Francesco Baracca was born on May 9, 1888, in Lugo and after completing the schools, he enrolled at the Military School in Modena. In 1909 he attended the Cavalry School in Pinerolo, where he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in July 1910 and assigned to the 1st Squadron of the Royal Piedmont Regiment in Rome. In 1912 he followed the civil pilot courses in Reims, where the driver’s license came, an activity for which he felt a natural propensity and great enthusiasm.
We find the name of Francesco Baracca during the First World War, at the time there are numerous volumes, articles, and brochures that were published on his figure, without counting the space reserved for him in the various general aviation stories and in the War news. His figure was often cited in school books destined to hit the imagination of children and teens, texts that used the image of Baracca above all in ideological and pedagogic key, supporting the nascent Italian Fascist Regime.
The figure of Francesco Baracca was told to the boys of the time both as a rider of the air, who considered the fighting duels a gentlemen affair and who was fascinated by the struggle as a “show”, both as a ruthless warrior from as every trace of compassion disappears, a perfect war machine taking over the “sacred duty”. Inevitably, Baracca’s figure ended up becoming a myth for young people in the first half of the twentieth century.
A myth that in the twentieth century will be mixed admirably and inseparably with that of another great pioneer, Enzo Ferrari, and whose origins can be traced back in 1909 with the “Manifesto of Futurism“, where Filippo Tommaso Marinetti privileged the airplane as a symbol of modernity, wrote:
“We will sing […] the gliding flight of the airplanes, its propellor fluttering like a flag in the wind, seeming to applaud like an enthusiastic crowd“