Vatican Flights: First, Specials, Zeppelins and Others

What are Vatican Flights?

At the opening of the Vatican City Post Office on August 1, 1929 the first air mail letter were accepted.  Very few covers were carried on First and Special flights in the early days.  The full franking was done with Vatican City stamps.  The Italian Postal Administration, however, either carried on its own planes, or had to compensate foreign postal administrations for the air mail in-transit and therefore claimed from the Vatican Postal Administration, payment for the air mail flight.  In order to facilitate the accounting, the air mail fee was paid in Italian Air Mail stamps.

Later, when an agreement was established for air mail transportation originating in Vatican City with Italian and foreign postal authorities, full franking with only Vatican City stamps was permitted.  The Vatican issued the first airmail stamps on June 22, 1939. From the Aero Philatelist Annals Vol. XVIII No 2, October 1970

A few of these flights are listed below.






August 2, 1929

First Flight to Genoa since Post Office Opening

full franking in Vatican stamps

(Sassone #157) 162 flown

December 10, 1929

First Flight to Tunis

mixed franking in Vatican and Italian stamps

(Sassone #164b) 55 flown

January 17, 1930

First Flight to Castelrosso

mixed franking in Vatican and Italian stamps with special triangle cachet

(Sassone #173h) 98 flown

12 March 1930

FDC Italian Airmail C11 Roma - Genova / Torino

mixed franking in Vatican and Italian stamps

Sassone #187a

March 31, 1931

First Flight: Berlin to Rome

full franking in German stamps

April 1, 1931

First Flight to Berlin

mixed franking in Vatican and Italian stamps

(Sassone #235d) 48 flown

June 11, 1931

First Flight to Valletta, Malta

mixed franking in Vatican, Italian and Malta stamps

56 flown

June 12, 1931

San Marino C2 FDC Flight to Vatican

mixed franking in Vatican and San Marino stamps


July 22, 1935

First Flight to Asmara, Eritrea

Mixed  franking in Vatican and Italian stamp

 (Sassone #383a) 39 flown

April 6, 1937

First Alitalia Flight to Brussels Belgium

Full  franking in Vatican stamps

Flight of the Rome - Milan - Paris with special postmark, then to Brussels

 6 flown

July 23, 1937

First Overnight Flight  to Nice, France

Full  franking in Vatican stamps

19 Flown

March 19, 1940

First  Swissair Flight to Locarno, Switzerland

Full franking in Vatican stamps

 (Sassone #525a) 19 flown

April 5 - 6, 1946

First Transatlantic Roundtrip  Flight Rome to New York to Rome

double card

 75 flown


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