Cesare Bianciardi, the driver of the Grande Torino, from Via Poliziano to the Superga crash

That May 4, 1949, at 5:03 p.m., the last message from I-Elce came from Lisbon. Then the crash against the wall of the Basilica of Superga where the earthly history of Grande Torino ended, and consigned the team of the Invincibles into myth and legend.

And among the thirty-one victims of that sporting tragedy was Cesare Bianciardi, born in San Quirico d’Orcia, Via Poliziano on August 18, 1914, the second pilot of that flight that has gone down in history.

His father was a carpenter but he became an aviation pilot, a rarity in these parts. His promotion to first pilot would be forthcoming, for the excellent evidence and qualities he had shown over the years. Major Bianciardi’s normal service was during the last period on the Milan-Paris, and his managers had ‘on merit’ dedicated him to the Lisbon flight with the Turin players precisely so that they could count on an element of great reliability.

But his dreams, as well as his desire to fly, at only 34 years of age, went crashing into the hill of Superga; along with the class and talent of Mazzola, Gabetto, Loik, Bagicalupo and Ossola, just to name a few of the Grande Torino players.

In the following weeks, the municipality of San Quirico d’Orcia received notice of Bianciardi’s death certificate from the City of Turin. City mourning was called for this Sanquirichese “formerly a multi-decorated fighter for valor.”

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