Italian Hikers Explore Silk Road

Updated: August 10, 2006 | Clicks: 698

Forty-eight Italian hikers were yesterday toasted by the Italian consul to Shanghai, before they set out along the Silk Road.

The hikers were honored in the traditional "Cup of Stirrup" ceremony before departing for 10-days of hiking along parts of the ancient trading route, which once linked China to Italy. They plan to cover a total of 1,004 kilometers.

The hikers, half of whom are women, will trace the footsteps of historic Italian explorers Marco Polo, Odorico of Pordenone, Padre Matteo Ricci of Macerata and Pompeo Mazzocchi, stopping at Hangzhou, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Taiyuan, Beijing, Jinan, Xuzhou and Suzhou. They plan to return to Shanghai on August 20.

A hike will be held near each city, with the distance depending on the weather.

The ancient Silk Road was an important trade route connecting China with the outside word in the ancient Han Dynasty. Exploring that ancient route has become increasing popular among foreign travelers recently. To many travelers, every step along that trade route is a walk into China long, glorious past. Moreover, landscape on the way offers a great contrast to that of the fertile south and east China.

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