STORIES BY RUN – “Labyrinthine” Venice in San Giorgio Island
Staying on track is essential to run in a city as Venice. But there is a place in the city in which getting lost is in some ways a deliberate choice, though.

In the last km of the VeniceMarathon course opposite to St. Mark square all the runners will notice San Giorgio island.

The island is well known for the beautiful church of San Giorgio designed in XVI c. by architect Andrea Palladio but it also hides a much more recent gem in the inner parts of the abbey: the maze of Jorge Luis Borges.

In 2011, to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of the famous Argentine writer, a maze of boxwood bushes was created.

The maze recalls one of the main themes of Borges’ writings and takes inspiration from one of his most famous stories – “The Garden of forking paths” (1941) in which the writer states that labyrinth and book are the same thing: the book is a sort of mini labyrinth since it continues to a greater labyrinth, life itself.

The maze covers an area of 2.300 sqm, is composed of 3.250 boxwood bushes that draw the name of the Argentine writer, the course is 1.150 m long. Seen from top is like an open book, on a handrail along the course people affected by vision issues (Borges died blind) can read the quotation from “The Garden of forking paths” transcribed into Braille that a book and a labyrinth are "one and the same" and be accompanied out of the maze.

The architect Randoll Coate declared that in a nightmare he heard about the death of Borges, hence the clue that he could not be commemorated with a usual statue and designed a maze for him.

In the cloister some of the objects related to the artist and his works are exhibited: a walking stick, a mirror, an hourglass, a tiger and a huge question mark. In this way we enter physically and metaphorically in the magical world of Borges!
STORIES BY RUN – The long strip run of the Zattere in Venice
All of us think about Venice as a city full of bridges and narrow calle, in which running can be difficult, even more if during an international Marathon race as the Venice Marathon. Well, we are wrong! There is a place in the southern part of the Venetian island that is the preferred spot to work out for runners and Venicemarathon does know it: the Zattere area. It is a wide and paved strip – in Venice called fondamenta - built between the year 1519 and 1531 along the Giudecca channel that is the final part of the marathon race.

In ancient time the area was named Carbonaria recalling the commercial activity related to coal (carbone) loads delivered in the area, then its name followed the new business of wood trading. The logs of the Dolomites where delivered to Venice on big rafts of timber, the so called zattere, via the rivers that flow into the lagoon. In Venice, as all the rest of the city, the business terminals too were designed to be beautiful and the Zattere area makes no exception being pointed by remarkable buildings.

One of them is the majestic Ospedale degli Incurabili, a big building founded in 1517 by San Gaetano of Thiene to give hospitality to men and women suffering from what was then called the French disease: syphilis, whose patients at that time were considered incurable hence the name of the building. After some years the Ospedale extended its activities to a shelter for abandoned children promoting music education to them. Later a church was built in the middle of the present courtyard to host the weekly concerts of these girls and boys, but in 1819 was knocked down after the Napoleonic edicts to make more room to the artillery barracks that occupied it.

Today the building, after careful restoration, houses the Academy of Fine Arts and signals you the finish line is 2 km only away!
STORIES BY RUN – Running in St. Mark square: pay attention to columns!
Running in St. Mark area is beautiful and sometimes runners are not paying adequate attention to its elements like the many columns spread all over. Some have important stories to tell, running by them you can discover much more of this wonderful Piazza.

Run from the Basilica towards the water across the so called Piazzetta and stop in the middle of it; by turning your eyes to the left at the Ducal Palace you will see that the ninth and tenth column of the upper floor loggia are of a different colour from all the other ones: they are not white but red. According to some, those two red columns were the exact place from which the Doge attended the ceremonies and performances that took place in St. Mark square; from here, some judgement news were also announced such as the death sentences for the ones found guilty of serious crimes against the Republic of Venice.

Keep on running for few meters and you will encounter two tall columns on top of which we can see St Teodoro and the winged lion (a “chimera”) symbolizing St Mark: the people sentenced to death were hanged right between them, exposed to the public for several days as a memento of the misconduct of the condemned person. The treatment was reserved to convicts of any social class: in 1470 this punishment befell Bartolomeo Memmo, a nobleman found guilty of conspiring against the Doge Cristoforo Moro. For all these facts it is said that to pass in the middle of the two columns brings bad luck.

