Run in Italy-Venice

Classic Venice Jogging Route : Getting Lost Together with an Empire Lost in Time

Elaine Chang


Traveling on business, moving between cities and nations seems to be part of my life/destiny….

Do you like to travel? For many, the response to that question is a resounding “yes.” What about going on business trips? And what if you are on business in a destination suitable for holiday travel? What is that like?” Every time I am asked about that, I jokingly reply, “At least I take business trips to Italy, where everything is so beautiful.”

Yet non-stop meetings, chaotic train stations, and hearing a language that seems at once vaguely familiar yet foreign often detract from the romance of Italy. Jogging solo, therefore, has become my way to connect with this dream destination and start my day a touch of appreciation for nature, culture and my own presences.  When I run, everything comes to a momentarily standstill. No work, no messages, in the morning, before the day starts, and at dusk, by the end of the day after work. So these adventures begin with me, my trainers, and I in Venice (Rome, Umbria, Piedmont, and Florence.)

Recommendation: Classic Venice – Rialto, San Marco, Biennale Garden
Route & Distance: Total length: approx. 8 km, stone-paved surfaces, on and off many bridges along the way
Caution: Might be harder on the knees, easy to get lost (although this is already the easiest route with signs along the way)

Palazzo Venart, a once-forgotten palace,  is now a garden hotel by the Grand Canal that is situated in a quiet spot, a rare commodity in Venice. Once you push past the iron gates to the back garden of the hotel, you’ll find yourself smack in the city center of Venice. It takes only five minutes (approx. 1km) to reach the Rialto Bridge, which is often filled with crowds during the day. To avoid the crowd, it is best to begin the run before 7. Along the bridges you can see  the fish vendors starting to set up their stalls; you can smell it too. You’ll find yellow signs that read “To St. Mark” along the way. If you don’t get lost, you’ll arrive at St. Mark’s Square at 2km. There, you’ll find the church standing tall with its blue archway, with mosaics depicting stories from the Bible and four bronze horses standing tall above the church. You’ll also find marble pillars that are all different from each other. These were supposedly war spoils taken from Istanbul in the Crusades. The Lion of Venice stands far above the ground, faithfully guarding the coastal boundaries of the nation. The Doge Palace has pink walls and long romantic corridors that make such attractive visual appeals at different hours and different seasons that I always stop to admire the scenery before me.

LanLanRuninItaly-Venice-Pic5-Doge-PalaceDoge Palace

From there, run along the waters where you will pass the Bridge of Sighs. Supposedly when couples kiss under the bridge at dusk, they find true love. But if you run to the bridge alone, all you get is good health. Run briskly for another 2km and you will come across a garden and at the end of the route will be your turning point. In this palazzos filled island, “Giardini della Biennale” is one of the only green space left and it is also the main venue for the Venice Art Biennial.  Even when there’s no festivity, the garden is filled with world famous sculptures that change throughout the seasons. Never a boring sight just like the rest of Venice. (ps. on your way back, look for the “To Rialto” signs to lead you back to Palazzo Venart.)

LanLanRuninItaly-VeniceThe sculptures in the garden of Venice Biennale Exhibition

I love running in Venice, because in this city, time seems to be just as lost as I. Hundreds of stone bridges are strewn across the canal, linking the Venetian islands together. Before the sea and the crowd of the day swallow up this mirage/world, how could I not cherish the richness you find in this city? Here, where you could hardly tell the skies and the water apart, the millennial Venetian Empire has left behind a romantic city for the generations after them to savour.

Short Poems of Venice
Lost in Time
An empire without border,
A city without terra firma.
In Venice,
Besides the sparkling sea,
Between the grand & tiny canals,
Upon the windy pebble streets,
Inside the decorated palazzos,
Time is lost in space,
And are we…..

LanLanRuninItaly Venice

LanLanRuninItaly VeniceSunrise Painting
Waking up together with Venice,
Watching the rising sun.
The ray of light painted the ancient city like an inspired artist spellbound by beauty of Venezia.

On the eastern sky, his stroke was passionate.
Orange & yellow with strikes of golden beam,
Tearing up the night waiting eagerly to see his loving Venezia!
On the western horizon, his brushes were gentle.
Pink & white against the glowing curtains of blue,
Gingerly whispering words of love without startling the sleeping beauty.

Looking east and west,
Which love stories do I like more?
Before I was ready to made my choice…
Like the countless romances in Venice, all was washed away with the arrival of daylight.

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