An Italian Vintage Tractor Collector

Italian man enthusiastic about old tractors and vintage classics


| August 1999



Daniele Bellion, 6, is clearly proud of his father's scale replica Orsi

Daniele Bellion, 6, is clearly proud of his father's scale replica Orsi, popular in Italy from about 1930 to 1950.

About 35 miles north of Turin in Italy, close to the French border, is the small village of Luserna San Giovanni. Buried in the picturesque village is a farmer with an interesting story. 

Meet Dino Bellion, who farms his land and, when he can, restores tractors. Speaking in a slightly broken English (one of four languages he speaks), Dino is quick to share his zest for life, and his love for the countryside where he lives.

"I live in a place where I can grow almost everything," he says. "My garden is close to heaven ... full of fruit trees and flowers, from the Mediterranean climate to the Alps. I am now collecting strawberries, soon after raspberries, then red, black and white currants, blackberry and other small fruits, apricots in several steps, peaches from July until September, several variety of plums, figs, 30 variety of apples, medlar trees and kiwis."

Italian agricultural production, he says, has less range.

"Farmers have limited very much the variety of crops as compared with the past," he says. "Wheat, corn and grass are the major production crops, but depending on the latitude, one may find grapes, olives and several other crops."

Like farmers everywhere, Dino toils furiously. Up at about 5 a.m. to start milking his cows, he keeps at it until about 11 p.m., when he gives his prized cattle one last glance before retiring. What does he do for recreation and fun? He works ... on a tractor, that is.