Keep the winged lion column on your right and run along the main façade of the Ducal Palace for few paces and stop in front of the fourth column of the ground floor. The fourth column seems to be bolder than the other ones and it is called the “cursed column” as it is said that was used as an opportunity for convicts to death to have their life saved. Once the front of the Ducal Palace stood directly on the lagoon without any square or dock surrounding it and the water touched the white massive columns of the ground floor. The convict had to turn around the column with the back on it for all the try and once succeeded had his life saved. There is not any knowledge about people that could turn around the whole column, but the records say more about people that could not do it and fell down in the water in some cases easing the executioner’s job by drowning in St. Mark’s pool.
STORIES BY RUN – Venice international meeting point
The count-down has started! It's 4 months to the 33rd edition of the Huawei Venicemarathon that will be held on Sunday October 28th.
This is not just a simple marathon. The event is also considered a 'meeting point' for thousands of athletes coming from all over the world.

It is well known that the city of Venice has always been at a crossroads of people coming both from East and West.
Its history dates back to the sixth century and once Venice wasn't just a city in a larger state: it was one of the greatest trading powers in Europe.
It was located at the “finish line” of the Silk Road trade route and consequently became a cosmopolitan city, a true melting pot.
During the middle ages crusades, Venice was one of the wealthiest towns, and the most overcrowded Mediterranean port.
We may say that it was the first multi-cultural town of Europe, where you could easily run into northern European merchants, Slaves, Greeks and Byzantines seamen.
The need to affirm its own cultural and religious variety persuaded numerous foreign communities emigrated to Venice to build here their own real and specific place of worship, giving life to an harmonious twist of architectural forms and artistic traditions.
Just as a mark of the Venetian melting pot of the time, we still have in Venice some buildings or areas like the Fondaco dei Turchi (warehouse of the Turkish), the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (warehouse of the Germans), the church of San Giorgio dei Greci (the greek-orthodox church), Riva degli Schiavoni (the shore of the Slaves), the Isola di San Giorgio degli Armeni (the island of St George of the Armenians, currently one of the most important centers of armenian culture in the world), the Ghetto ebraico (the Jewish ghetto).
We can relive the stages of this history that had seen rise through centuries different religious communities and got developed in the lagoon, through traces of this past, which is still present and which indissolubly linked Venice and the Orient, contributing to feed the myth of Venice as “door to the East”.
Every year the Venicemarathon is a unique opportunity for a spectacular run through this unique territory. It exists since 1986 and has become one of the most popular international marathons. 8,000 participants are allowed to take part in the event. Approximately 30% of these athletes comes from abroad – the 2017 edition hosted 77 different nations.
Just a curiosity: the bib number has your name, your country and your country’s flag. It will be cool to look around to see where people come from!
STORIES BY RUN – Venice and its traditions: "sagre" and "feste"!
Spring is giving way to summer and Venice is going to become a busy place for feasts! With the warm temperature finally coming, runners are for sure preparing their track and road races but refreshing in open air during the evening can also be part of the workout.
This week has started the long row of traditional sagre (a secular celebration) and feste (religious feasts) in Venice: these are events Venetians are truly in love with, it is a place to meet all friends and have fun together in a convivial way.
The so called Festa di Sant’Antonio a San Francesco della Vigna (we know, it is an endless name :) ) is the opening one, from 9 to 16 June. Located in Castello district, in the tail of an imaginary fish-shaped Venice, it is a must do thing among residents still in town before vacations. The feast was brought to new life in the ‘90s by a bunch of local shops’ owners that wanted to continue old traditions and now is carried on by private citizens as a charity event. Local music and food is the basis for fun but wine and beer in moderate quantities top the party!
The king of Venetian events is coming in a month: the Redentore feast will be on the 14-15 July weekend. This holiday has become one of the major feast of Venice in which religious aspect and entertainment are mixed together. It is hosted since 1592 and a floating bridge is set for two days across the Giudecca Channel allowing people to cross it on foot to reach directly the Church of Redentore and spell prayers. But on Saturday 14 July is also time to party, from afternoon to night, in all Giudecca island and St. Mark’s area, dancing, mingling with people and admiring the 45’ beautiful fireworks display in St. Mark’s basin.
Summertime in Venice will continue with a continuous sequence of festivals up to September, therefore even if you missed the two above you will have for sure the chance to catch up later!
STORIES BY RUN – Jesolo superstar: welcome to the modern city beach
The 8th edition of the Jesolo Moonlight Half Marathon is just finished…
The city of Jesolo hosted thousands of runners that this year faced with a change of the race course. With this occasion they discovered this modern city beach!

