After the Venetian villas that characterize the race course along the Brenta Riviera, we are now entering the Municipality of Venice.
Passing the industrial area of Fusina and Marghera, a symbol of the twentieth-century industry (seen as driving force of the economy of that period, but also as cause of environmental problems) and launched in 1917 by Conte Volpi, we enter the center of Marghera.
The urban plan was developed since 1925 along the same lines of the “City Garden” model promoted by the movement founded by Ebenezer Howard: welcoming buildings designed for the venetian workers who would have been moved there to work in the factories of the nascent industrial pole. According to that project the buildings should have been characterized by a very extended green area and inserted into a radial urban structure with numerous roundabouts. Although the project is incomplete, it is possible to note the precise organization and geometry of the area in contrast to the following part of the race course.
Crossing the railway station you will arrive in Mestre, whose oldest evidence dates back to a written record of the first Century BC. Mestre was made up just by a small village and a castle – the Castelvecchio – built along the border between the Sacred Roman Empire to which it belonged and the Duchy of Venice. In 14th Century the castle became propertyof Venetians which built a new castle named Castelnuovo, distinct from the previous one that was demolished. Some remains of the old fortification are still visible nowadays in the central square Erminio Ferretto.
Mestre had not only a relevant role as military outpost of the Serenissima, but it was also important as trade point between the hinterland and Venice. Once in the central via Poerio, the race course joins the river Marzenego, a direct waterway with Venice diverted during the 14th century. The direct communication route with the lagoon was realized through an artificial canal excavated in 1361: this is the Canal Salso which flows along Via Forte Marghera.
As the name suggests here there is a 19th-century fortress started during the Austrian rule and ended in the French one, as further prove of the strategic defensive position of Mestre.
From here you will reach Parco San Giuliano, the Exposport headquarter, a citadel entirely dedicated to people who love and live sport and the place where you will pick up your bib number and race packet.
*Stories by run is a weekly column written by Venice by Run for the VMC – Venice Marathon Club events magazine.