In the heart of the Balon, Turin’s famous flea market in the Aurora district, behind Porta Palazzo, a hot air balloon rises 150 meters high every day, giving its passengers a breathtaking view over the city of the Savoy. The attraction was inaugurated in 2012, as a tribute to one of the possible etymologies of the market’s name, according to which ‘balon’ refers to an air balloon that took off from this neighborhood in the 18th century.
Although there is no historical evidence of that episode, the balloon has now become a symbol of this open-air emporium, the largest in Europe, which has been bustling with activity since the second half of the 19th century. To this day, every Saturday morning the Balon attracts a crowd of browsers, collectors, and tourists who walk around the most diverse objects.
The surrounding streets are packed with antique dealers’ shops, which display the best they have to offer every second Sunday of the month for the Gran Balon, making a visit to this noisy and inspiring market even more interesting.
It is a beautiful show even from high above, on the wings of the balloon.