STORIES BY RUN - Floating piers…in Venice
There are many bridges in Venice, they have been counted and there are 438 bridges all over the city, but on some occasions we can add another one: HUAWEI Venicemarathon is one of them!

As we mentioned in the previous articleby Stories by Run, the organization will set up a temporary bridge to connect Punta della Dogana to St. Mark's Square across the Grand Canal. The bridge is made up by floating piers that cover the 170 meters to cross the San Marco basin.

This temporary bridge built for HUAWEI Venicemarathon is not the only one: in fact in the past it was built every year also for the Redentore festival.

From 1575 to 1577, the plague struck down the Serenissima and it caused about 50,000 victims, one-third of the population. The Senate of the Serenissima decreed, on 4 September 1576, that the Doge should have built a church dedicated to the Redentore to obtain mercy for the plague and promised to honor the basilica every year on the day in which the epidemic would have been defeated.

On 13 July 1577 the plague ended and it was decided to celebrate the liberation from it every third Sunday of July with a religious and popular celebration. From the first huge and spectacular votive bridge, set up through 80 Venetian ships, it changed over the years and it was decided to use cheaper and more practical rafts.

From the 1950s the votive bridge was assembled by the Italian military genius using an English Bailey bridge abandoned by the allies at the end of the Second World War. In 2002 it was replaced by a more modern floating bridge.

From the beginning of the sixteenth century, a second floating bridge was set up for Redentore’s Day to cross the Grand Canal near the boat stop of Santa Maria del Giglio: today this votive bridge is built only on the occasion of the Festa della Madonna della Salute – 21 November  - to allow to the faithful to reach the basilica. Also this celebration was instituted by the Serenissima to pray and thank the Virgin Mother of God to protect Venice from the terrible plague of the seventeenth century.

