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!


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