From Venice to Beijing, a 72-year-old Italian begins a 22,000 km journey on foot in the footsteps of Marco Polo

The start of the immense journey undertaken by Vienna Cammarota through Europe and Asia took place from the lagoon of Venice on Tuesday 26 April. The Italian will have to walk 1,460 days to redo the route taken by the famous Venetian merchant. His arrival in the Chinese capital is scheduled for December 2025.

An experienced and seasoned walker, Vienne Cammarota, aged 72, has already traveled many paths on the surface of the globe, before leaving Venice for this historic journey on the Silk Road. Indeed, she has traveled from Nepal to Everest, redone the biblical route of Jesus in Palestine, followed in the footsteps of the German philosopher Wolfgang Goethe in Italy, crossed on foot Madagascar, Patagonia and the Amazon.

Originally from Salerno in Campania, this guide trained in the unique but of undertaking this journey in the footsteps of the legendary Marco Polo, 750 years after him.

This epic will lead him to walk 22,000 km and cross 15 countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and finally China, which she will reach three years after her departure.

This grandmother who has three daughters and three granddaughters is the first woman to embark on such an adventure.

” This is the big day. It’s a trip for which I have done years of physical preparation. I will take with me in my heart, my family, my daughters and my grandchildren whom I will see again in 4 years. I am fascinated by Marco Polo after having been fascinated by Wolfgang Goethe, another great traveler. I like history, culture, archeology. I walk to see and tell but above all to listen,” she told the Italian daily Il Giornale.

goethe and marco polo: models to follow

Ambassador of the Archeoclub Italia, an association for the preservation of heritage, this guide and explorer of a new genre first had as a model, the German writer Wolfgang Goethe. He had visited theItaly between 1786 and 1788 before publishing a work entitled “Voyage en Italie” a few years later.

Subsequently, Vienna Cammarota fell in love with Marco Polo, author of one of the first bestsellers in the world entitled “Il Milione”, published in 1300 and known in France under the titles “Le Devisement du monde” or “Book of Wonders”. This book recounts the odyssey of this famous Venetian merchant and traveler which lasted 24 years between Venice and Asia, at the end of the 13th century.

The septuagenarian is equipped with a 20 kg backpack, a GoPro camera to take pictures of his trip and a satellite phone including an application allowing his doctor-physiotherapist to be able to check his state of health remotely. .

“I know there will be really difficult moments like facing the cold in Mongolia, but I am ready. Fear exists and is part of every human being, but it is lower than the desire to see, to say and to find oneself,” she told Il Giornale.

A journey under the sign of peace

Endowed with a budget to meet her daily expenses, Vienne Cammarota nevertheless sought hospitality from the people she met on the way, not to save money but to have direct contact and exchange with them.

Traveling with the Italian and Ukrainian flags, she sees her journey through Europe and Asia as a “march for peace”.

“This trip serves to bring the discourse of culture and archeology everywhere, because only through culture can we bring peace to people,” Vienne Cammarota told the news agency. Spanish EFE, before his departure.

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