Florence, three restored Gino Bartali jerseys on display for Tour de France departure

On June 29, the Tour de France will start from Florence: for the occasion, three newly restored Gino Bartali jerseys can be seen at the Stazione Leopolda from June 26 to 28.

On June 29, the Tour de France will start from Florence. So, from June 26 to 28, in the days leading up to the start of the Tour de France, inside the Stazione Leopolda as part of BECYCLE, a new project on the world of cycling created by Pitti Immagine and Stazione Leopolda srl, it will be possible to admire three jerseys worn by Gino Bartali and relive through augmented reality viewers the last edition of theEroica.

A “Casa Eroica” space will rise in the heart of Florence just as it has been part of the exhibition itinerary of "Chianti Origo," the new Culture Pole that has sprung up in the spaces of the former Cantine Ricasoli in Gaiole in Chianti, for the past few months. Among exhibition, multimedia and interactive spaces, it is possible to discover the birth, evolution and formal affirmation of a true network of events, capable of involving tens of thousands of enthusiasts around the world, and to move among all those kits, objects and complements that make the Eroica a unique brand in the sporting panorama. Embellishing everything, also at the Leopolda, are the official Eroica products that evoke the charm of cycling in the past on vintage bikes along the white roads of Chianti.

The absolute stars of the space set up by Opera Laboratori will undoubtedly be the Gino Bartali memorabilia on loan from theArchdiocese of Siena - Colle di Val d’Elsa - Montalcino. These are two jerseys that the great Florentine cyclist wore over a span of 14 years: a yellow jersey he wore in 1938, the year he won his first Tour de France; another yellow jersey from 1948, the year of his second victory in the Grande Boucle, in the days of the assassination attempt on Palmiro Togliatti.

Bartali had given these jerseys, along with the one with which he became champion of Italy in 1952, to Don Bruno Franci, then pastor of the church of Santa Petronilla in Siena, with whom he had established a firm friendship. The two met on the Feast of the Assumption in 1935 in Vallombrosa, and from that day on there was a close web of relations between them. In July 1937 the Sienese priest rushed to Marseille to the bedside of the champion forced to retire in his first Tour de France. The following year, when Bartali won the Tour de France, the champion gave the priest one of the 11 yellow jerseys worn in his first triumph. Bartali often went to Siena to visit his friend the priest and to pray in his church. He also went there in June 1948 before leaving for Paris, promising to give his friend another yellow jersey in case of his final success. And so he did: Bartali returned to the city of the Palio on Monday, August 9, to fulfill his promise, giving Don Bruno Franci the jersey worn in the final stage of the event, the Roubaix-Paris.

The jerseys were stored in the church of Santa Petronilla where, with the passage of decades, they inevitably showed signs of time and wear. Hence the delicate restoration work that was overseen by Carla Molin Pradel, technical manager of Opera Laboratori’s textile restoration center. A restoration desired two years ago by Don Dino Arciero, pastor of the church of Santa Petronilla, and a group of sports and Sienese history enthusiasts. A project, however, that would probably have remained in the state of wishful thinking without the active support of Opera Laboratori.

Florence, three restored Gino Bartali jerseys on display for Tour de France departure
Florence, three restored Gino Bartali jerseys on display for Tour de France departure

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