Italian grandmother sets off on 22,000km hike in footsteps of Marco Polo

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An Italian grandmother of three has set off on an epic 22,000km hike, following the path of her hero, Marco Polo.

Seventy-two-year-old Vienna Cammarota left Venice on Tuesday for the extraordinary journey, which follows a route the Italian explorer took 750 years in the past all the best way to Beijing.

It would take her by way of 15 international locations and alongside the traditional Silk Highway route by way of Eurasia to China, featured in his ebook The Travels of Marco Polo.

If each stage of her hike goes to plan, Ms Cammarota ought to attain the Chinese language capital by December 2025.

This isn’t her first rodeo, both: the septuagenarian has already walked the size of Nepal to Everest, travelled the Biblical route of Jesus by way of Palestine and adopted German thinker Goethe’s path throughout the Alps.

Ms Cammarota – who’s from the Campania area – has three daughters and three granddaughters who will ship her care packages at varied phases of her route.

The skilled hiker will carry a 20kg backpack, and informed native press she had saved €40,000 for the voyage, “However I’ll search for hospitality to avoid wasting as a lot as I can and the place I can.”

“I really like historical past, tradition and archaeology, and I stroll with a purpose to see and recount, however above all to hear,” she informed reporters.

She has taken a duplicate of Marco Polo’s diaries to learn alongside the best way, and plans to maintain her thoughts energetic by doing psychological arithmetic.

“The concept comes from curiosity and historical past… I fell in love with Marco Polo and I realised that he’s not well-known by Venetians and all Italians,” she added.

She says she will likely be accompanied by “a physiotherapist, who’s following me from a distance” however emphasised the significance of “psychological preparation” for the three-year journey.

“By no means greater than on this interval of battle on the gates of Europe, do we want examples like that of Vienna,” proclaimed the mayor of Naples, Gaetano Manfredi.

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