At a young age Donatella discovers the beauty of recreational flight, the feeling of freedom, the pleasure of soaring in a floating airship, carried by winds: she discovers hot-air balloon flight and it fascinates her to the point that she is willing to cross-country to train in Mondovi', Piemonte region in the Italian Alps.
In those days few are the female pilots of hot-air balloons; after receiving her license Donatella goes a step futher, and for some years until 2006, she is the first female President of the Italian Hot-Air Balloon Federation. The very same year, as co-pilot and member of the Italian national team, she takes part to the hot-air balloon world championship in Motegi, Japan.
Her passion shows at events and celebrations, as a director of competition of the traditional Epiphany International hot-air balloon meeting in Mondovi'. An occasion for many pilots joining from all over Europe, to celebrate the new year doing what they love: flying, and be with friends in a region where traditions meet modern times and prepare the future.
As Mondovi' is widely considered one of the international capitals for this flight specialty, having hosted in 2009 the World Air Games , the Olympic Games of air sports, so is Turin considered a capital and key player in aerospace and engineering technology. Modules designed and manifactured in this region are living and research spaces of the International Space Station, and similarly Italian gastronomy treated in high tech kitchens by knowledgeable and creative chefs, turn into foods for astronauts living in space.