Just a curiosity: the bridge built in each of the three occasions is nowadays the same one, therefore it means that the parts used to built them are the same for Redentore, Festa della Salute and HUAWEI Venicemarathon.
STORIES BY RUN - Welcome in Venice runners!
After the Liberty Bridge you will have to run for about other 6K to reach  the finish line of the Venicemarathon…these will be probably the most fascinating kilometers but also the hardest for  many athletes.
Some are the difficulties of this last part of the course: the first one is the change of pavement. You will run on the asphalt till the port area and then to the area of San Basilio. Then, after crossing a wooden bridge (the last one at Venice Night Trail) , the ground will change again and you will continue your race on the typical 'hard' Venetian floor: the “Masegni”, large rectangular stone slabs.                                          
Another topic of this last kilometers: 13 short bridges, connecting the banks of the Venetian canals,  on which there will be built wooden ramps which allow to the runners to fully enjoy the magical urban landscape that surrounds them, while don’t think to pay attention about the steps.
You will be at the famous Fondamenta delle Zattere and on your right you will admire the Giudecca island, separated by the homonymous canal. Crossing the second bridge (made with stones) on your left you will see the Squero di San Trovaso, one of the oldest shipyards where traditional boats (gondola, pupparini, sandoli ...) are built and repaired. From this point of the  course the cheering will really increase!  Fondamenta is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful walkways in Venice and, because of the south exposure, is the ideal place to get warm on this autumn day.
Later, you will be on the last part of the fondamenta , called "Zattere ai Saloni": here on your left there are the factories of “Magazzini del Sale”, also called Saloni, built by the Republic of Venice to the storage of salt, precious good in that period.
The name of this fondamenta refers also to the original use of this long shore as point where the salt loads were unloading from the rafts.
Finally, at Punta della Dogana, the fatigue will decrease thanks the sight of one of the most beautiful views in the city. After the Giudecca Canal is time to enter San Marco Basin, the water space in front of the San Marco Square.
But before reaching this iconic place, you will have to cross another bridge: this one is a temporary floating bridge, built just for Venicemarathon to allow athletes to overtake the Grand Canal and to reach San Marco Square. A unique experience reserved to all participants!
STORIES BY RUN - Entering Venice
The last ten kilometers of Venicemarathon will lead you into the historic center of Venice which will show you its characteristic elements: the lagoon, the islands and the bridges, much important links between all the parts of Venice, island in the middle of the lagoon basin.
Exactly a bridge, or better two bridges, will allow you to reach Venice. With “a bridge” we meant the Liberty Bridge: opened in 1933 and named Ponte del Littorio, it was renamed with its current name at the end of the Second World War.
Beside this bridge there is the historic trans-railway bridge: it was inaugurated in 1846 and at that time it was one of the longest bridges in the world. Still nowadays it connects Venice to the mainland via the extension of the Mestre-Padova railway and the car bridge.
Before their construction, the connection was only by boats which leaved from San Giuliano and arrived in the district of Cannaregio. The course of Venicemarathon passes on the Liberty Bridge and at the beginning of its 3850 meters, two large winged lions, sculptured in the stone of Istria, will welcome you.
Halfway on the left side, just beyond the railway line, you will see the "Monument of the broken column": it is symbol of the heroic resistance of the Venetians against the Austrians during the revolutionary motions in 1848. Right there on the lagoon bridge there was the last battle between Venetian and Austrian armies.
The Venetians, in desperate attempt to defend themselves, broke down some arches of the bridge and built a place where the Sant'Antonio Battery was placed. This army battery is still partially preserved on a grassy field with its two cannons oriented towards Forte Marghera, the Austrian stronghold.
Just ahead, always on the left, you will see a little and inhabit island: it is the island of San Secondo. Once that islet was seat of an important monastery built in the 11th century: it had here a privileged position as place on the connecting channel between Venice and San Giuliano and it  was rich in buildings and lands cultivated with vegetables and fruits.
Like many other institutions, the island changed after the Napoleonic edict in 1806 which envisaged to suppress religious orders: the place was firstly transformed into a military outpost and later abandoned as we see it today.
Turning our sight to the right side of the bridge the landscape changes: from an abandoned island to a new one. It’s "Isola Nova", built in the second half of the twentieth century, now known as the Island of Tronchetto.
You are now really closed to the historic center of Venice…
STORIES BY RUN – Parco San Giuliano
After Marghera, the landscape of Venicemarathon will change again. The runners will enter Parco San Giuliano which stands on the shores of the lagoon, near “Ponte della Libertà” and halfway between Venice and Mestre. An area with a significant symbolic role: it is both the access to Venice and center of many social and cultural interests.
This area, heavily degraded over the years, originally was a marshy area, used in recent decades as a landfill of industrial sludges and urban waste, with highly polluting factors and threats for the lagoon habitat.
With the new millennium, the project to reconvert the area started: the plan was signed by the architect Antonio Di Mambro and it was made also thanks European funds. In Italy, the project was one of the most significant interventions for consistency, complexity and difficulty due to the strong degradation of the area.
Nowadays the whole site is a green and fascinating place full of facilities and services like the cycle-pedestrian area (used also for skating) which reaches a total size of approximately 15 kilometers. With its 700 hectares of greenery in front of Venice, Parco San Giuliano is both the largest park in Europe and also an environmental and landscaping reconverting area dedicated to the study of the lagoon environment. The whole area is used for sports activities such as running, cycling, canoeing, sailing and other water sports, but also for concerts and cultural events.
Since 2006 it has been included in the race course of Venicemarathon and the Park has become one of the main points of the entire event: here in fact there will be the 'Exposport', the Sport Trade Fair, open on Friday 20 October from 10.00 to 20.00 and on Saturday 21 October from 9.00 to 20.00. In the Exposport you will pick up your bib number and meanwhile you will be able to discover some of the main producers and retailers of sport products and test their latest news.
But it’s not just this: here you will enjoy the many initiatives which will take place in, such as collective training sessions and presentations and advices by qualified instructors.
When you will run here, you will be delighted by the characteristic scent of the sea, extending from the lagoon of Porto Marghera to the airport of Tessera, and the view on Fondamenta Nuove, San Michele Island, Murano and the famous bell-tower of Piazza San Marco!
STORIES BY RUN – Marghera and Mestre
Last night I went running at 8:00 p.m. I had ten kilometres on my training schedule but I knew that I was taking a risk at that time of night. On the coastal road  I would join the drovAfter the Venetian villas that characterize the race course along the Brenta Riviera, we are now entering the Municipality of Venice.
Passing the industrial area of Fusina and Marghera, a symbol of the twentieth-century industry (seen as driving force of the economy of that period, but also as cause of environmental problems) and launched in 1917 by Conte Volpi, we enter the center of Marghera.
The urban plan was developed since 1925 along the same lines of the “City Garden” model promoted by the movement founded by Ebenezer Howard: welcoming buildings designed for the venetian workers who would have been moved there to work in the factories of the nascent industrial pole. According to that project the buildings should have been characterized by a very extended green area and inserted into a radial urban structure with numerous roundabouts.  Although the project is incomplete, it is possible to note the precise organization and geometry of the area in contrast to the following part of the race course.
Crossing the railway station you will arrive in Mestre, whose oldest evidence dates back to a written record of the first Century AC. Mestre was made up just by a small village and a castle - the Castelvecchio – built along the border between the Sacred Roman Empire to which it belonged and the Duchy of Venice.  In 14th Century the castle became propertyof Venetians which built a new castle named Castelnuovo, distinct from the previous one that was demolished. Some remains of the old fortification are still visible nowadays in the central square Erminio Ferretto.
Mestre had not only a relevant role as military outpost of the Serenissima, but it was also important as trade point  between the hinterland and Venice. Once in the central via Poerio, the race course joins the river Marzenego, a direct waterway with Venice diverted during the 14th century. The direct communication route with the lagoon was realized through an artificial canal excavated in 1361: this is the Canal Salso which flows along Via Forte Marghera.
As the name suggests here there is a 19th-century fortress started during the Austrian rule and ended in the French one, as further prove of the strategic defensive position of Mestre.
From here you will reach Parco San Giuliano, the Exposport headquarter, a citadel entirely dedicated to people who love and live sport and the place where you will pick up your bib number and race packet.
STORIES BY RUN – Oriago and Villa Foscari
Running the 32nd Venicemarathon on 22nd October means seeing a one of a kind race course.
Villa Pisani emphasis the union between Venice and its mainland, both from historical and artistic point of view. From here, in fact, starts the famous and beautiful Riviera del Brenta, pearl of the Venetian province. The road flanks the Brenta river in a landscape of sublime harmony between nature and architecture that is reflected in the waters of the river.
After Stra, Fiesso d'Artico, Dolo and Mira, you will reach Oriago, where houses, churches and ancient aristocratic palaces will be the framework of the marathon. The runners will soon be in front of Villa Foscari, which majestically overlooking the river. Nicolò and Alvise Foscari, members of one of the most prestigious families in Venice, entrusted the project to the famous architect Andrea Palladio and so it was built in 1550.
In the villa there are many details belonging both to the Venetian tradition and the ancient architecture: as in Venice, the main side of the building faces the water, but the Ionian pronaos and the large staircases descended from the style of ancient classical temples. The majestic twin access ramps were a sort of ceremonial path for the visitors: after their arrival in front of the villa, there was the owner waiting for them at the center of the pronaos.
The Villa is also called “La Malcontenta”: it seems that the nickname derives from the story of its unhappy owner, a lady belonging to the Foscari family, relegated solely among those walls to pay the penalty for her licentious conduct. Another hypotheses is that the Villa was called in that way because in that place the flow of the river has a different trend, which causes some problems in the regular stream of current and this is a known problem for centuries. 
Already in 1368 the river had been diverted, but it continued to break the banks, so in 1444 it was dug a pit which it was supposed to serve as lightening, but this didn’t yield the hoped results, so in that point the current was renamed the "male contempta" which derives from the Latin and it means something that can not be controlled.
We are almost at the end of the Riviera del Brenta and the race course continues towords Mestre.
STORIES BY RUN: Mira and its canals
After Dolo the race course of the Venicemarathon continues for several kilometers along the Brenta Riviera and its stunning Venetian villas. Entering the territory of Mira, the water will be the key element of the race course: Brenta's branches and the waterway characterize the landscape till the Venetian lagoon.
The waters flowing in the territory started to be regimented with various works from the thirteenth century, firstly under the influence of the Signori of Padua and then, from the 16th century, under the stable domain of the Venetian Republic.
Along the way, the first city center you will find is the historic town of Mira “Porte”, called in this way because of the floodgates used for navigation of the ships. The main means of transport used by the Venetian nobles to reach the Venetian countryside was the Burchiello, a river boat that connected the two centers of Venice and Padua: in the lagoon it was driven by the force of the oars till the mainland and once there it was towed by draught animals to Padua. For the transport of goods there were used similar boats called burci.
Along the Brenta river, more or less near Gambarare, you can admire the beautiful Villa Widmann-Rezzonico-Foscari, a building composed by a  central body, barchessa and oratorio, built at the end of the 18th century by the noble family of Persian origin, the Sceriman, in the area called Riscossa. Inside the villa there is a hall dedicated to the gondola and the artisan crafts associated with it, while a beautiful collection of ancient carriages is displayed in the portico of the barchessa. Gambarare is today a part of the municipality of Mira, although it was an important place in the past, as the seat of Provveditoria was located right in its ancient Market Square.
Opposite to Villa Widmann there is another splendid building, the Barchessa of Villa Valmarana, the only surviving part of the eighteenth-century Villa Valmarana. The barchessa was traditionally the place where the boats were restored, function from which the name originates, in order to leave the passage of the river Brenta free. In the eighteenth century, the Riviera del Brenta became a place of holiday and big parties, the Valmarana family decided to convert the barchessa into a guesthouse where to give hospitality to the "foresti", visiting relatives and friends, and the interior has been completely painted to provide the adequate level of hospitality.
Left Stra, the race course of Venicemarathon continues along the Naviglio del Brenta for about twenty kilometres crossing all the districts overlooking the Brenta river.
You will enjoy the views of Brenta’s landscapes, the villas and not only...
At 5 km from the start you will be in Dolo, an interesting city deeply connected to Venice:
Since the 15th century, there has been a strong development of this territory, first of all due to the need for Venice to find new ways to improve its market after the loss of power of Venetian trade occurred with the fall of the Byzantine empire, with the assertion of Turkish power and the beginning of trade with America.
In 1507 a powerful artificial canal was opened: it diverted southernmost part of the river to lighten the Brenta terminal. The water flowing to Dolo was, however, constant so in 1543 it was decided to build Molini (places used for the production of flour).
Molini became the largest economic resource of the Serenissima Republic. For centuries this place has been used from the great noble families and then become a State property. Thanks to the work of private citizens who subsidized the restoration, Molini returned to their ancient splendor. Today they are used as pubs (not to be confused with refreshment points!).
Near Molini, to demonstrate the importance of Brenta and the trade developed on it, it was built the sixteenth-century "Squero", the old yard or covered port where the boats that passed along Brenta, towed upstream by the banks thanks to the horses, were repaired and found shelter.You could not notice this building characterized by a roofing rooftop, supported by ten brick pillars.
The 12 beautiful mills built in the 15th century and the Squero are located in an area between the two branches of the Brenta: this area is known as “Isola del Maltempo” because of the devastating floods in the past and it is the oldest and most picturesque part of Dolo.
Throughout the eighteenth century the Venetians thought about the Brenta Naviglio as the ideal continuation of the Grand Canal and every year with the beautiful season they spent long periods of holiday in their beautiful countryside.
If until few time before, Dolo was known to give the lagoons the goods of their crops and the flour of Molini, the Venetian influence turns Dolo into a worldly place: the agricultural nature of the place was replaced by stylish parties, refined entertaining, elegant palaces and entertainments in saloon and cafes of the city center, which became the most popular meeting places of the entire Brenta Riviera.
In this way Dolo was the natural meeting point and trade center in the Brenta area: a place where agricultural, handcrafts, commercial and tourist activities coexisted and produced wealth.

