running | bieganie, sport & fitness, travels | podróże

RUNNING IN MILAN

Every time I start to write some posts to sum up things I cannot believe how fast time goes… and now happens the same.

September is finishing, Summer officially ended, and we are already in Fall. Yes, today is the first day of Fall! For me it is hard to realize that it has been almost 5 months I have spent in Milan, in Italy.

I remember my very first day when I arrived here in May, my travel to apartment, my visit at agency. Everything seemed to be new and fresh I was excited and thrilled what the city will bring me following weeks (months!). I asked myself who am I going to meet, how is it going to be with jobs.

Even though I had been in Milan earlier, 4 years ago, the city has changed a lot. It seemed to be a difference place for me – buzzing and with lots of noticeable changes. I was shocked with its recent progress!

In terms of running, I needed to take easy and first week of May was not training as I suffered for peroneal tendonitis (tendinitis) [inflammation of the peroneal tendons located on the outside of ankle] so I needed to slow down with workouts. Not only my injury but also the memory from past of running in Milan put me off a bit, I was skeptic if I would manage to have good days for running. I had the picture of crowded city, with not many parks and areas to run…

But, luckily soon I got recovered and second week I was able to start first training in Milan. Pain and injury was gone, so I decided to begin new chapter and find my own way to like it here. Now I can say,
I succeeded, you can run and enjoy it in Milan, definitely!

I found new places, new routes also participated in 2 races here! One for 10 km and another half-marathon (in Monza – located 30km Northeast of Milan)

Below you can see some of the places and areas I discovered that I can recommend for running:

  • Porta Genova and Parco Sempione 
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Porta Genova has changed a lot since I was here last time 4 years ago! Now it is important landmark on the map of Milan, new and modern, looks great during the day, but for me even better during the night or early mornings when it is still dark, but it is lighten up with lights 😉

Parco Sempione is obviously a must to visit not only for runners but also for everyone who visits Milan. I think It is the most famous spot in the city for outdoors activities, many runner, cyclists love this place. (Just be careful with bloody mosquitoes which can ruin pleasure during summer nights 😉

  • Porta Genova – Duomo – Parco Sempione 
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I discovered this route myself and I think it is one of the best way to sightsee the city, cruising through the city center, almost without any traffic (especially in the mornings!). Simply, run to Porta Genova, take an overpass to Porto Nuova and continue underneath little bridge, you will be able to run through beautiful street San Marco that brings you to legendary Brera district, La Scala and Duomo. From there you should pass by PIAZZA MERCATO and head towards Castello Sempione (and make another loop around the Park)!

Simply great route to begin your day, with lots of history included! 😊

Are you looking for another long run destination? I needed to find some ‘BIG, GREEN, SPOT’ on the map – that was my thought when I was searching on map new area for long weekend runs. And I got it!

Parco Nord – as name suggests is located in North Milan. There is lots of space to discover and get lost between numerous paths. There are also little hills, and streams, so you should not get bored. On top of this I spotted quite enough water fountains in park, so you do not need to worry about carrying extra bottles of water.

I found it accidentally looking at Google Maps and I would really recommend it for speed trainings. This is the area I made most of my interval workouts. This is a pedestrian path running for almost 24 miles along the Naviglio Maresana (river), connecting Milan with the Adda river. One can certainly do any portion of the 24 miles, especially since the path starts in central Milan. It Is also very popular among the runners training for Marathons in Milan. Note that the Naviglio Martesana runs parallel to the M2 line, which makes it easy to run one way and hop the train back.

On top of this I managed to run not only in Milan but also in other cities, thanks to my job and travels.

  • ROMA – Always pretty and stunning (city 😉 )  
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  • CARPI – little town in mid Italy
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    (typo with bike/run 😉 )
  • MARCHE – beautiful landscapes and valleys
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  • UMBRIA – hills and tiny streets make it lovely and hard! 😉 
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  • TOSKANY – not the longest run but at least I marked it with my running shoe! 
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  • VENICE – morning jog around canals, and watching sunrise over the bridge will stay in my memory 😉
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  • CALABRIA – one of the best experience for me, I think it was time I really needed this calm, Italian villages surrounded with hills and nothing else, literally NOTHING endomondowp type=’workout’ workout_id=’1190564705′ ]

Whoops! Seems like I can write and write about running all the time…
In the next post you will get know about my races I participated while I was here – 10km and half-marathon… Both successful with PB’s! 😉

#happy weekend

Italy, travels | podróże

Florence City Guide

Usually city tours are planned for stay in the city 24/48 hours. In my case it is gonna be different. My city guide is about how to use efficiently 3 HOURS  (exactly 180 minutes) in Florence. Are you ready? 😉

Just to make it clear, why my stay in capital of Tuscany was that short? It is not that I did not want to be there longer, as believe me, I really wanted! The reason is that this trip was very unexpected. Last week I was working on Sunday and Monday in little town – Barberino di Mugello – out of Florence. I expected to be there full 2 days but fortunately, we (I mean me and other models who were working for @RIFFLEjeans) finished our job on Monday earlier – just before the lunchtime.

