One of the top Italian pilots in the First World War
Francesco Baracca, aviation and the prancing horse
Francesco Baracca was one of the top Italian pilots in the First World War. He died in Nervesa della Battaglia after crashing to the ground in circumstances that remain a mystery today.
He is commemorated in the town by a small temple surrounded by cypress trees. Nervesa is also home to the Jonathan Collection Flying Museum, which is on an airfield named after the great aviator and has a collection of historic aircraft dating back 80-100 years that are still in working order. Elsewhere in Nervesa della Battaglia, you can visit the Second Battle of the Piave River Museum. There are various items from the First World War on display, including old uniforms, maps from the time, weapons and ammunition. It’s a little known fact that the Prancing Horse symbol used by Scuderia Ferrari was inspired by the emblem on Francesco Baracca’s aeroplane. Enzo Ferrari was a fellow countryman of the aviator and asked Baracca’s mother if he could use it as the logo of his car manufacturing company, thus making it famous all over the world.