From here, there is still a great part of the race course along the Brenta Riviera. This part of the track has no altitude difficulty so in these kilometres the road can only be pleasant!
STORIES BY RUN– The starting point of the Venicemarathon
It's time to get ready and dedicate yourself to the preparation of the VeniceMarathon 2017. Stories by Run will describe step by step the race course to make you even more prepared for this 32nd edition. 
The race will take place on October 22, 2017, the fourth Sunday of the month as by tradition. The start line will be located at the western border of Venetian territory in the splendid setting of Villa Pisani, the first and most famous of the Brenta villas which you will admire along the race course.
The name of the villa is the ideal connection between the starting and the finish point of the marathon: the owner of the villa were in fact the old patrician family of the “Pisani of Santo Stefano”, part of the Pisani family, who had settled near the Church of Santo Stefano in Venice since the early XVI Century and whose noble palace today is the seat of the “Benedetto Marcello” Music Conservatory of Venice. The family had enriched in the 14th century thanks to commercial activity and real estate and achieved the highest success during the eighteenth century, when Villa Pisani was built.
Today the Villa is both a National Museum and one of the rare examples of historic dwellings with original decorations and furniture which for the major part are exposed in the thirty rooms of the noble floor. The Brenta Riviera was a renowned resort and the frescoes and paintings depicted here describe the scenes of everyday life in the villa, according to the typical taste of the time:  the room of holidays represents the relationship between ladies and knights in the lively eighteenth century, the room of the arts remembers the particular attention given to them and the taste for the beautiful, the Ballroom exalts to the fullest the splendor of the building, well interpreted by the fresco on the ceiling of the "Glory of the Pisani Family" by Giambattista Tiepolo.
The life in the villa was described by Goldoni as a place for " game,food ,dancing and shows" and just the gaming was one of the causes of the ruin of the Pisani which, at the end of the Republic of Venice, were forced to unduly debase selling the beautiful property in 1807 to Napoleon Bonaparte, the first of a long series of famous political figures which dwelled in the villa.
Closed to the beautiful building there is the 11 hectare park set in a bent of the Brenta river, whose embankment is about 1500 meters long.  The park was built before the villa by the architect Girolamo Frigimelica de 'Roberti, also author of the building project of the villa. The park is famous not only for the wide prospects and for the beautiful labyrinth of hedgehogs, but also because in its center there is a lookout tower.
With so much beauty from the very first steps, the race will certainly bring you a great satisfaction.
And as the saying goes 'well begun, is half done'!
STORIES BY RUN: the second edition of Primiero Dolomiti Marathon
The second edition of Primiero Dolomiti Marathon started in the best way: crisp air, bright sun and more than 2600 runners animated by a real enthusiasm.
Saturday 1 July at 8.45 the runners of the  42 kilometres, the hardest of the three race courses also for its positive gap of 1242 metres, started their race. The start line was in the 18th century Villa Welsperg, in the wonderful Val Canali, and from there the runners passed through the slopes of the majestic Pale of San Martino di Castrozza and the Catena of Logorai Orientale. In the middle of the green meadows of the valley and in the fragrant woods, the runners reached the characteristics cabins to get back to Sora Ronz and then San Martino di Castrozza, an elegant center surrounded by the natural park of Paneveggio - Pale of San Martino. From there the athletes reached the summit of the route, the 1683 meters of the Passet of Calaita, overlooking Lake Simion. From Passo Gobbera, a characteristic locality of the Valle del Vanoi, a long but slight downhill took them to the finish line in Fiera di Primiero, overlooking panoramically the villages of Imer and Mezzano.
The average distance of 26 kilometers, whose start line was in the small Alpine center of San Martino di Castrozza, was attended by about 1,500 runners.  The track, characterized by a positive difference of 448 meters and a negative gap of 1198 meters, has traced the last 26K of the marathon sharing its beautiful landscapes. 
There are also many participants for the Family Trail of 6.5 kilometers, a fun course for everyone, with start line and arrival in Fiera di Primiero: here, passing through the Vallombrosa Park and then Tonadico, Siror, Transacqua and Pieve, there had been celebrated the most playful and social side of mountain sport.
The beautiful landscapes, the frame of this event, have seen about 2600 runners of all ages and coming from 33 different nations. Marathoners, racers, skymarathon specialists runners and a lot of simple mountain enthusiasts came to Primiero Valley to run together and enjoy a wonderful summer day in the middle of nature.
STORIES BY RUN - The Primiero valley and its local products
A running course can give you the opportunity to discover new environments arousing great emotions moving through roads full of historical heritages, extraordinary nature and local culture.
The Primiero Dolomiti Marathon is also meant to enjoy the beauties of this area and its local products.
The three courses through the Primiero and San Martino di Castrozza valleys, with their 42ks, 26ks and 6.5ks, have been studied to please all kind of runners.
In this vast area there is a great choice of excellent products for an excellent and special cooking tradition.

