The amazing journey of the Cetilar Pisa Half Marathon 2017


The new path in the Pisa Half Marathon aims bringing together the many peculiarities of the city of Pisa: Art and Culture on one hand and nature and environment on the other hand.

Pisa is a wide-world famous city for its artistic beauty. First of all, the splendid scenery of Piazza dei Miracoli, but Pisa offers also one of the world’s most splendid green spaces, incorporated within the territory of the city: the giant green area of the San Rossore Natural Park, thousands of square meters of uncontaminated and protected nature.

The new departure is located in Via Contessa Matilde, a large road few tens meters away from the Leaning Tower, and on the left side of the departure there is the fantastic scenery of the medieval town walls, just restructured and visitable by the public, including also the non-competitive march to the Half Marathon.

After the departure, we leave the urban part of the city crossing the Aurelia road, and walk along the Viale delle Cascine, a long and wide road leading directly to the main entrance of San Rossore Park, which will be reached after about 4 km. The Park entrance initially provides a tour around the Visitor Center leaving the historic San Rossore Racecourse (Ippodromo) on the right, where since 1854 international horse racing competitions have been taking place.

After completing the 1Km tour around the Visit Centre, we take Via delle Randagie, a large straight road of over 3 km, which cross the Park, passing through splendid forests with the possibility or almost certainty to meet deers, fawns and roes, who are the real hosts.

At the end of the road, leaving the left side of the Park, on the right, we enter inot Via delle Lenze, a long artery that takes us back to the city from the secondary entrance of the San Rossore Park; we leave behind us the splendid unspoiled nature to return to the cradle of art and Tuscan culture, the splendid historical centre of the city of Pisa. For the first time we cross the Arno river through the CEP bridge, on the right few kilometres ahead there is the splendid Basilica of San Piero in Grado and further down the Tyrrhenian coast … but we go on the left to the city and we enter Via Conte Fazio (Km 15).

We cross the Arno river again, through the Ponte della Cittadella (Citadel Bridge), but this time having on both sides an important part of the history of the city of Pisa: on the right we will be able to admire the Citadel Bridge, while on the left we could be enchanted by the splendid republican arsenals followed by the Medici arsenals. After a short journey on Lungarno Simonelli, we turn left into Via Roma until to Piazza dei Miracoli. In the middle of Via Roma there is the fantastic Botanical Garden, home of our Expo and yet another green area in the city. At the end of Via Roma we enter in the scenery of the most beautiful square of the world, Piazza del Duomo: on the far left of the square we admire the Baptistery, in front of us we have the Duomo and on the right the famous Leaning Tower. We would like to stay there to continue to admire such a splendour, but we have a race to complete and … turning right we go into Via Santa Maria, partly pedestrian artery, which still leads us to the river. Via Santa Maria is one of the streets with several offices of the University of Pisa, the organizer of this event. At some point, on the left, after few hundred meters, we will hear the noises coming from the arrival, but our race is not over yet. We arrive on the lane and cross the Ponte Solferino (Solferino Bridge); from the bridge you can see the Chiesa della Spina, a small art jewel, built on the Arno riverbank. Continuing along the Lungarno, at the right we find the Museum of Palazzo Blu, one of the most important cultural event location in the city, a beautifully blue colored palace and then Palazzo Gambacorti, for centuries hosting the Local Public Administration offices.

Just at the height of Piazza XX Settembre, headquarters of the Municipality of Pisa, we take Corso Italia on the right, entirely a pedestrian commercial street 365 days a year. At the end of Corso Italia cross Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II and turn left into Via Benedetto Croce, home of the main high schools in the city. The path is entirely dedicated to the philosopher of Abruzzo, and crossed Piazza Toniolo we take again via Bovio, and return to Lungarno Galilei. From Piazza Toniolo to Via Bovio we have the opportunity to see on the right the fortified walls of the Giardino Scotto, still a green area of the city, that last year was the place of departure and arrival of our event.

Walking till the end of Lungarno Galilei, we leave many beautiful aristocratic noble palaces, we cross again the Arno through the main bridge of the city, Ponte di Mezzo. On this bridge, every year the spectacular Gioco del Ponte (Bridge game) has held, a historical competition between the different neighborhoods divided into two teams or better judiciaries: Tramontana, north of the city and Mezzogiorno the south one. Crossing Piazza Garibaldi we enter into Borgo Stretto, another important natural shopping centre, enriched on both sides by beautiful loggias. At the end of Borgo Stretto, we turn left into Via Ulisse Dini and we can see the Arrival in the fantastic scenery of Piazza Cavalieri, the neuralgic centre of the medieval city, with a large number of historic buildings that overlook it. Nowadays it is the home to the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

author: Mentarossa Editor


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