In 1873, Bellini came to Niagara Falls at the age of 32 years. On August 25th 1873, Bellini made his first tight rope walk across the Niagara River using a 457 metre long rope with a 6.4 cm diameter and weighing 1134 kilograms.
He combined a tight rope walk with a leap into the raging river below. He tried crossing using a 7 m long balance pole that weighed 22 kg. Following his leap into the water, Bellini was picked up by an awaiting boat.
Bellini made three such leaps during 1873. In the winter of 1886, Bellini jumped from the Upper Suspension Bridge and was hauled from the water unconscious with broken ribs but alive.