With so many meadows, the Primiero valley is obviously rich in a selection of cheese products. Cheese is the No.1 product of the area, with a variety of fresh or dry products, and sweet or sour tastes.The best known local fresh cheese is the Tosela. The dry star is the Primiero, with its determined taste.

Local meat products are manufactured with the same traditional methods of the past such as the Lucanica Cauriota, the Castrozza speck and the Carne Fumada di Siror.

Mountain honey comes from immaculate meadows and traditional handling, producing an excellent multi-flower honey, but also two single-flower products such as the rododendro and the melata di bosco.

The high altitude and the climate of Primiero and Vanoi are excellent for the production of all sorts of mountain berries which are also transformed into jelly and drinks.

Taking part in the Primiero Dolomiti Marathon will thus be an excellent opportunity to enjoy sport, nature and great mountain cuisine.

STORIES BY RUN - Waiting for the Moonlight Half Marathon
At the eve of the seventh edition of the moonlight race more than 6,000 runners are registered, from Italy and abroad (a total of 32 countries present). This year again the background is the unique view of the Venice lagoon at sunset which crowns both events: the traditional half marathon and a 10k event.
The start for the Moonlight Half Marathon is set for 8 p.m. from Punta Sabbioni. The athletes will run along the magic waters of the Venice lagoon down via Pordello, out of Cavallino into the lively beach resort of Jesolo.
The 10K Garmin, which starts at 7:45 p.m. from S. M. Elisabetta square in Cavallino Treporti, will run over the final stages of the half marathon course.
In addition to its scenic beauties, the course for the Moonlight Half Marathon and the 10k Garmin is very fast, flat and a great opportunity to set personal bests for the runners. There will be 25 pacers, all from the Garmin Team, who will help the runners to set their pace and catch their time goal for both the half marathon and the 10k.
The runners will enjoy along the course, in addition to the scenic beauties, the music from rock, blues and pop groups who will give new drive to all up to the finish line.
As you run along, take a look to the environment full of natural and historical sites. The first traces of mankind presence in the Venice area are here in this part of the lagoon, with the preliminary military installations such as forts, towers, bunkers built through the centuries until the massive final effort for World War I.
The Moonlight Village in Jesolo, on Piazza Mazzini, will be the heart of the event and all those who want to be there and to have fun will gather before and after the competition. It is not just a running event, but alongside the runners who will test their skills and time in the races there will be the opportunity for all to be part of a joyful gathering.
A new opportunity this year for all runners will be the option to pick the color of their jerseys, available in four colors.
So the night from Punta Sabbioni to Piazza Mazzini will be marked by the multi-colored line of athletes on the move from Cavallino to Jesolo.
STORIES BY RUN - The Northern Lagoon Ecosystem
The Venetian lagoon is the main co-star of the Moonlight Half Marathon, its beautiful colors at sunset and the life of the lagoon ecosystem will frame the course of the half marathon.
Looking at the inland of the lagoon, called “gronda lagunare”, you will immediately identify the characteristic features of the Venetian lagoon: a mixture of water and lands (some emerged and other submerged) and islands with more or less defined margins that change according both to the tidal flow and the intake of fresh waters by the rivers leading into the lagoon.
The closest place to the is defined as barene area, tabular island formations covered with herbaceous vegetation; The area around the shores is characterized by open waters and islands of artificial nature. The two lagoon areas respectively assume the name of the “laguna viva”, the first, and the “lagoon dead”. Under low tide conditions, the scenery changes again with the surfacing of the “velme”, bottom surfaces that will be submerged again by the subsequent rise in tide level. The lagoon panorama is complemented by lagoon channels at whose extremities branch smaller alveos, called the “ghebi”, which spray the farthest points of the valleys intended as lagoon mirrors delimited by defensive embankments (from the Latin vallum) with the aim to turn them into hunting and fishing reserves.
All of this means a slow but continuous movement of the Lagoon.
Punta Sabbioni, the starting point of the race, is a striking example of this change. The Republic of Venice already in the fifteenth century started to built civil engineering works to "immobilize" the lagoon to prevent the sinking. In 1888 the Punta Sabbioni dam was built in order to create a seaplane-free access channel in order to help the new industrial needs. The islands of Sant'Erasmo, Vignole and Certosa - formerly facing the Adriatic - "move" progressively their geographical position within the lagoon because of the accumulation of sediment transported by river waters which is intercepted by the marine currents of opposite direction. The first kilometers you will run trough are located in a "young" environment and while you will run along Pordelio you have to turn your gaze to your left towards Treporti, the historic waterfront Lido basin.
Punta Sabbioni's coastline inexorably increases its size year after year: who knows, maybe in the future we will run a Moonlight 42K!
STORIES BY RUN - Running through the fortifications of Cavallino
Not far from the historic center of Venice, with its suggestive squares, campi and hundreds of bridges, there’s the peninsula of Cavallino: a location between the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, this place has a elongated shape and it’s characterized by cultivations, greenhouses, a thick pine forest and a sandy strip of sand.
Every year, many runners await the end of May for the Moonlight Half Marathon, a 21,097-kilometer fast-paced course, ideal both to do an high-level performance and at the same time to enjoy a unique landscape at the sunset.
Running along the flat lagoon you will admire the many historic buildings that typify the whole peninsula.
These are military fortifications like barracks, telemetry towers and bunkers built to defend Venice during the Great War and today they represent a precious historical, cultural and architectural heritage.
For a long stretch of the route, from 5th to 15th km, you can admire the Forte Vecchio (also known as Forte Treporti), built between 1845 and 1851 to protect the mouth of the harbor of Punta Sabbioni and the numerous telemetry towers in Lio Grando, Crepaldo, Ca 'Padovan, Ca' Bodi, Sansoni and Vignotto. These were real observation points lean over the sea, whence the lookouts saw the enemy army, calculated the distance and transmitted the coordinates to the batteries dispersed in the territory.
While the telemetry towers were built in more internal locations and easily mimed by vegetation and other civil buildings, the batteries were mostly located along the Adriatic coast. They were bilt in the early 1900s, marked by 360 ° rotating towers, equipped with long-range cannons to easily inflate the enemy infantry and outposts. They held large caliber artillery capable to destroy the Austro-Hungarian navy fleet before the boats came under the coast.