Once Jesolo made the beach and anonymous tourism its main business card, until it became aware that it could become something more evolved and attractive: a real "destination".
The upgrading of the city started fifteen years ago, in 1997, with the masterplan by Kenzo Tange. This was based on the concept of the tower, to reduce the consumption of soil and to enhance the views towards the horizon of the sea.
Three towers already built are considered small landmarks, precise points where it is easy to make an appointment, visible from afar, territorial. They host panoramic, well-equipped and elegantly finished apartments.
The tower designed by Gonçalo Byrne is 25 stories high, smooth, glazed, colored and with deep holes; the one by Carlos Ferrater with its 22 floors is pointed, whitish and with many loggias and sliding walls; the one originally designed by Valter Tronchin, later modified by Aurelio Galfetti, is lower with its fifteen floors and is characterized by rounded corners and shades of blue.
The towers are not in the first row on the beach, and with the sea they just maintain a Platonic relationship, devoid of any physicality. The city at their feet is an horizontal plinth whose commercial function and connection with the beach is consequently reinforced. This is what Richard Meier tries to do, in his two projects realized and close between each other, white and with a naval look: a nice C –shape of apartments set around a swimming pool and a ten-story block.
Certainly you will be able to recognize some of these modern architectures if you decide to visit Jesolo!
It is obvious that the redevelopment is changing the face of Jesolo: parks, green areas, areas for entertainment and leisure, luxury apartments, design hotels, exotic villages, relaxing oases, commercial areas with large public spaces and event containers. The environmental recovery and urban planning of the city aim to create a unique territory, able to meet the needs of residents and tourists.
The seasonal city beach is working hard to become an annual resort.
Add to this that Jesolo has become a good stepping stone to visit Venice and combine sea and culture.
STORIES BY RUN – Canals and ports: the history of Lido di Jesolo
This year MHM became new. For this edition the itinerary has been redesigned in total for both races: the classic distance of half marathon 21,097Km and also for the 10K fast way. The route goes inside the Jesolo’s municipality and start at the useful and central Piazza Milano.
With the new itinerary of the half marathon all runners can see the wonderful architectures of Lido di Jesolo and learn the history of the area between the sea and the lagoon.
After a few kilometres to start, the runners can see the historical aspect about this territory. The lands just outside the coast lead, introduce one of the big historical estate of coast, Canale Cavetta, which it will accompany the athletes along the itinerary until his mouth. The Venetian Republic realized the Cavetta in order to have a rapid fluvial connection with the trades in Friuli. The work began in 1440 based on the hydraulic project created by Alvise Zuccarini. The canal called Cava Zuccherina, in remember to its designer, was closed early because, around 1600, a new canal was opened. This canal was big and straight like the actual Canale Cavetta, that it connected the Piave river (which at the time flowed into Sile) with Revedoli canal in Eraclea.
In 1683 the route of the Landrona determined hydrographic situation, that we see today: the Piave river changed his itinerary and went between the Cavetta canal and Revedoli canal, in this way the first river blocked the direct connetion. To avoid the possible flooding, characteristic of Piave river, the city decided to build the barriers in Cortellazzo and Revedoli. In this way the Cortellazzo’s village was born and it became a fishing port. Today Cortellazzo is a famous touristic port in the end of Cavetta canal, that feed the waters of Sile. The barriers are always open and they are the begin of the modern part of Lido di Jesolo.