The Italian Almanac

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Florence fortress

Italian News - April 21

Fitness fans who manage to climb a historically formidable Florence fortress can get in free to the fitness festival inside, organisers said Thursday. "We don't expect to be out of pocket - after all the walls of the Fortezza da Basso haven't been breached since the mid-16th century," said Gabriele Brustenghi, one of the organisers.

The would-be Spidermen will tackle the steep walls on special ropes similar to those used in tug-of-war competitions - designed to give extra purchase to the puller. "But even so you'll need to have plenty of strength and stamina to make it to the top," Brustenghi said.

Free-climbers will be allowed to have a go too. As well as an all-in ticket to the 10-day fest, they'll get a month's supply of fitness products to help them recover from their exertions.