Enjoy the sunset immersed in this open-air museum and then reach the lively Jesolo at moonlight.
Between km 17 and 18 you will cross the bridge over the Sile River (this time without steps) that has a short stretch first uphill and downhill; from there the landscape changes and the sinuous curves of the lagoon become sloping avenues, illuminated by the lights of the night and crowded of tourists and spectators that will incite you till the finish line.
STORIES BY RUN - Moonlight half marathon is coming!
It’s the middle of spring and the temperatures are gradually rising. After a wonderful weekend dedicated to the Garmin Venice Night Trail and the 9th edition of the Corrimestre, it’s time to run a longer distance: it’s time to Moonlight Half Marathon!

The VMCevents half marathon will take place on Saturday 27th May 2017: it will start just before the sunset and it will lead the participants through the charm of the Venetian Lagoon. The starting line is at the dam of Punta Sabbioni, which separates the historic coastline of Treporti from the one of Lido of Venice. From there, the race course continues along the lagoon crossing the center of Cavallino Treporti to reach then Piazza Mazzini in Jesolo where you will find the finish line.

The Venice lagoon is about 50 km long and 10-12 km wide area formed in a recent geological period (about 6,000 BC), after the Wurm glaciation.
During that period there was the definitive settling of the coastline of the high Adriatic Sea. In fact, as a result of the rise in temperatures during the Postglacial period and the consequent floods of the major alpine rivers (Brenta, Piave, Tagliamento) which convey a large amount of thin sedentary to the coast, the sea level grew till 65 - 110 meters and the coast line progressively moved northwards.

All the runners of the Moonlight Half Marathon will see the result of this process: the shaping of a sort of large coastal lake with a low bottom full of islands, “velme”, “barene”. The average depth of the lagoon is in fact only 1.5 m, although the beds of the large canals can reach depths of over 20 m.

The lagoon is separated from the sea by islands, called "lidi", interrupted by gaps of hydraulic connection, called “bocche di porto”. From here, it is possible to identify three basins, located in all the “bocche di porto”: Lido basin (northern), Malamocco basin (central), Chioggia basin (southern).

By running the Moonlight half marathon you will visit the northern basin of the Venice lagoon, commonly called by Venetians “laguna nord”: it is a very rich place both from the naturalistic and environmental point of view. In this area of the lagoon, in fact, there are the ancient roots of Venetian civilization with its first settlements that subsequently moved to the center of the lagoon (where they are today).
So with the Moonlight half marathon you will live a kind of backward journey... a real race against time!
STORIES BY RUN - Waiting for Garmin Venice Night Trail
Just few days left before the long-awaited sporting event... on Saturday 29th April Venice will light up of a new light, the light of the headlamps of 3000 people registered in this unique 16 k- race which will take place in one of the most magical cities in the world. Running at night, wrapped in the silence and accompanied by the sweet melody of the water, is an experience not to be missed for those who love to match a sporting occasion with the discover of enchanting urban contexts.
Week after week we guided you among the places you will run through in order to make you enjoy at its best this nightlife experience.
Now you are prepared to face the race course along canali e rii, among campi e campielli, up and down over 51 bridges, in a maze of calli and fondamenta paved with masegni; be careful where you will put your feet but at the same time try to don’t miss the landscape around you!
You will always be surrounded by water, both of the lagoon and the drinking water of the fountains (really appreciated by the thirsty runners).
If sometimes you will raise your sight, you will notice the nizioleti (the urban sign of Venice) on the walls and you will be able to immerse you even further in the atmosphere of this history-soaked city.

In this second edition there is an interesting news: all athletes will be divided into two large teams, each with an Italian top-trailer.
Marco De Gasperi and Stefano Gregoretti will be the stars of the event. Multiple mountain running champion the first, ultrarunner coming off spectacular crosses the second.
It will be even more challenging to compete with these "guides" and it will be even more important for each one to give the best because the total sum of the race times will decree the victory of one of the two teams.
Don’t underestimate the obstacles that you will find along the way: it will be frequent to find “congestions” , especially in the first kilometers, due to the bridges that will make you slow down and some tight calli (remember that there will be 3000 runners!).
Frequent also the bacari and osterias which you will notice crossing the different districts (especially along the fondamenta in the Cannergio district), not to be confused with refreshment points!
Go straight to the finish line to win your team, then you will have all the time to celebrate in the moonlight!

