Friuli Venezia Giulia: “UNESCO cities marathon”: the race that enters history

The first „UNESCO cities marathon“, scheduled in Friuli Venezia Giulia on April 1, Easter Monday, looks as if it will be a really great event. The marathon, which covers the classical distance of 42.195 Km, will start from the excavation area of Aquileia and, across Palmanova, will reach Cividale del Friuli. The choice of the location is not fortuitous at all: Aquileia and Cividale, located at a distance that corresponds exactly to that of a marathon, are two World Heritage Sites and the historic fortress of Palmanova, on the other hand, has started the procedure to be listed as a UNESCO Site. The inclusion of Aquileia in the UNESCO World Heritage list, which dates back to 1998, was motivated by the importance of its archaeological remains and of the extraordinary mosaic floor of its early-Christian basilica. Cividale del Friuli, on the other hand, is the first stage of the tour “The Lombards in Italy, the places of power (568-774 A.D.)”, listed as a UNESCO site in 2011. Finally, Palmanova aims at being included owing to the uniqueness of its plan, the famous nine-pointed star of Renaissance perfection, and to its integrity.
Therefore, the marathon also includes very significant cultural and tourist aspects, but is above all a great sporting event that has immediately obtained the support of the Italian Athletics Federation and the exceptional recognition both for the Italian national championships and for the Masters championships. It is the first time that a national competition is given such value in its first year.
Moreover, even those who are less fit can participate in the event, which proposes the division of the track into two relay races of 16.5 and 25.5 km with changeover in Palmanova. And, as the race will be held on Easter Monday, those who wish to watch as spectators only can spend the day on the ramparts of the fortress town, with guided visits to the walls and tunnels, walking or mountain bike tours, entertainment for children, chess competitions and barbecues.

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