La storia del Circolo Antico Tiro a Volo
April 28, 1893
It was 28th April 1893, the day when a group of distinguished gentlemen stepped into an elegant red-brick building on Lungotevere delle Navi in Rome. They had gathered there for the most prestigious event of the period, the opening of the new premises of Tiro A Volo, where they would take part in a top-level competition with the best shooters of the time, to try and win the then-remarkable prize of 5000 Liras. The event was attended by members of Rome’s major aristocratic families, including, among others the Odescalchi, the Torlonia, the Pignatelli, and the Altieri. The building, featuring small towers on the façade, had been designed by professor A. Amadori under the supervision of Prince Prospero Colonna, president of the Hunting Club, and of prince Agostino Chigi, president of the Fox Hunting Society.
In 1907, for a few months, skeet shooting moved to Piazzale delle Muse, at the time all meadows and slopes; but, already after a few months, it found its final location in the adjacent via Eugenio Vajna. The double change of residence did not change the traditional profile of the previous building and rather enhanced its pleasant architectural features, with the red brick turrets placed almost guarding the structure. The importance of this sporting and social area was confirmed in the following decades and it was such that the shooting competition of the 1960 Olympics took place right in via Eugenio Vajna, in our house. And it remained there until the Municipality of Rome requested its transfer to Via Tiberina due to the incompatibility with the urban development of the area and the relative substantial building growth, with civil dwellings and therefore with an increase in the resident population.
The history of skeet shooting is even older. The sport originated in England in the early 19th century as an alternative to the ban on hunting wild birds. The first organized shooting competitions are traced back to the American sports historian Franck G. Menke, to 1832, the year in which the Top Hat Hunters Club was founded; Hight Hats, in fact. And trapshooting was called the practice followed by enthusiasts. In a small hole, covered by the top hat, the pigeon was placed. With a rope the hat that had to be worn by the hunter before being able to shoot was removed. This type of sporting practice officially began in 1857 at the Pigeons Club, the first pigeon shooting club.
1930 - '90
In covering the most recent history of clay pigeon shooting, one cannot help but remember the decisive role played by the Club in the organization, under the aegis of the Italian Pigeon Shooting Federation, in 1930, of the 1st World Championship of Shooting, starting a prestigious sequence that has lasted over time. And, although the history of pigeon shooting is full of names of Anglo-Saxon and American shooters, the world record is held by an Italian, the Florentine Marquis Luigi Torrigiani. After moving to via Tiberina, the old building on Via Eugenio Vajna underwent a phase of abandonment.
'90 - ->
The Club Antico a Volo Today
This process was interrupted at the beginning of the 90s of the last century, when a group of farsighted entrepreneurs and professionals took charge of its relaunch, giving new life to the old structure, respecting its original characteristics and enriching them, to give it more and more modern usability. The previous activity, no longer hosted in via Vajna, has been replaced by other sporting, cultural and social activities ranging from tennis to soccer, swimming, billiards, conferences, cultural and social meetings, charity, all now located in highest levels and awards as attested, for all, by the International Women's Tennis Tournament and the results achieved by the very young competitive swimming team. The new life of the Circolo Antico Tiro a Volo, strengthened by a history of over a hundred years, is now projected to the future which, like its past, draws its impetus from the associative spirit that animates and binds its Members, aware of belonging to a reality of incomparable beauty and enjoyment, full of potential and promising further developments.