Ready, set, GO!
STORIES BY RUN - Up and down over 51 bridges
The countdown for the first appointment of VMCevents 2017 has officially begun and thanks to the huge number of participants, it is already sold out.
In a month the Garmin Venice Night Trail will be the only opportunity for 3000 runner to run in a magical and unusual atmosphere: a breathtaking 16 km race course in the historic center of Venice, up and down over 51 bridges!
Nowadays Venice has more than 400 bridges (300 made of stone, 60 of iron and 57 of wood) built to connect the different areas which originally were reachable by the inhabitants only by boats. Moreover, until the XVI Century the bridges had no steps, in order to allow the passage of the carriages and their horses.

The first bridge you will run on is the last one built in Venice: it’s Ponte della Costituzione, commonly called "Calatrava" Bridge in reference to the Spanish architect who projected it. The bridge was opened on 11th Septeber 2008 just at night, it links Piazzale Roma to the Saint Lucia Train Station and it is one of the four bridges which cross the Grand Canal, the main waterway of the city.
Running next to the train station you will notice Ponte degli Scalzi (which takes its name from the order of the Carmelitani Scalzi which for centuries officiated the Mass in the near church).
Along the Cannaregio district, you will see one of the only two bridges in the city which don’t have parapets in Rio di San Felice (near the Scuola Grande della Misericordia), so be careful to avoid falling into the water!
Later you will pass in Fondamenta Nove, whence you will admire some of the many islands of the North Lagoon: at night the most visible islands are the nearby Murano and San Michele (the Venice cemetery).
Passing the Sestiere di Castello, you will cross the famous Ponte dell’Arsenale: from here you will see the place where the merchant ships and warships were built during the Venetian Republic.
The course continues till the San Pietro di Castello island, linked to Venice from only two decks.
In few kilometers you will see the South front of the Lagoon and you will be ready to face the long bank that will take you to the heart of Venice crossing eight bridges, including the Ponte della Paglia, whose name comes from the boats full of straw (used to change the mattresses of prisoners) and Ponte dei Sospiri, which connects the Palazzo Ducale to the Prigioni Nove. According to legend, the defendants which were convicted, crossed the bridge to be conducted to the prisons and from this bridge they sighted turning the last look to Venice as free citizens.
Once you will cross this bridge, you will still have few kilometers to reach the finish line but meanwhile you will be finally arrived in Piazza San Marco, even more beautiful at night.

From the heart of the Sestiere di San Marco, you will return to Sestiere di Dorsoduro crossing the Ponte dell’Accademia, in front of the famous Gallerie dell’Accademia, whence you can admire the suggestive landscape along the Grand Canal till Punta della Dogana, one of the next stage of your race. Right here it is a tradition to build a temporary floating bridge during the Venicemarathon, which allows runners to reach the St. Mark's area, just before you get to the finish line.

Step by step you will arrive to the end of this nocturnal adventure, crossing the canals, up and down on 51 bridges, each one with a story, full of charm and mystery.
STORIES BY RUN - Living in the lagoon: fresh or salt water?
In a city built on the water, permeated by water and that created its own success on waterborne commerce, it seems almost impossible that for centuries this natural resource has been the scarcest one. The historian who lived in the '500 , Marin Sanudo, wrote "it’s in the water and water has not." Obviously we are referring to clean water.
For a runner the possibility to hydrate is important in a race like the Garmin Venice Night Trail 16k it is even essential. Well, now Venice is the right city for thirsty runners thanks to its many fountains. Drinking water in today’s Venice is a common good, accessible to the entire population and its visitors, subject to relevant problems of scarcity. But until the recent past it was not so.
Along the course of the Night Trail you'll run across many artifacts stone scattered around the various Campi and Campielli that you will cross, sometimes simple, sometimes monumental: they are the venetian “Vere da Pozzo”. The first settlements in the V-VI century lagoon clashed immediately with a sort of paradox: living literally in the middle of the water but with a permanent shortage of this resource. The water of the lagoon is brackish , is excellent for fishing and for salt pans, but not good for the rest . A community need water to drink, to cultivate the land and so on. The first few inhabitants of the lagoon territory solved the problem of water supply through the simple rainwater harvesting, but with the coming of entire populations from the mainland mostly fleeing from the barbarian invasions the collection was no longer sufficient. They switched to natural wells and used water table by digging reaching the first waterproof layer, so as to use surface water.
While the number of inhabitants was growing steadily – reaching the peak of 170,000 people in the history of the Serenissima – it was necessary to find new forms of supply of drinking water: the Venetian wells. These tanks are located into the ground 5 meters under the sea level: they have walls covered by a waterproofing clay (the venetians call it “crea”) and filled with filtering sands. Between the 3rd and 4th km of the Garmin Venice Night Trail you will cross an ex “crea” warehouse.
Each tank was paved and on top there were placed the “pilelle”, special trap doors through which rain water was filtered while penetrated into the tank.
Together with this filtering system, another way to supply the need of fresh water was studied: the “burchi” were boats that brought the fresh water by the rivers and canals and whose shipments of water were reserved in the Venetian wells which in fact became the tanks.
Only in 1884 started the construction of the aqueduct that brought the water to the lagoon directly from the mainland. Today the wells have a purely ornamental function and in most cases they are alongside by public fountains. In the historic center there are more than 120 public fountains, almost one for each island of the city, from which flows the good water coming from more than 300m deep.
So runners don’t be afraid, in Venice you will have a good fresh water to quench your thirst!
STORIES BY RUN - Running through campi and campielli: a bit of Venetian toponymy
Unlike any other Italian city, Venice owes its originality also for its toponymy. The turist who visits a city like this, for sure has to be surprised about the names of each part of Venice: the streets are called "calli", the squares are "campi", the waterway is "rio" and very often the names of places recur for tens of times in each district. In fact in Venice there are thirty-one “Calle del Forno”, sixteen “Calle del magazen” and “Calle dei preti”, fifteen “Calle de mezzo”. Moreover must be added also the calli whose names are related to the most common job and trades in the past: the "calle pistor "(baker), the" malvasia "(resale of imported wine), the " remer "(manufacturer of oars and poppets) and so on.
Coined by the people in everyday life, the Venetian toponymy has remained basically unchanged over the centuries.
The course of the Garmin Venice Night Trail was born in this so singular and picturesque landscape: a race along the Calli, which are about 3000 in the city, the streets, roads and lanes. The main calli, which first were paved, are known as Salizada, while those wider and rich in commercial activities are called Ruga. The Lista indicates that once in that road there was the headquarter of a foreign embassy: an example is the “Lista di Spagna”, closed to the train station, where once in Palazzo Frigerio there was the Spanish Embassy. Some parts are named Rio terà to indicate that once that place was occupied by a river which was undergrounded to create a pedestrian street.
However there are the Fondamenta: they are streets that flank with a side the water and the ones which are used as landing for merchant boat are called Riva.
The names of the calli often have origins linked to the life of the city as the Riva degli Schiavoni, which you will see during the Garmin Venice Night Trail before crossing Piazza San Marco. The name of this Riva comes from the past: here landed the merchant ships from Dalmatia, known as Schiavonia by the Venetians.
Therefore, one of the most famous calli linked to the city's history is “Calle degli Assassini”: located in the San Marco district, this Calle was the scene of many heinous crimes as reported by Tassini in 1863 in his “Curiosità veneziane”.
In this network of narrow and thick streets, suddenly larger spaces open: they are “Campi”, places used as meeting points for the inhabitants all along. Once they were places also dedicated to the entertainment such as the running of the bulls or sometimes violent disputes between different factions of the city: nowadays in the “Campi” there are not such dangerous activities, but there is still the same liveliness thanks both to the inhabitants who came here to meet each and the children who here can have fun with the children's games.
It is thought that originally the Campi were covered with grass, later paved assuming the current appearance. Among all stands Piazza San Marco, the only large space to be called Square as the heart of the lagoon city and symbol of the Venetian Republic.
Even at night you will be able to clearly read the names of places written in the “nizioleti” (small sheets), white rectangles which are painted directly on the walls that characterized the signage of the city.
Running in Venice will be like reliving the history of a past not so distant at times.
STORIES BY RUN: Find the way around Venice
In a city like Venice, also to get lost is charming. Especially at night. But if you prefer to take a chance and learn to orient yourself in the Calli, Rami and Corti, follow the advices of Venicebyrun’s guys. But hurry up: to the Venice Night Trail, the first appointment of the VMCevents 2017, you do not have so much time left!

