Day 96- EU – Italy [Marina Di Carrara to Pisa]

10th March 2020
Run: 49km

The end of the Italian Road – and the longest day on the road so far

I woke up to the news of Italy’s global lockdown. I had been fearing it, therefore it did not come as a total surprise. But still a shock. Not for the journey itself, but as a measure of how serious the situation is. I had to react quickly. In a matter of minutes I booked a seat on the first available plane to Paris. I still had the whole day ahead of me and decided to run all the way to Pisa as planned.

It was a special day today, as it would be the longest day on the road so far, with nearly 50km. With all the thoughts on my mind I did not see it pass. At all. I just kept going. It was a flat run, sure, but the records show I ran at 9.7kph which is somewhat higher than usual. Whatever happens when the mind gets busy and the body really goes in autopilot.

I am sad to leave Italy under these circumstances. I was looking forward to Tuscany, to the Abruzzo… I have read a lot of the american-italian writers, John Fante in particular – my Grand’Ma introduced them to me. When planning my journey, it was exciting to think I was gonna run through the places where they came from, see and feel what was written in the pages… Well, I shall leave that for later. I will definitely need to revisit these regions once the Virus is gone… 

I checked in at my hotel and the manager informed me that all hotels are closing down. This is basically the last night I can stay in Italy. All my advance reservations on have been cancelled. People in masks and gloves everywhere.

I was alone on the central alley leading to the Leaning Tower of Pisa: not a soul around. 

Anyway – more details tomorrow, but here’s the revised plan:  
I fly to Paris on the 11th / Stay in Paris on the 12th / Take the train to Avignon on the 13th – resume running on the 14th.
The new route will take me North of Avignon, towards Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia – then South to Croatia, where I will follow my original plan – with a time delay of about 15 days or so on the initial plan.

Check my daily run GPS data on Garmin or Strava (icons top right of your screen) – here is the map of today’s run: