Three years ago, I noticed a few posters around Venice, advertising some mysterious event called “Su e Zo per i Ponti” I didn’t think much about it, but when I saw posters again the following year, I had to find out what it was all about.
The Su e Zo per i Ponti is a 13km walk (or 6km for primary school children), that follows a looping course from Piazza San Marco through the sestieri, ending back at the Piazza about four hours later. There are 55 bridges to go up and down in this walk.
The walk really appealed to me, so when I found out it would take place while I was here this year, I thought “I want to do that.” A friend helped me to find a place to buy my ticket, and all I had to do was wait for April 10 to arrive.
The weather was benign, warm with a slight breeze. I arrived at the Piazza about 9:30 and soon saw many thousands of others waiting for the big event to begin. The band of the Carabiniere played, the three flags were raised in front of San Marco, flag waving and tossing displays kept us occupied, the noise level rose as more people joined the throng.
I was impressed with the organization of the event. It began promptly at 10, there were helpers along the way to keep us going in the right direction, we had 3 refreshment booths to keep our fluid and glucose levels high, there were checkpoints where our tickets were marked, to act as proof for the treasured medal that marks this 33rd walk.
I felt sorry for the locals and tourists who were trying to get through some of the narrow calle that we squeezed through, but everyone seemed to take it with good humour.
Did I enjoy it? You bet! Would I do it again? For sure!