We are approaching step by step to the first race of the VMCevents 2017, the Venice Night Trail. Find your way around Venice is considered by many visitors, confused and disoriented by the many Calli, Rami and Corti that sometimes end in a deadlock as a channel or a door, a kind of undertaking!! If to the complexity of the urban road system we add the darkness of the night, Venice can turn into a real labyrinth!

People have two main ways to find the way around Venice and enjoy its beauty at the top: the first one is to rely on a local guide who will lead you easily through the most charming places, the other way is to proceed in the old way, by taking with you the city map... and your goodwill! The first solution is more convenient, the second most adventurous. Moreover, the mapping is always an integral part of Venetian history. The Serenissima based its prosperity on international maritime trade in goods and for this reason having excellent sailing navigation capabilities was a must for Venetians.

Alvise da Mosto, who discovered the Cape Verde islands, Giovanni and Sebastiano Caboto, the discoverers of Terranova and Labrador (today's Canada) and whose house is situated at the beginning Via Garibaldi in Venice, but also the famous Marco Polo who in "Il Milione" tells his journey to China and the subsequent return by sea to Venice: they are just some of the famous explorers who demonstrated the great ability of Venetians for shipping and exploring.

When it was not possible to rely on the convenience of a Garmin equipped with GPS, going by land and sea and exploring new territories required, as well as great enthusiasm and determination, a significant technical and scientific knowledge. Over the century there have been created many inventions which helped the explorers and the sailors for this aim.

An example is the Fra Mauro's “Mappamondo”, a masterpiece of the 1450 ca., which is preserved in the Biblioteca Marciana in Piazza San Marco. More specifically it is a map of the world made by Fra Mauro who was a monk of the order of San Benedetto and who lived and worked for a long time in the monastery of San Michele island in Venice.

This map is a manuscript made on parchment sheets glued to a wooden support (the size is about 230x230 cm.). On these sheets are thickly annotated more than 3,000 information about many places of the world (as it was thought before the discovery of the Americas).

In this map is very important the definition of Africa's geography: in this pasterpiece it is stated that the African continent could be sailed around. This statement was written half a century before the Portuguese explorers tested the feasibility.

Well, visitors who want to move with a certain familiarity in the city will have to follow a few simple steps: memorize the shape of Venice (just remember that it looks like a fish), keep in mind to use the cardinal points and remember that there are only three historic bridges crossing the Grand Canal. With these adivices, everything will be easier.
STORIES BY RUN: Running on masegni
Running through the streets of Venice you can admire the splendor of the buildings, the special features of the chimneys and the elegance of the Churches, but you have also to pay attention on what there’s under your feet...

The Venetians built their city in a particular environment, a lagoon of shallow water.
For this reason, from the origins, they worked hard to make a living place this difficult territory: they built the ground on which the buildings had to be based, consolidating the floating land and defending them from the tides. The paving is a very serious matter in Venice: the stones take away both the humidity of the Lagoon and the heat of the summer.
The ground of the Venetian calli and squares is largely composed by paving stones called “Masegni”, large rectangular trachyte stones made in the hills in the southwest of Padua.
The trachyte is an optimal stone for paving, both for its aesthetic qualities and for its wear-resistant efficiency against the typical saltiness of the Lagoon.
The variety of colors of trachite contributes greatly to the charm of Venice and it perfectly matches with the extremely varied architectural styles that characterize this city as well as with the colors of its plaster, its bricks and why not, its algae and mold brackish.
The paving stones were used to pave Venice since the first half of the XVIII Century. In ancient times the streets of the city were dirty floor and until the XVI Century in the largest calli the transit of the horse carriages was allowed.
During the Venice Night Trail you will run mainly on a pavement of trachyte stones, except for the first short part from St. Basilio to the Calatrava bridge where the ground is paved.
The ground has important characteristics that may help or complicate your race.
The asphalt surface has the undeniable advantage of the regularity and its rigidity is particularly suitable for the runner who focuses on the speed and on the technique instead of avoiding potholes or bumps. For the beginner, this kind of ground has the advantage to be an easier surface rather than other grounds.
On the countrary, the trachyte puts our joints to a high level of "stress" and for this reason we recommend to use protective shoes with a soft sole.
The paving stones have become rough and damaged by time and it can cause some difficulties, especially in poor lighting conditions ... so be careful where you put your feet!

