Running to the Indian and back

Sunday, November 6, 2011

With the Maratona di Firenze only a few weeks away, more and more people are out running. Iím not participating in the marathon, but I have been wanting to increase my distance and run fewer times a week. Last week, I ran up to the Piazzale Michelangiolo and back. It was about 10k, but this morning I wanted to not only go further, but also change my route again.

At 8am, I walked along the lungarno (street alongside the Arno) and headed toward the Ponte Vecchio. My husband told me that if I go straight up the Arno to the Parco delle Cascine and reach the Ponte allíIndiano, thatís 6k.

It was sprinkling outside and the sky was grey when I began to run. The streets were initially empty with only a few cars and motorini passing by.

I kept looking over my left shoulder to see the Arno and the reflection of the other side. At one point, there were numerous men fishing while sitting on the grassy area above the Arno. Because of the rain, they sat under large umbrellas.

I ran past the US Consulate and then across the overpass to the Parco delle Cascine. Once in the parco (park), I encountered more runners while I was running toward the Ponte allíIndiano. Iím always one of the first ones to say anything to those who pass me by. Almost everyone always responds well.

While I was running in the Parco delle Cascine, I realized that I hadnít run there in probably three years. The last time, I rode my bike to the parco and ran around it once.

Most of the trees still had their leaves even though the street seemed to be covered with the brown leaves that made a noise when I ran on top of them. The road leading to the Ponte allíIndiano seemed to never get there. I couldnít see the ponte (bridge) until I was very close to it. I didnít feel much relief seeing the ponte since I knew that was my halfway mark.

I ran up to the statue of the indiano (Indian) and turned around to head back to the city. The return trip seemed to go by quicker for some reason. I was enchanted when I ran over Ponte alla Vittoria and could see many of the ponti (bridges) and a few churches like the Cestello and San Miniato on the hill in the distance.

I stopped at the same piazza where I started running, Piazza dei Giudici, and saw that it was exactly 12k. I double-checked on-line too when I got home.

I walked to my favorite little giardino (garden) near Ponte alle Grazie to stretch out. By this time, there were so many people out running. I was happy that I went early when the streets were quieter.

When my plane for Paris took off this afternoon, I had a seat next to the window so I could admire my city as we took off. I saw the Ponte allíIndiano where I ran to this morning and smiled.

I was sad to be leaving my beloved city, but excited too about running around the Eiffel Tower as well as along the Seine. Running is even more interesting when I go on different routes.

If you have any comments, please share them on the Living in Florence's FaceBook page. Grazie!

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