November 26 - With under two weeks to go to the start of the 26th Winter Universiade, the Trentino 2013 Torch Relay has reached the historic city of Venice after visiting a number of cities, including 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games host Innsbruck.
The Torch known as the "Gentian of the Alps" was greeted by enthusiastic crowds as it arrived in the city famous for being criss-crossed by waterways.
Among those accompanying the torch was a delegation from the Trentino 2013, including President Sergio Anesi, vice-president Paolo Bouquet, vice-rector of the University of Trento Paul Collini and Stefano Rossi from the University of Trento, who was involved in designing the Torch for the Games.
After visiting the University IUAV of Venice, the Torch made its way along the Grand Canal where it was greeted by city officials and a large crowd at Palazzo Ducale and the Piazza San Marco, after being carried by a number of young athletes, including those from the Blue Flames Maurizio Bobbato Athletics Club.
Before making its way to Venice the Torch had already made its way through Pisa - stopping off at the famous Leaning Tower - Bergamo and Milan on its way to Innsbruck.
Prior to crossing the border, the Libera Universita 'di Bolzano welcomed the Torch where rector of the University, Walter Lorenz declared: "We are honoured that [on] the way to Innsbruck you would like to stop in our [University].
"The stage in Bressanone is in fact also the close relationships that exist between the three universities' of Trento, Bolzano, Innsbruck and are being strengthened further in recent times."
The Austrian town is no stranger to hosting major winter events as it has not only staged two Winter Olympic Games but also hosted the Winter Universiade in 1968 and 2005.
The Torch's visit was greeted enthusiastically by a mixture of young and old in Innsbruck and its presence was timed to coincide with the opening of the skating season in the Sparkasse area of the city.
Next up for the Torch, which was officially lit by Pope Francis in Vatican City on November 6, is a visit to a number of the venues across the Trentino region that will host competitions during the Games, including Canazei, Pozza di Fassa, Predazzo, Moena, Lake Tesero, Cavalese, Baselga di Pine and Pergine.
It is also scheduled to make some more international stop-offs in Munich, Brussels and Paris before making its way back for the Opening Ceremony in Trento at the Piazza Duomo on December 11.
For more information on the Trentino 2013 Torch tour click here.
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