Venice by Run
STORIES BY RUN: The charm of Venice at night
More magic than Venice is only ... Venice by night. Especially with your running shoes on.

The lagoon city is really unique in the world and the best way to discover and appreciate its charms, that really take your breath away, or is let to tell it by those who know it the most. As the boys Venicebyrun, combining the passion for racing to that for one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Scents, colors, silence, atmosphere: Today, they tell it so.
Venice has been developed from urban settlements in tiny islands where small communities living there had no difficulty in orientation.
Today it is made up of over 120 islands connected together by bridges built over the centuries: they give origin to today's road system that by "foreigners" (in Venice anyone who is not originally from the Venetian lagoon) has often considered a labyrinth.

Getting lost in Venice is undoubtedly one of the most suggestive ways to visit it. And what easier opportunity to put in practice if not in the night, when the little light facilitates the success?
The network of public lighting of the streets of Venice has its origins in the '700 with the installation of oil lamps, later replaced by gaslamps during ‘800 and electric lighting in the early' 900. Before that public lights in the city were limited to a few narrow streets and dangerous when it was planned to install lights and cesendelli mostly near capitals and religious buildings.
In the fifteenth century, as a result of an increase in the number of night crimes, the Venetian Republic made mandatory to people traveling late at night using a light burning: the nobility, rather than taking along candles and lanterns, preferred to pay people for guiding them in the night with a light, and so was born the figure of Codega, a "guide" waiting outside the “Ridotti” (game halls frequented by nobles) for customers to drive home.
Even today that public lighting is more extended than in the past, the light is always discreet, never aggressive, almost not to disturb the harmony and tranquility that characterize the Venetian nights. With the darkness, the city losts the frenetic rhythms and the voices of the common people running through it daily and becames quiet and intimate: the ideal atmosphere to enjoy a nice run!

Start with the sunset. Go to a place with an open view like St. Mark's Square and admire the magical light of the sunset reflected in the water. If the weather is benign and the sky is clear stay there until the darkness comes and enjoy the starlight and the moon mirrored in the large basin of San Mark. Then return to run along the Riva degli Schiavoni, the final kilometers of the Venice Marathon, until you reach the entrance of the Arsenale, the ancient shipyard where the fearsome ships of the Venetian Navy were built.
The absence of cars and people leaves the city surrounded by silence.
Away from the Grand Canal, you will just hear the sound of the waves caused by the rowing boats and by your steps and sometimes you will hear also the cheerful voices of people coming from the Venetian pubs, the actual rally point of the Venetian night-life.
Next to you the water of the Lagoon: while the sunlight turns into the darkness, enjoy the play of the soft lights reflected on the water. Now go to a “Fondamenta” in front of the open lagoon, close your eyes and breathe deeply: here is the lagoon, the scent of Venice.
And now restart your running session along the Fondamenta, between the warmth accumulated during the day by the paving stones and the cool breeze of the lagoon.
The city is a kind of safe haven where is very common wondering in the night. Just sometimes pay attention only on the “Masegni”, the paving made with trachyte blocks, the most common materials used since the XVI Century to build the Venetian flooring pedestrian paths, and on the steps of the bridges.

Another magic moment to run into the town is from the sunset to the dawn: trust our running leaders, they will be your guide through the city.

Venice by Run -
Running to feel good, to keep fit; run to win or to participate. Running for fun but also to travel and discover new places and places full of charm, as the historical center of Venice, of course, but not only.
From now on, thanks to the friends of Venice By Run, we will know more about the places of VMC events - Venice Marathon Club.
And what about you? Do you have already decided what will be your race? If not, here are some good ideas.

2017 has begun and spring is around the corner there is no better time to mark on the calendar the date of our events.
From the historic center of Venice to the Dolomites, this year will be full of challenges and there really is something to please everyone!

As runner we know how important is to get ready for an event, both 10K or a marathon and we have developed a nice "focused training" program (no, we will not speak about training or what to eat before / during / after the race): "Stories by run" will take you into the places you go through running.
Each week will take up points related to the first of the VMC scheduled events, with many curiosities about the territories and useful information to better manage the race and at the same time allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery around you.

To open the dance (sorry, races) we begin with the Venice Night Trail – Saturday 29th April - a magical night 16k run in the heart of Venice, between the mystery and the discover of the wonders in the historic center.
The course takes you through different zones: the districts, the 6 neighborhoods in which Venice has been divided from its origin. Running through calli and campielli, up and down 51 bridges, you'll notice the four-digit numbers that identify the houses, because each district has a unique street numbers (sometimes you can see two very different house numbers in a short distance between each other!). The race starts and finishes in Dorsoduro, which extends into the southern part of the city, known as the university area is also characterized by the presence of important museums and galleries. The Zattere, a long and scenic promenade, will be the last stretch that from Punta della Dogana will take you to the finish line. The course also goes through the districts of Santa Croce, that together with San Polo stands in the central area of the city, Cannaregio, still characterized by an authentic and genuine atmosphere of the city, and Castello, the largest and well known among all as "the tail of the fish" because of its shape, until you get to St. Mark's real heart of the city with its most majestic and imposing buildings.
Venice Night Trail will be an opportunity to race in a unique atmosphere in the world, along “rii” and “canali” that insinuate themselves into the land of this island. Have a look to the gondolas (typical Venetian boats) look carefully one detail: the metal bow (a comb-shaped element). The decorations that decorate it have deep meaning: the six teeth facing forward represent the six districts of Venice, while the only tooth facing inward is the Giudecca, the longest island visible from Zattere belonging to the Dorsoduro district. The "hat of the Doge", the bow above the highest tooth of the comb is the Rialto Bridge, finally, the "S" that starts from the highest point to get to the lowest point of iron is the Grand Canal.

Warm up is done, turn on the lights (front) to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Venice by night ...