The boat hauled in the balloon and its gondola with the bodies of the Americans still inside while fishing 11 miles (17 kilometers) north of Vieste, said Port Cmdr. Guido Limongelli in Vieste, a town on the spur of boot-shaped Italy jutting into the Adriatic sea.
Documents found in the gondola (pictured above) confirmed the identities of Richard Abruzzo, 47, of Albuquerque, and Carol Rymer Davis, 65, of Denver.
A large search operation was called off a week after authorities concluded that the pair had probably died on impact after their balloon plunged into the sea at an estimated 50mph.
The Italian fishermen made the discovery about 12 miles from shore and six miles from the balloon's last known location.