the 27th Giro d’Italia. Although he probably would have loved to, he didn’t ride a bike but “competed” his own way, with pencils and brushes. Bucci was an artist, a painter and etcher (Fossombrone, 1887-Monza, 1955) who had studied in Milan’s Brera Academy.

He traveled to Paris and returned to Italy when the First World War begun, to enroll with the Lombard Battalion of Volunteer Cyclists.

It was only the one of the many appearances bicycles would make in his career. In 1935, he had been asked to draw the story of that year’s Tour de France; in 1936, he had illustrated the Giro d’Italia that ended with Gino Bartali’s first victory.

In 1939, the Giro d’Italia Organizing Committee asked him to create a chronicle by images of the race.

From April 28 to May 18, Bucci and the great journalist Orio Vergani, who worked for “Corriere della Sera” at the time, chronicled the seventeen stages in the race; the hero was still Bartali, but that year he placed second after Giovanni Valetti.

The outcome was an incredible album of 176 drawings, telling the story of the Giro with a black pencil and watercolors. An epic race, as always.

Photos via:

May 20, 2015