But! It would be naive thinking ‘oh, that’s cool, I can have more time for myself!’. The truth was… not really, we needed to wait over 2 hours for the bus to take us back to Florence and take the train back to Milan.

I thought I was so close to this city and I would regret not seeing it even for a bit! Especially that for last two days, during job, photographer & assistant talked a lot about Florence and how nice is it, giving some tips what to see, where to go there. I really wanted to see it myself! One other friend (who I just met at job) tempted by those hints, thought the same, we decided that we would go back to Milan a bit later that evening so we could have at least few hours in Florence.
And that is what we did!

When the bus finally picked us up to Florence, in the meanwhile we marked some places on the map that would be nice to see. We split with the rest of the group who was chasing the train at 5PM, having on our mind that now we had 3 hours to see as much as possible.

(Below you can see map marked with our walk – now, looking at this in perspective of time, seems like that we made quite solid distance 😉 )

We started from Firenze Train Station (S. M. Novella) which is located just next to Basilica Si Santa Maria Novella.

Then we headed towards Pallazo Medici Riccardi and little Basilica di San Lorenzo . Which unfortunately was already closed, we missed 10 minutes(!).

Later, we turned right and walked down the street where on our left appeared one of the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen in my life – Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Astonishing facade, jaw-dropping with its colorful marble. This 1200s cathedral known for its red-tiled dome. We had walk around it, trying to find the way to walk inside, but this idea quickly blurred after seeing the queue to the entrance… (Hopefully next time!)

Walking down Via dei Calzaiuoli we walked towards Piazza della Republicca and found Fontana del Porcellino. I did not know by then, but apparently rubbing the snout of this iconic bronze fountain of a boar will ensure your return to Florence 😊.

From there we walked to Piazza deggli Uffii where is located Gallery which is a prominent art museum. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.

This is placed just few steps from the bank of Arno River where we enjoyed picturesque view of the city over the water.

At this point we walked a bit more to the east side of the city to see Basilica di Santa Croce di Firenze.

That was  a turning point of our trip and started to walk towards train station. We came back to the riverside and crossed it through Ponte alle Grazie (from there I spotted hill with Piazza Michelangelo on top but we had no time to climb over there – later I googled this place and this is apparently the best place to see panorama of the city – according to Wikipedia that it is 19th-century piazza with a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David & panoramic views over the city]”).

Southern part of Arno River was definitely more chilled and peaceful than its northern part which was full of traffic. I really enjoyed it, we walked towards Ponte Vecchio. Picturesque medieval arched river bridge with Roman origins, lined with jewelry & souvenir shops.

This is probably one of the nicest and romantic part of the city. (And I am saying this – the one who is not romantic at all 😀 ).

From Ponte Vecchio we walked a bit more further up the river.. We had 1 hour before the departure of our train. So we decided to look for some nice bar to rest and eat after our [quite] intense tour.

Primarly we wanted to try Lampredotto. This is one of those historical, common folk dishes from Florence’s medieval period. It is a sandwich made with thinly sliced tripe (intestines) that’s been boiled in broth, seasoned, and served either on a plate or in a sandwich. You can order it with spicy red sauce or herbal green sauce, or even bagnato (with wet bread, and little bit of gravy) from outdoor markets or street vendors around the city)… but the bar was already closed so we walked across the river once again, googling local restaurants so we would be closer to the train station and have more time to relax.

We ended up at Trattoria da Giorgio (Via Palazzuolo 100r). Where we expected to have good, home-made food – judging from reviews on Internet.

We ordered our food at 7.30 and it was served in few minutes. But we had almost no time to enjoy it… We were eating literally as it was a competition. Paying for it with mouth still full of food. Eventually, we left the restaurant at 7.48 and run towards train station to catch the train at 8 pm…

I do not need to tell how mad I was when I saw when I saw on the screen that our train had 30mins delay… ‘We could have at least some coffee at the restaurant and eat as a human!’ – thought to myself…. I felt so sorry for my friend who I was rushing up with eating. On the other hand, we had extra time to get some gelato on the station!

Our delay eventually turned into 45 minutes and then we got out train to Milan, where we arrived at 11 PM.

I was very tired when we got off at Milano Centrale as that were two intense days, also Sunday and Monday I needed to wake up at 5 am, but I was also happy about having seen Florence at least for a bit!

I walked (or rather crawled) very slowly – like a zombie to my apartment. All I needed was having a shower and going to bed.
While I was falling asleep I had real brainstorm on my mind and flashbacks from this what I has seen that day, as everything was happening so fast and still I could not believe I was there…

And, you know what?! The legend about rubbing Porcellino is actually truth! As I go back to Florence for job next week! 😉

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