“Up and Down the Bridges” is a walk in Venice involving all participants – young people, adults, families, school parties and sport groups – in a stroll through the Venice calli (alleys), all together in the name of friendship and solidarity. Every year the money raised from the event, after expenses, is donated to charity.
The first edition of “Up and Down the Bridges” took place in 1975 and was organized by TGS Eurogroup and Venetiadi. In later years many other organizations such as AGeSC, CTG, FISM, Ex allievi Don Bosco, NOI Associazione joined in. This event was so successful that the promoters decided to carry on organizing it.
The attendance to this walk has always been very high in all its editions: from a minimum of 1.750 participants on the first edition to a maximum of 19.250 on the seventh one.
Over the years many folk groups and music bands joined the event. All these groups contribute to the atmosphere in Piazza San Marco and other places in and around Venice during the event.
Everyone finds their way to identify themselves with the Venice culture, history and traditions at the “Up and Down” event.
After over 30 editions, while keeping intact the spirit of its origins, this event still represents a day of celebration and joy which is renewed from year to year. Every year 10 to 12,000 people take part in this exciting day which couldn’t take place without the help of 600 volunteers working at the refreshment points and along the race route itself.
The founder and coordinator of the Promoting Committee was the salesian priest Father Dino Berti. He guided the organization of the “Up and Down the Bridges” even in the year 2000, a few months before he died. Thanks to the efforts of so many people and of the current Committee, this event continues to be successful every year. This is also proven by the fact that, year after year, the Italian media show increasing interest in this initiative.
The Municipality of Venice considers “Up and Down the Bridges” one of the most important events in the annual Venetian calendar, just like traditional celebrations such as the “Festa del Redentore” (The Saviour), the Historical Regatta (Boat Race), the Carnival of Venice or the Venice Marathon.
Local authorities, private companies, banks and enterprises, thanks to their help and their funding, nurture this event to make it the success it has become in the city of Venice.