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

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:
http://www.gonnelli.it/it/asta-0010-1/bucci-anselmo-il-giro-ditalia-del-1939-.asp

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Giro d'Italia 1939. From Florence to Milan. May 8": a glimpse of Florence with Orsammichele

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Via Ricasoli, May 8", Florence

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 8, Collodi"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Florence, May 9" (start line of the tenth stage)

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Here comes [Olimpo] Bizzi. The crowd cheers: Hooray for Bartali! Bologna, May 9"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Venice, back from the race, May 10"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

May 11, "Orio Vergani at work", Trieste

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Trieste, obelisk, Villa Opicina": Francis I obelisk, May 12

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 12, River Isonzo"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 13, Trieste, time trial"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 13, Trieste, time trial"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 13", on the road between Monfalcone, Gorizia, and Cividale

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 15, stage between Cortina, Belluno, Feltre, Passo di Rolle (1,970 m), Salorno, Trento"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 15, Mount Antelao (3,226 m)"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 15, Trento"

"Sondrio, May 17, the Giro's last phone call", Orio Vergani

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Sondrio, May 17, after Valetti's victory"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Sondrio, start line", May 18

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Sondrio, [May] 18, start line"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 18, Ghisallo Hill"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"May 18, Milan, finish line. Valetti wins the Giro. The crowd cheers: Gino!"

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Go Mealli!" (Aladino Mealli)

Anselmo Bucci, Il Giro d'Italia del 1939

"Florence Bologna Stage - chasing Bartali and Mealli. Anselmo Bucci, four-wheel painter, at work". Autograph note by Orio Vergani on the first page of the album

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